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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Romania Amends Labour Code to Provide In-Vitro Fertilization Leave

Romania’s fertility rate is statistically low, with only 1.54 children born per woman in 2018. The country’s birth rate has continued to decline since the early 90s, and more families are choosing to have one or no children. In-vitro fertilization, while increasingly common in the European Union, is rare in Romania. Approximately 5,000 Romanian couples … Continue Reading

Dubai International Financial Center Enacts Sweeping Changes to Employment Law

Background On June 12, 2019, the Dubai International Financial Center (“DIFC”) in Dubai, UAE announced its new employment law regime, which will come into force on August 28, 2019.  This new employment code replaces the DIFC’s previous employment code from 2005 and aims to rectify various issues that arose under the old system.  While many … Continue Reading

Ireland Moves Forward with New Parental Leave Policies

The President of Ireland is on track to sign into law a new amendment to parental leave laws after the country’s upper house (“Seanad Éireann”) approved it on May 8, 2019. The law had previously passed the lower house (“Dáil Éireann”) on June 13, 2018. The amendment now returns to Dáil Éireann for final approval before … Continue Reading

An Increasingly Hairy Situation: Discriminatory Employment Decisions Based on Hairstyles

Hairstyles are gaining more attention in the labor and employment context. Earlier this year, Austria’s Supreme Court allowed a former employee to reopen his discrimination claim upon discovering evidence that the employer may be engaging in discriminatory conduct by imposing hairstyle-related requirements on employees. In 9 ObA 4/19g, a staffing agency’s employee was denied a … Continue Reading

In Historic First for Asia, Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

On May 17, 2019, the Taiwanese Parliament approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, making Taiwan the first country in Asia to adopt such legislation.  Under the new law, same-sex couples now are able to marry legally, effective May 24, 2019. The Parliament’s actions came about as a result of a 2017 decision by the Taiwanese … Continue Reading

Mexico Overhauls Federal Labor Law in Workers’ Favor

Mexico Overhauls Federal Labor Law in Workers’ Favor On May 1, 2019, International Workers’ Day, Mexico published amendments to its Federal Labor Law in the Federal Official Gazette and secured the right of Mexican workers to organize and enter into collective bargaining agreements. The Mexican Senate voted 120 to 0 to pass the Labor Reform … Continue Reading

Major Reform to the Thailand Labor Protect Act

On December 13, 2018, the National Assembly of Thailand approved significant amendments to the country’s Labor Protection Act (“LPA”). The amendments took effect on May 6, 2019. Under the amendments, employees with 20 or more uninterrupted years of service will be entitled to receive 400 days’ pay as severance. This is an increase from the … Continue Reading

The European Parliament Approves EU-Wide Standard for Whistleblower Protection

Per our previous post, the European Parliament and the Member States agreed to adopt new rules that would set the standard for protecting whistleblowers across the EU from dismissal, demotion, and other forms of retaliation when they report breaches of various areas of EU law. According to a press release issued by the European Parliament … Continue Reading

Brunei Now Penalizes Homosexuality with Death by Stoning

At a time when much of the world is accepting LGBTQ individuals and relationships, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction in the small nation of Brunei.  Earlier this month, Brunei put into force a new set of harsh criminal provisions mandating extreme physical punishment for certain acts forbidden by Islamic law, most notably … Continue Reading

Major Changes to Singapore’s Employment Act, Effective April 1, 2019

Major changes to Singapore’s Employment Act (“EA”) took effect on April 1, 2019. First, the EA was expanded to include more employees and offer greater protections. Before April 1, the EA’s core provisions excluded managers and executives earning more than S$4,500, and its Part IV provisions, which provide additional protection to select groups of workmen … Continue Reading

U.S. Court Holds No Foreign Law Exception to the ADEA and Title VII in GM Bias Case

On January 30, 2018, Shawn Wang (“Plaintiff”), filed suit against GM (China) Investment Co., Ltd. (“GMCIC”) and General Motors (GM) alleging, among other things, age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination and Employment Act (“ADEA”) and race and national origin discrimination under Title VII. Plaintiff, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was a GMCIC employee in … Continue Reading

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
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