International Labor and Employment Law

Category Archives: Equality of Treatment

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Promotion de la Diversité sur le Lieu de Travail

SEMINAIRE – Mercredi 21 mars 2013 Le 21 mars dernier, le Bureau de Paris a organisé un séminaire ayant pour thème la diversité sur le lieu de travail, et s’intéressant plus précisément aux obligations légales en vigueur en France, au Royaume-Uni, aux Etats-Unis et en Allemagne, ainsi qu’aux bonnes pratiques recensées dans chacun de ces … Continue Reading

Bullying, Harassment and Stress in the Workplace — A European Perspective

SEMINAR – Tuesday, December 6, 2011 Program: Bullying, harassment and stress in the workplace is becoming increasingly prevalent. Employers must be ever-more vigilant to prevent unwanted conduct that damages morale, increases staff turnover and exposes businesses to liability. During this panel session we compared the U.S. and European positions, looking at: The legal framework in … Continue Reading
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