California Governor Gavin Newsom Signs Pay Transparency Bill

On September 28, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 1162 into law, effectively amending Section 12999 of the Government Code and Section 432.3 of the Labor Code, which expands pay data reporting obligations, requires certain-sized employers to provide the pay scale for an open position in job postings and imposes new record-keeping requirements. It will become effective on January 1, 2023.

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DC Finally Prunes its Ban on Non-Competes

When initially enacted in January 2021, the District of Columbia’s Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act was one of the broadest non-compete prohibitions in the country.  Its effective date, however, was delayed on several occasions amid widespread criticism of its comprehensive scope.  For more information about the original act and its subsequent delay, please see our previous posts on the matter here and here.  The DC Council ultimately passed a scaled back version some 18 months later.

Effective October 1, 2022, the Non-Compete Clarification Amendment Act of 2022 (the “Amended Act”) limits the scope of the initial ban by narrowing of (a) the definition of a “non-compete provision” and (b) applicability to certain highly compensated employees (“HCEs”).

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Reforms to Puerto Rican Labor Law Reinstate Employee-Friendly Measures

On June 20, 2022, Puerto Rico’s governor signed into law Act No. 41-2022 (“the Act”). The Act rolls back certain changes brought about by the Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act (“LTFA”). The LTFA was enacted in 2017 in an effort to reenergize the island’s economy following its effective bankruptcy.

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Brazil Joins the Growing List of Countries Offering “Digital Nomad” Visas

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing many employers to reconsider the need for employees to return to the office in any capacity. At the same time, many employees have requested to work remotely from other countries. This presents potential tax (both corporate and individual), permanent establishment, and immigration issues. In response, as of the beginning of 2022, over 20 countries are now taking a dynamic approach to these changes and have introduced “digital nomad” visas that allow individuals to live in the respective country while working for a company that has no presence there.

Brazil has joined this growing number of countries that are offering digital nomad visas, issuing the long-awaited Resolution No. 45. Resolution No. 45 allows non-Brazilian workers to apply for visas that allow them to work in Brazil as digital nomads for up to 90 days during a 180-day period, or up to 180 days in a one-year period. Such visas will be valid for up to one year and will be eligible for renewal for another year. The maximum period a worker may remain in the country pursuant to Resolution No. 45 depends upon the worker’s nationality.

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Luxembourg Transposes EU Whistleblower Protection Law

On January 12, 2022, Luxembourg’s Minister of Justice submitted to the country’s legislature Bill 7945, which transposes Directive (EU) 2019/1937, otherwise known as the Whistleblower Protection Directive (“Directive”). The official deadline for EU member states to transpose the Directive into national law was December 17, 2021, however, nearly every state, including Luxembourg, failed to meet this deadline. Now that Bill 7945 has been presented to the legislature, experts will review it and compare the legislation against the requirements of the Directive. Given the expiration of the deadline for transposition in December, the legislature is expected to act quickly in passing Bill 7945 into law, so as to avoid the European Commission taking legal action for non-implementation.

Bill 7945 provides a framework to protect individuals who have obtained information in the work context about acts or omissions that violate national law or are against the public interest, and report protected information in any of the manners proscribed by the draft law. Specifically, Bill 7945 protects reports made by current and former employees, prospective employees, volunteers, trainees, self-employed individuals, shareholders, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers. To be protected under the draft law, individuals must have reasonable grounds to believe the information they report is true and that it falls within the scope of the measure. The measure prohibits retaliation against individuals based on them reporting protected information in accordance with the draft law’s provisions.

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UAE’s New, Shorter Workweek Becomes Effective in 2022

The United Arab Emirates rang in 2022 by becoming the first country in the world to adopt a four-and-a-half-day workweek. Effective January 1, 2022, all federal government entities in the country will operate four-and-a-half days per week, with the weekend starting mid-day Friday and lasting through Sunday. Work hours are now 7:30 am to 3:30 pm on Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 am to Noon on Friday. Previously, employees of government entities in the UAE worked a five-day workweek, with a Friday-Saturday weekend.

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