International Labor and Employment Law
Erika C. Collins

Erika C. Collins

Partner

Erika C. Collins works with global companies on complex international and cross-border workplace issues, with particular expertise in navigating legal and cultural differences.

Well-known for her knowledge and work around the globe, Erika has developed a network of top-tier employment and employee benefits practitioners that spans 150 countries. She has a finely tuned and unique single point of contact method which allows clients to make just one phone call even when 100 countries may be implicated. Recently, Erika has been assisting a major bank and a major technology company with multi-country reductions in force involving South America, Europe and Asia. Erika helps numerous companies comply with onerous non-U.S. data privacy regulations, such as the EU’s GDPR, and is well-versed in the requirements for transferring employee data to the US.

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UK Court of Appeal Allows Asda Supermarket Employees’ Equal Pay Claims to Proceed

Earlier this year, the UK Court of Appeal held that a class of 30,000 female Asda retail employees could compare themselves to male employees working in Asda’s distribution warehouses for purposes of their equal pay lawsuit. The Court’s analysis and decision has broad implications for gender pay litigation in the UK. Background The Court of … Continue Reading

EU Agrees to Set the Floor for Whistleblower Protection Across All Member States

According to a press release issued by the European Commission today, the European Parliament and the Member States have agreed to adopt new rules that set the standard for protecting individuals who blow the whistle on breaches of EU law from dismissal, demotion, and other forms of retaliation. This reform, which was first proposed by … Continue Reading

Chinese government forbids employers from asking about childbearing or marital status

On January 15, 2019, we posted an article about the effect of the #MeToo era on China’s efforts to draft its first Civil Code enshrining the country’s civil laws (https://www.internationallaborlaw.com/2019/01/15/china-responds-to-metoo-employers-stay-alert/). While China is not expected to adopt the Code until at least 2020, the Chinese government is beginning to take steps now to address gender … Continue Reading

2019 Brings Minimum Wage Increases Across the European Union

The New Year has brought an increase in minimum wages across the majority of European Union member countries. While most of these changes have been minimal, France and Spain, in particular, announced considerable increases to their respective minimum wages at the end of 2018. From the beginning of his tenure in May 2017, French President … Continue Reading

Recent UK Ruling Highlights Risks of “Independent Contractor” Status

In most jurisdictions, there is a binary distinction between “independent contractors” and “employees,” with employment rights only afforded to “employees.” In the UK, there is a third class—“worker” —who benefit from certain employment rights, including paid time off and a minimum wage. The case of Addison Lee Ltd. v. Lange and Others provides important guidelines … Continue Reading

More Countries Consider Implementing a “Right to Disconnect”

As we move into 2019, it is worth checking in on the “right to disconnect,” a French employment right that now has been adopted or proposed in multiple other countries. Basis of the Right We live in a hyper-connected world, and more and more companies now provide laptops and cell phones with the expectation that … Continue Reading

Germany Rings in 2019 by Adopting Intersex Gender Status

As of January 1, 2019, intersex Germans, meaning Germans with sex characteristics not fitting neatly within the standard understanding of males and females, will be able to register their gender as “divers,” which translates to “miscellaneous.” This new gender classification will be included on such documents as birth certificates, passports, and driver’s licenses. Since 2013, Germany has permitted … Continue Reading

China Responds to #MeToo; Employers Stay Alert

China has begun work on the first draft of its Civil Code, a legislative measure aimed at reconciling and organizing the country’s extensive civil laws. The Chinese Civil Code (“Code”) is expected to be fully drafted and adopted in 2020. Although the Code has been under development for some time, it now finds itself in … Continue Reading

Korean National Assembly Addresses Workplace Bullying and Harassment through Two New Measures

On December 27, 2018 the Korean National Assembly addressed workplace bullying and harassment in partial amendments to the Labor Standards Act (the “LSA”) and the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act. LSA, Article 6-2, “Prohibition of Workplace Harassment” This amendment to the LSA serves two main purposes: (1) creating new employer obligations; and (2) providing a … Continue Reading

Hungary’s Labor Code Amendments Relax Overtime Limit

Hungary is in the midst of an emigration crisis that has seen roughly five percent of the country’s working-age population immigrate to other European Union countries in recent years. This mass migration has triggered a labor shortage in the country. In response to the growing labor crisis, the Hungarian Parliament passed amendments to the country’s … Continue Reading

New York’s Push to Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace has Global Implications

As we have previously reported, New York has significantly heightened employers’ responsibilities with regard to the implementation of anti-sexual harassment policies and training in the workplace. Some of the most notable changes New York employers have adjusted to include the adoption of written policies that explain the complaint and investigation procedure and all possible avenues … Continue Reading

European Union Issues Landmark Employment Discrimination Ruling

On December 4, 2018, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) issued an important decision on age discrimination in relation to the age requirements for new recruits to the Irish police force. Facts This case relates to the applications made by three Irish citizens to join the Irish national police. Their applications were refused because of … Continue Reading

Japan’s Labor Reform Caps Overtime in a Bid to Curb Karoshi

From low productivity to the death of citizens by overwork, Japan’s labor practices have long maintained a complicated relationship with the country’s workforce. The problem of death by overwork is so prevalent the Japanese have created a word for it: karoshi. On June 29, 2018, Japan passed the “Work Style Reform Law” (the Law) to … Continue Reading

UK Decision Puts Employers on Notice for Vicarious Liability at Work-Related Events

With the holiday party season just around the corner, tragic events in the United Kingdom present a worst-case scenario for reveling workers and for employers who may find themselves held responsible. Bellman v. Northhampton Recruitment Ltd. extends the bounds of employer vicarious liability where an employee is injured at a company-related social event. But, the … Continue Reading

Countries Implement New Gender Pay Gap Measures

This past year, multiple countries enacted new laws aimed at reducing gender pay disparity. Although it has long been illegal in many countries to pay women less than men, a noticeable gender pay gap has persisted. The laws described below demonstrate that countries are now attempting bolder and more innovative strategies toward reaching true pay … Continue Reading

“I am what I am, so take me as I am” – Historic decision of India’s highest Court decides gay sex no longer criminal

Commencing with the famous quote of German thinker Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, India’s Supreme Court has today legalised sexual relationships between same-sex people. This landmark decision ends a long fight against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC) which had criminalised certain homosexual acts. In its decision, the Supreme Court held that: “Criminalising … Continue Reading

Puerto Rico Heading Towards At-Will Employment

On May 30, 2018, the Puerto Rican Senate voted in favor of overturning an Act that provided significant protections to Puerto Rican employees. The repeal would roll back the current law, Act No. 80, which prohibits employees from being terminated without just cause, thus making it significantly easier for employers to terminate employees. Currently, private … Continue Reading

China Has a #MeToo Moment, But Still Lacks Anti-Harassment Enforcement

The #MeToo movement may have spread to China, but the legal landscape still does not provide significant protections to potential victims. On January 1, 2018, a former doctoral student at Beijing’s Beihang University, Luo Xixi, posted on Weibo, China’s Twitter, an allegation that her former doctoral supervisor had sexually harassed her while she was a … Continue Reading

Major Changes Proposed to Ontario’s Labor and Employment Laws

On June 1, 2017, the Ontario government introduced the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148).  Bill 148 is not yet the law of the province but, if enacted, it contemplates sweeping changes to both traditional labor and employment law in Ontario.  Broadly, the proposed Bill would raise the minimum wage in Ontario, change employee … Continue Reading

What Employers Need to Know about Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation

Proskauer has released a white paper on “What Employers Need to Know about Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation.” As you may know, on April 14, 2016, the European Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which will replace the EU’s current data privacy standard and begin to apply on May 25, 2018. This paper … Continue Reading

Update: India’s Parliament Passes Increased Maternity Leave

India’s Parliament has officially passed an increase to maternity leave in India.  The new law entitles most mothers to 26 weeks of paid leave. We last reported that India’s Upper House of Parliament approved the increase in August, 2016.  However, India’s lower house held off approving the legislation until last week.  The new law provides … Continue Reading

UK Employment Tribunal Rules that Individuals Working in the “Gig Economy” are Entitled to Paid Leave

An Employment Tribunal in the United Kingdom ruled that a bicycle courier for CitySprint, a delivery firm, was a worker rather than self-employed and therefore entitled to paid leave.  This is the most recent decision in a string of UK cases dealing with the “gig economy,” namely, repeated short-term work such as ride-sharing or courier … Continue Reading
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