Mayer Brown Employment & Benefits partners Duncan Abate and Hong Tran (both Hong Kong) predict few employers will move forward with mass employee COVID-19 testing. According to Duncan and Hong, once employers carry out individual risk assessments, many will likely avoid making testing a requirement, outside of those in the most at-risk industries.

In an

Executive Summary

The Trump Administration has introduced long-anticipated changes to the H-1B visa program for highly-skilled foreign workers, aimed at tightening eligibility for STEM talent working at major US employers, including by imposing a rigid requirement that any job offered to an H-1B worker require a single specific degree in a subspecialty, and that each H-1B candidate have that specific degree to qualify.

The changes, some of which come under immediate effect and all of which will likely face legal challenges, would make it tougher for applicants to qualify for an H-1B visa and significantly more expensive for employers to sponsor them for H-1Bs or for green cards.

The changes also will create high barriers for vendor partners to provide talent to major customers, as both the expense of new wages and specific requirements for vendors to renew their H-1Bs annually (or more frequently if statements of work provide for shorter periods), raise their costs substantially.


Continue Reading Trump Administration Issues Two New Rules to Restrict H-1B Visas and Increase Expenses for Employers Sponsoring Highly-Skilled Workers for Visas and Green Cards

The US District Court for the Northern District of California has issued an order temporarily enjoining President Trump’s proclamation suspending the entry of certain temporary workers.  On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed Proclamation 10052, Section 2 of which suspended the entry of foreign nationals seeking admission in four visa categories of substantial importance to US companies—H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and certain J-1 visas—for the remainder of the calendar year and laid the groundwork for regulatory changes to transform when and how employers can sponsor foreign workers to work in the United States. For a full discussion of the Proclamation, please see our blog post, Trump Order Suspends Major Visa Categories, Including H-1B and L-1, Through the End of the Calendar Year, With Rulemaking Restrictions to Follow. The ban only applied to individuals in these categories who were outside the United States when the Proclamation took effect; were not in possession of a nonimmigrant visa on that date; and had no other authorization to travel to the United States, such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole authorization.

Continue Reading Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction in Case Challenging Nonimmigrant Visa Ban

On September 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two related bills into law as part of his COVID-19 worker protection package. The new laws expand the presumption of workers’ compensation liability with respect to employees who contract COVID-19, impose new notice and reporting requirements on employers with respect to COVID-19 cases in the workplace, and expand the California Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (“Cal/OSHA”) enforcement authority.

Continue Reading California Imposes New COVID-19 Notice and Reporting Requirements on Employers, Increases Workers’ Compensation Coverage and Expands Cal/OSHA’s Authority

In February 2020, the Home Office of the UK government released a policy statement noting the details of a new era of immigration to launch in the wake of Brexit. The new system, which remains encapsulated in the February 2020 policy statement, is purported to fulfill the UK Government’s commitment to “take back control of

COVID-19 has sparked a seismic change in the workplace as many companies have found that working from home (“WFH”) has not diminished employee productivity and that employees prefer its greater flexibility. Given that—and the potential for saving on overhead costs—many companies have announced plans to adopt long-term WFH policies and close or realign office space.

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A vaccine against Sars-CoV-2 (the “Corona virus”) will hopefully be available soon. The German labor law requirements regarding a vaccination for employees and a possible obligation to vaccinate are already largely clear.

Do employers have to offer the vaccination (free of charge)?

Employees cannot require their employer to carry out or pay for corona vaccinations. It is solely up to the employer to decide which concrete protective measures the employer wishes to undertake. However, it is often also in the employer’s interest for employees to be vaccinated. If the employer offers a (free) vaccination, for example through the company doctor, this is a benefit that must be offered to all employees in principle, taking into account the principle of equality. Limiting the offer to only a few groups of employees will only be permissible in exceptional cases, for example if one group of employees is exposed to greater risks of infection than other groups. It would also be conceivable, for example, to grant “vaccination premiums/incentives” for a voluntary vaccination, the distribution principles of which are subject to the co-determination of the works council. Between 1 March and 31 December 2020, such “Corona special payments” are tax- and social security-free up to an amount of € 1,500.00.


Continue Reading Corona-Vaccination for Employees in Germany: Who Bears the Costs and is it Mandatory to be Vaccinated?

Decisions around remote and in-office working arrangements are one of the many areas of potential liability in the COVID-19 era. Lawyers from Mayer Brown presented on this and other areas of potential liability in a recent webinar for a major auto manufacturer, highlighting important issues that employers should address in the months ahead.

Partners Liz

Angela SY Yim, Partner, and Phoebe MC Fok, Senior Associate, Mayer Brown, evaluate recent amendments to health and safety regulations in Hong Kong, and suggest a number of practical measures to prioritise workplace safety.

Amendments to the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEX)’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reporting Guide took effect

In a world where we can no longer host in person events without following all of the latest government guidelines on social distancing, use of face masks and providing a bucket-load of hand sanitizer, online learning tools such as webinars, podcasts, blogs and vlogs, are having their time in the limelight. With this new era, comes new opportunity.

When lockdown began in the UK in March 2020, like many, Nicholas Robertson hunkered down at home and quickly got to grips with various online platforms to be able to continue working effectively. Already a seasoned podcaster and producer of Mayer Brown’s UK Employment Law Podcast, on 15 April 2020 Nick was invited by the Employment Lawyers Association (“ELA”) to host an interview with Judge Shona Simon and Judge Brian Doyle, where (in under an hour) they covered the impact of the pandemic on tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”), and the steps that were being taken to address the impact. To listen to this podcast, you can access it through the ELA website.


Continue Reading UK Employment Law Podcaster Nicholas Robertson Hosts Pandemic Related Broadcasts Produced by the Employment Lawyers Association and the Industrial Law Society