Employment and Labor Law


Author: Xavier García Sabate; Bufete Escura (Barcelona, Spain)

Companies do not have the right to unlimitedly control their employees' emails, since, although they can control the internal email, they must first notify the worker concerned and they must have a specific reason to do so.

That is what the European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, established in its judgment September 4th, 2017, which is not subjected to appeal and establishes jurisprudence for all the member countries of the European Union.

Read more: European Justice Condemns Companies Who Spy on the Emails of Workers Without Prior Notice


Contact: Steve Runyan

Are you thinking about adopting a company-wide social media policy? Be careful what you prohibit. A client recently asked if the company could prohibit employees from discussing the company on social media. The client wanted to avoid negative publicity from disgruntled employees and thought a change to the employment manual would be helpful. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, but only prevents government restrictions on speech, it does not relate to private actions. Consequently, clients often think that they are free to limit employees’ speech. But the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has held that restrictions that “chill” speech are unlawful (and actionable). Therefore, an employer must be careful when crafting restrictions to avoid unlawful restrictions.

Read more: Pitfalls of Social Media Policies in the Workplace


French lawmakers have adopted new obligations to be observed by companies, and in particular:

  • law no. 2016-1691 dated 9 December 2016, relating to transparency, combatting corruption and the modernisation of economic life (the so-called “Sapin II Law”). This law was supplemented by decree no. 2017-564 dated 19 April 2017.
  • law no. 2017-399 dated 27 March 2017 relating to the duty of vigilance of parent companies and subcontracting companies.

The principal obligations arising from these laws are described below.

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Written by Anthony Amendola and Justine Lazarus

Since April 1, 2016, California employers subject to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) have been required to comply with a number of amendments to the FEHA regulations that were adopted by the California Fair Employment and Housing Council (“FEHC”). FEHA imposes an affirmative duty on employers to “take all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring.” To effectuate that duty, the amended FEHA regulations expressly require employers to develop a written harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention policy. More detailed information regarding the 2016 FEHC amendments may be found here.

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Written By Anthony Amendola and Justine Lazarus

In Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., the California Supreme Court answered some unsettled questions regarding the state’s day of rest statutes. In short, these provisions of the California Labor Code provide that employees are entitled to at least one day’s rest out of seven. Specifically, section 551 of the Labor Code states that “[e]very person employed in any occupation of labor is entitled to one day’s rest therefrom in seven.” Section 552 states that “[n]o employer of labor shall cause his employees to work more than six days in seven.” Section 556 provides an exception to sections 551 and 552, stating that they “shall not apply to any employer or employee when the total hours of employment do not exceed 30 hours in any week or six hours in any one day thereof.”

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