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Adrift, Yet Connected

Some estimates have upwards of 10 million Americans living abroad; three-fifths of them are working in some fashion, according to a 2017 survey by the expatriate support organization InterNations. And even if a much smaller number are working for US employers, a substantial portion have spent much of 2020 navigating the challenges of visa, benefits, taxes and work status. Beyond that, the challenges that come along with remote work—Zoom fatigue, balancing caregiver roles with job tasks and more—are exacerbated by working across a long stretch of time zones. In a recent article by Evolve, McDermott partner Brian Cousin outlines the importance of employers staying engaged with their employees working abroad—and staying on top of shifting employment circumstances and restrictions. Access the article.

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UK Tax Perspective on Expatriates Working Abroad

UK employees "working from anywhere" face fines or investigations from foreign tax authorities if they stay too long, become a resident in a foreign country for tax purposes and fail to declare their UK incomes. In some cases, they could also be hit with double taxation on the same earnings. In a recent article in The Daily Telegraph, McDermott partner Simon Goldring advises employees to consider the tax implications of extended "work from home" abroad. Access the article.

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Women and the Pandemic Workplace: Leadership’s Critical New Challenges

Leadership’s responsibility for assuring gender equality within the workplace just received an important, highly public “push.” In a recent article in Forbes, McDermott partner Michael Peregrine analyzes a crucial study by McKinsey and LeanIn.org, which concluded that women have born an outsized workplace-related burden during the COVID-19 economy. Access the article.

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Dress Code Policies Reconsidered in the Pandemic

Employers are contending with how to respond to telecommuters dressing down during the pandemic. Companies also are considering how to ensure dress codes don't unlawfully discriminate or violate National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) rights. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, McDermott Employment associate Philip Shecter advises employers to be mindful of these rights, which may arise in the context of attire in favor of social justice movements. Access the article.

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Background Checks: The Advent of the New California Employment Class Action

Class action litigation brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is on the rise—particularly in California—after the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a 2017 decision applying a hypertechnical approach to the FCRA's disclosure requirements. Background checks are an integral part of the hiring process, but they open employers up to lawsuits for noncompliance with disclosure or adverse action requirements. Plaintiffs' firms are turning their attention to these cases because of the potential for statutory and actual damages, punitive damages, costs and attorneys' fees. In our recent webinars, we discussed strategies to help employers avoid and defend these claims. View Part I's slide deck here. View Part II's slide deck here.

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Can Employers Require Workers to Get Flu Shots?

Flu season is officially here, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic's continued effects across the country, doctors are imploring people to get their annual flu shot. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, McDermott partner Michelle Strowhiro discussed approaches and options for employers as they consider making the flu vaccine mandatory. Access the article.

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Healthcare Employers: What You Need to Know about the New FFCRA “Health Care Provider” Exclusion and California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

Healthcare employers are immediately impacted by two recent developments in federal and California COVID-19 paid leave laws: a Department of Labor revision to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and a new California supplemental paid sick leave legislation. For both changes in the law, quick action is required for compliance. Access the article.

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Employer Considerations for Remote and In-Person Workers as the School Year Commences

With the school year underway, employers in the United States face a new challenge: childcare-related leave and accommodation requests by employees. With widespread remote learning and evolving legal obligations to provide paid leave to working parents, employers must navigate unique staffing challenges while complying with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and other state and local leave laws. In our recent webinar, we outlined some of the current leave requirements regarding childcare obligations and practical solutions to navigate these uncharted waters. View the slide deck here.

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Can Employers Make Vaccines Mandatory in a Pandemic?

Even though a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 isn't available yet, it's not too early for employers to start considering whether they will require employees to get the vaccination when it is ready. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, McDermott partners Michelle Strowhiro and Sandy DiVarco highlighted some of the factors, considerations and accommodations that may be necessary once a vaccine is ready. Access the article.

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Employers Grapple with Workers’ Off-Duty Behavior

Employees gathering with friends, expressing their political views and posting about these things on social media have created for employers an increasingly urgent question: When the people engaging in unsafe or politically charged behavior are your employees, and the conduct happens off the clock, is it appropriate or even possible to discipline them? Access the article.

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