Issue: November 2020

Message from the Chairs

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Welcome to the latest edition of the newsletter of the ABA International Labor and Employment Law Committee hot on the heels of the enormously successful Section of Labor and Employment Law’s first ever virtual Annual Conference. While we all had the benefit of attending the Conference from the comfort of our own homes as the opportunity for travel remains limited, we, the Co-Chairs of the International Labor and Employment Law Committee, really missed seeing everyone one in person. That said, thanks to our networking reception and committee business meeting, we had plenty of opportunites to catch up, even if it was virtual.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who spoke at and attended our international panels. Mercedes Balado Bevilacqua, Buenos Aires, Mia Belk, Philadelphia, Lynne Bernabei, Washington, D.C., Jan Duffy, San Francisco, and Benjamin C. Hensler, Washington, D.C., gave us some fascinating insights into the conduct of workplace investigations across borders where not only laws but also cultural norms and values can differ greatly. Marcia Longdon, London, Brian J. MacDonough, Boston, Ifeyinwa Okoli-Watson, London, and Jonathan Tal, Campbell, CA, talked us through the tips and traps for ex-pat agreements, particularly in these difficult times where cross-border transfers are becoming increasingly complicated as a result of an unsettled political and economic climate in which we have found ourselves operating.

Our business meeting did not result in the usual debate about where we should go next year because we all know we will be heading to Berlin – fingers crossed and vaccine permitted! That said, there was some discussion (and excitement) about the possibility of Paris for 2022. The meetings also played host to Clare Murray who talked us through the efforts of the Section’s Outreach to International Lawyers Committee and our goal to expand the membership of the Section as a whole.

We have had some great interactive webinars since our last newsletter. We are very grateful to those who have participated in the sessions as moderators, speakers and attendees. The webinars have been so successful, and we are hoping to host more over the course of the next few months. If you have suggestions or ideas for topics, feel free to reach out to any of the Co-Chairs.

We also would like to take this opportunity to welcome our three newest Co-Chairs, Ify Okoli-Watson of Thomspon Reuters (In-House Corporate Counsel Co-Chair), Nancy S. Shilepsky of Sherin & Lodgen (Employee Co-Chair) and Melanie Crowley of Mason Hayes & Curran (International Co-Chair). In addition, we say goodbye to the superb Katherine Blostein and Clare Murray and thank them for their hard work and dedication to the Committee over the course of the last number of years.

Finally, last but by no means least, we were missing one of the stalwarts of our Committee at the meeting last month, Stephen Moldof. Anyone who ever met Steve was left with a lasting impression of a smart, kind and inclusive man who went above and beyond to make everyone feel welcome. Steve devoted his professional life to advancing collective bargaining and the interests of working people. He spent the majority of his career representing the Air Line Pilots Association. Steve was an active and beloved member of this Committee, serving as a Committee Co-Chair from 2000 to 2007. In 2018, he was elected Vice Chair of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, and he was slated to become the Section Chair-Elect in August 2020 until his illness deferred that plan. By unanimous consent, the Section Council voted to make Steve Honorary Section Chair-Elect for the remainder of the current ABA year and Honorary Section Chair for 2021-2022. Steve was a one and only – we will all miss him. Our thoughts are with his wife Mike and his son Luke at this very difficult time.

We wish you all well. Please take good care of yourselves, your families and your communities.

Warm regards,

Nancy Shilepsky (Employee Co-chair), David Garland (Employer Co-Chair), Melanie Crowley (International Co-Chair), Jennifer (JJ) Rosenbaum (Union & Employee Co-chair) and Ify Okoli-Watson (In-House Corporate Counsel Co-Chair)