Issue: May 2018

A Message from the Chairs

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Our first meeting ever in Milan is now over, and all of us in attendance bring back wonderful memories of a vibrant city in Northern Italy, a great meeting covering the most important global labor and employment subjects,  and wonderful networking and social events planned by our local Milan host committee and our ABA team led by Brad Hoffman.  

First as to our program, many thanks to the incredibly knowledgeable moderators and speakers that worked tireless to create our content,  covering subjects that  included:

  • On opening day, we began with a welcome from the U.S. Consul for Political and Economic Affairs in Milan, John R. Crosby who made a special plea around the importance of LGBT rights.  We  then moved on to our Keynote Address by Alan Friedman. Alan is an award winning journalist and best-selling author from the USA who has lived in Italy for the past several years and provided insightful observations of current global political trends and how they impact the global workplace. His talk set the stage for many of the topics we covered over the four day program. We then turned to an in depth review of labor and employment law reform in Italy and its impact on the national economy. That was followed by a panel on current global developments in labor and employment law, focusing on changes during the Trump Administration and in Europe with respect to Brexit. We ended Day 1 with a very interesting discussion of Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and how it will impact the workplace.
  • The second day we heard from a panel on whistleblowing developments in the U.S. and the EU, where Italy has  enacted a new law protecting whistleblowers in 2017. We next heard from experts from Italy, France, Argentina and the USA on the cross border reach of the #Metoo phenomenon and how legislators are responding. Our last panel of the day reviewed the political and legal debate over immigration and how it is impacting the global workplace.
  • Our third day addressed the growth of pay equity initiatives across the globe, from mandatory pay gap disclosures in the UK, to new laws in Germany on pay gap disclosures, to the growth of new class action litigation in the USA on pay equity. We followed with a timely panel on litigation of gig economy issues and further legislative responses. We concluded with an examination of the growing use of arbitration outside the USA as a way to resolve disputes in the workplace while in the USA, the use of arbitration is under attack to resolve claims such as sexual harassment.
  • As in past years, our final day began with a closer look at the labor and employment landscape impacting two industries.  This year we focused on discussing the fashion industry, including matters related to harassment and the global supply chain. We will also did a deep dive on the global aviation industry, and in particular the growth of low cost carriers. This year we ended the program with a new panel on the last day featuring “hot topics” in international labor and employment law. We heard from experts on privacy laws in the workplace, labor chapters in trade and investment agreements and GDPR implementation, and the impact on human resources data.

As always, the success of our Midyear Meeting depends on the active participation of our attendees and with respect to every topic, our audience was actively engaged in a robust discussion of the issues.

We rely heavily on the support of participating firms to sponsor this event and help us cover some of the extra costs of running a meeting overseas. Special thanks to all of our sponsors including Macchi di Cellere Gangemi and Belado Bevilacqua, our sponsors of our Welcome Reception, Daverio & Florio and Innangard, the sponsors of the cocktail reception on Monday, Chiomenti, the sponsor of our Tuesday cocktail reception and the Platinum Sponsors of our Gala Dinner at the beautiful Palazzo Serbelloni including BLG, Daverio & Florio, Epstein Becker, Fortney Scott, Freshfields, Innangard, Marval O’Farrell Mairal, Matheson, Orrick, Outten & Golden and Trilegal.  Other sponsors of the conference included Broach & Stulberg, CMS Hasche Sigle, Drinker Biddle, Green & Spiegel, Sheppard Mullin, Taylor Wessing and UNIOLEX. Thank you sponsors!

We are pleased to announce that in 2019, our midyear meeting will be held in Buenos Aries, Argentina! This will be the first time our committee travels to Latin America for a meeting and we look forward to expanding our already active group of attendees and members from Latin America. A host committee for Buenos Aries 2019 is already in formation, so please reach out to us if you would like to be on the host committee. More about Buenos Aries in future newsletters and at the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section meeting in November in San Francisco.

We encourage all of you to submit articles for publication in this newsletter to our Editor Rick Bales and of course your ideas and suggestions for future panels and meetings to us a committee co-chairs.

Our Milan meeting exceeded all of our expectations and like previous mid-year meetings, was a great forum to learn from fellow labor and employment lawyers from around the world and to make lasting friendships. Thanks to everyone who contributed to making this meeting the success it was.

Warm regards,

Mike Delikat (management chair), Owen Herrnstadt (union chair), and Katherine Blostein (employee co-chair)