Considerations for Israeli Employers During Israel-Hamas War

As a result of the recent terrorist attacks in Israel and the resulting Israel-Hamas war, Israelis continue to be called upon for active duty under Israel’s emergency call-up notice. Global employers with operations and/or employees in Israel should become familiar with the emergency orders in place and the applicable employment developments to best support their employees and comply with local obligations.

Israel’s Compulsory Military Service

Israel’s military operates under a system of reserve forces known as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Military service is compulsory for Jewish Israeli citizens over the age of 18, requiring men to serve for a minimum of 32 months and women to serve for a minimum of 24 months. After completing compulsory service, citizens are transitioned into the IDF reserves, subject to recall for active duty in times of need. Because Israel is currently under a state of emergency, an emergency call-up notice (Order 8) has been issued for the immediate enlistment of most IDF reservists to report for active duty for an indefinite timeframe.

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Puerto Rico Amends Domestic Abuse Prevention and Intervention Act

On July 28, 2023, the Governor of Puerto Rico signed Law No. 74 of 2023 (“Law 74”) into law. Law 74 amends Puerto Rico’s Act for the Prevention and Intervention with Domestic Violence, adding additional protections for victims of domestic violence.

The amendment includes “economic violence” as a modality for domestic abuse. “Economic violence” is defined as:

“[C]onduct directed at impairing the present or future financial capacity, economic stability, or lodging and housing security through threats, coercion, fraud, restriction, or preventing access to or use of accounts, assets, financial information, identification or credit cards, money, or government assistance; concealment of information related to the payment of rent or mortgages,  or forced evictions; exercising undue influence on a person’s decisions or behavior or financial and economic decisions of a person, or interference in a person’s employment relationship or performance or in his or her own business. It also includes misusing the person’s financial resources, including money, assets and credit for personal gain, and preventing access to formal courses of study and impairing the victim’s academic performance.”

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India Passes New Data Protection Legislation

After several years of debate, India has passed the Digital Personal Data Protection Act of 2023 (DPDPA), an overhaul of the country’s data protection regime that will require employers operating in India to take stock of current data protection policies and ensure alignment with the new law.

Like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the DPDPA is a comprehensive framework that will require data processers to identify a lawful purpose for processing personal data, with limited exceptions such as in cases where the data is publicly available or the processing is necessary as part of a merger or a restructuring.  Similar to the GDPR, it applies to all data processing in India or that is related to the provision of goods and services to individuals in India.

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Reforms to Puerto Rico’s Labor Law Declared Null and Void Ab Initio

On March 3, 2023, U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain, presiding over Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy, issued an opinion declaring Act 41-2022 (Act No. 41) null and void ab initio.

Law 41-2022 Amendments

Act No. 41, which took effect in June 2022, amended several employment regulations that had been established by the 2017 Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act (LTFA). As previously reported, Act No. 41 sought to broaden several labor rights applicable to employees in the private sector. Specifically, the Act provided the following employment benefits:

  • Limited the probationary period to a maximum of three months;
  • Increased accrual of vacation and sick leave;
  • Extended the statute of limitations for workers to claim benefits derived from an employment contract to three years;
  • Required bonuses for eligible employees;
  • Mandated severance pay, calculated based on years of service, for employees dismissed without just cause from positions for an indefinite term;
  • Provided for ambiguous provisions to be interpreted in favor of the employee;
  • Directed employers to provide meal periods based on number of hours worked; and
  • Established that certain employees were entitled to one day of rest for every six days worked.

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Developments in Irish Employment Law

For Irish lawmakers, commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) continues to be a top priority in 2023. Following the introduction of Ireland’s Gender Pay Gap Information Act (the Act) in 2021, employers continue to be required to report their gender pay gap metrics as a tangible commitment to DEI.

On May 31, 2022, regulations went into effect requiring organizations with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap information in December 2022, based on a June 2022 snapshot of the organizations’ employees.

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Polish Employment Law Developments: Substance Testing and Remote Work

A notable development in Polish employment law recently was passed. The legislation includes substance testing requirements and regulations on remote work.

This new legislation will have a powerful impact on Polish companies. Employers located in Poland should examine their policies and procedures to ensure they comply with these new regulations. Polish employers will be required to add special clauses reflecting the substance testing and remote work stipulations to their internal Work Regulations.

Substance Testing Requirements

On January 1, 2023, the law on substance testing is expected to come into force.

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