Dismissing an employee for wearing a headscarf on ‘brand image’ grounds may be discrimination: a new ruling from France

An employee who was dismissed for refusing to remove her headscarf which her employer claimed was problematic for its brand image was a victim of discrimination, according to a recent ruling from the French Court of Cassation. Background On her return from parental leave, a saleswoman employed by a clothing retailer came to work wearing a headscarf that concealed her hair, ears and neck. The employer…

COVID-19 vaccination: what data can employers in Hungary process on employees’ status?

The Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information has published its position on the processing of data relating to employees’ COVID-19 vaccination status. This article gives details. On 1 April 2021, the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (the ‘Authority’) communicated its position on vaccination data. This position applies solely to employees and only applies during the epidemic…

Paid leave for vaccination: New York’s new Vaccine Leave Law

From 12 March, employees in New York State are entitled to four hours’ paid leave to enable them to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Executive summary On 12 March 2021, New York State enacted an amendment to the New York Labor Law and the New York Civil Service Law, which provides for four hours of paid leave time, per injection, to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination. The…

Global Climate Strike: how should employers respond?

The climate strikes, also known as the Global Week for Future, are a series of international strikes and protests to demand action be taken to address climate change. The ‘global climate strike’ is not a union strike, but an event organised by or on behalf of the Fridays for Future international climate movement. We wanted to know what employers can do if employees decide to…

Stricter lockdown rules and extended economic protection arrangements in Hungary

The Hungarian Government has decided to implement stricter lockdown rules, which apply from 8 March 2021. The most important changes, contained in Government Decree No. 104/2021. (III. 5.) (the ‘ Decree’)  are summarised below.  Rules on mask wearing In public and in public places, everyone must wear a mask, except for minors under the age of six.  Further everyone shall keep a social distance of 1.5 metres from others, and shall limit contact to the smallest possible number of people,…

A guide to hair discrimination laws and their impact on employer grooming codes in the US

This review of legislation and case law on hair and hair styling in the workplace in the US looks at recent state and federal anti-discrimination initiatives and gives guidance to employers on how to adapt their dress code and grooming policies. Executive summary Many have said that the workplace tends to be society’s battlefield, where culture wars play out and emerging trends go up against long-established…

Executive Order combatting discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community: what do US-employers need to know?

Within hours of his inauguration on 20 January 2021, President Biden signed his Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. The Executive Order establishes the new administration’s policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, and directs federal agencies to take affirmative steps to secure these rights.   The Executive Order commits to enforcing the…

Free speech and the US First Amendment: where it is implicated, and where it is not

The right to free speech is protected by the First Amendment in the US, but what does this mean for private employers and employees? This article provides guidance on this topical question in the wake of the unrest at the US Capitol on 6 January.  In the wake of the 6 January 2021 unrest at the United States Capitol Building and several social media outlets…

What does the COVID-19 tier system mean for offices in England?

Regulations underpinning the 3-tier lockdown system are now in force in England, as part of the government’s efforts to step up its response to the pandemic. This article considers if the new regulations demand a stricter approach to office work and meetings. The current work from home guidance On 22 September, the government changed its guidance on office workers in England and advised that they…

How to deal with ex-employees’ email accounts: the Belgian DPA strengthens its position

The Belgian DPA has recently fined a company for delaying the closure of ex-employees’ email accounts. The Belgian Data Protection Authority (DPA) recently decided to impose an administrative fine of EUR 15,000 on a company that only closed email addresses linked to employees (surname and first name) who had left the company after 2.5 years. According to the DPA, non-closure of these email addresses constitutes…