Posts

Italian Green Certification And Private Companies: Better To Summarize

The Legislative Decree 127/2021 extends the application of the green certification to the private companies.

When

From 15 October 2021 and until 31 December 2021 (current deadline for the end of the state of emergency).

Who

Anyone who works in the private sector, in any capacity, including on the basis of external contracts.

Exception

Subjects exempt from the vaccination campaign on the basis of suitable medical certification.

Object

Obligation, for the access to the workplace, to possess and exhibit, upon request, the green certification.

Employers

They are required to verify the green certification.

They must define, by October 15, 2021, the operating procedures for organizing the controls.

Consequences

If workers communicate that they are not in possession of the green certification when entering the workplace, they are considered unjustified absent until the aforementioned certification is presented.

No disciplinary consequences.

Right to keep the employment relationship.

For the days of unjustified absence, no salary or other remuneration or emolument, however called, is due.

Companies with fewer than 15 employees

After the fifth day of unjustified absence, the employer can suspend the worker for the duration corresponding to that of the employment contract stipulated for the replacement, in any case for a period not exceeding 20 days.

Employees sanctions

From 600 to 1,500 Euros.

Without prejudice to the disciplinary consequences according to the respective sector regulations.

Employers sanctions

From 400 to 1000 euros, doubled in case of reiteration of the violation.

Without prejudice to any criminal consequences.

Whistleblowing: Italian Guarantor Reminds Employment And Privacy Protections

The issue is always particularly crucial both for the information handled and for the high risks of retaliation and discrimination in the workplace.

Especially in Italy.

The identity of whistleblowers must be protected.

The employer, data controller, is required to comply with the principles of data protection, ensuring their integrity and security.

This was recently recalled by the Italian Privacy Guarantor, sanctioning an airport company and its software supplier for a total of over 60,000 euros.

The Guarantor reiterated that the employer data controller, even when using products or services made by third parties, must verify compliance with the data protection principles by giving the necessary instructions to the service provider.

In the case under analysis, the Guarantor ascertained the non-use of encryption techniques for the transmission and storage of data and the violation of the principle of privacy by design:

  • access to the whistleblowing application took place without the use of a secure network protocol
  • the application did not provide the encryption of the data
  • accesses to the application by employees connected to the company network were tracked through the logs generated by the firewalls

This rendered ineffective the other measures adopted to protect the confidentiality of the identity of the reporting parties.

Maja Drakulovic joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Employment Law member in Montenegro

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Maja Drakulovic as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Employment Law expert in Montenegro. Maja’s office is located in Podgorica.

From the very beginning we have been recognized as a successful and highly respected law office, with diverse portfolio of legal services and also as a reliable, loyal and competent partner of our clients. Between 1992 and 2009 we had worked in Montenegro and Serbia under the name law firm Jovović & partners, and since January 2010 we are working under the name law firm Jovović, Mugoša & Vuković.

If one measure success of a law firm by the size of workforce, then our law firm is the biggest in Montenegro. In addition to that, our law firm shall be between three biggest legal services providers in Montenegro, if one apply criterion of size of client database and annually generated revenues.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Maja’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Employees’ Privacy: Italian Guarantor Prohibits Indiscriminate Monitoring Of Internet Browsing

The Italian Guarantor has ordered an employer to pay a fine of 84,000 euros for the unlawful processing of personnel data relating to internet browsing.

In fact, monitoring of employee internet browsing is not possible if conducted indiscriminately.

The limit persists even in the presence of specific trade union agreements.

Any control activities must always comply with the Workers’ Statute and the privacy legislation.

This is what was reiterated by the Privacy Guarantor in a sanctioning measure of last 13 May.

An employee, during a disciplinary procedure, had discovered that his Facebook and Youtube consultation during working hours had emerged from a constant control.

The employer used a system of control and filtering of employees’ internet browsing, with the retention of data for one month and the creation of specific reports, for network security purposes.

The employer had also entered into an agreement with the trade unions, as required by the sector regulations, but the system, without having adequately informed the employees, instead allowed unnecessary processing operations that were disproportionate to the purpose of protection and security of the internal network.

In fact, a preventive and generalized collection of data relating to connections to the websites visited by individual employees was carried out.

The system also collected information unrelated to the professional activity and in any case attributable to the private life of the person concerned.

In addition to the injunction, the employer must also take technical and organizational measures to anonymize the data relating to the employee’s workstation, delete personal data in the registered web browsing logs, as well as update the internal procedures identified and included in the trade union agreement.

Richard Grogan joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Employment Law member in Ireland

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Richard Grogan as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Employment Law expert in Ireland. Richard’s office is located in Dublin.

Richard Grogan BCL, AITI, TEP, CEDR, Solicitor and Accredited Mediator. Richard specialises in Employment Law, and Taxation of Employment Law Awards and Settlements. Richard provides mediation services, both in employment disputes as an alternative to Court proceedings or claims to the WRC and workplace mediation. Richard also heads up our Reputational Risk and Crisis Management practice for Senior Executives and Senior Managers.

Richard brings over 30 years experience, specialist knowledge and expertise  as a Solicitor and Chartered Tax Advisor to provide a quality and value for money service to his clients. Richard is one of the best known and respected Employment Law Solicitors in Ireland. Richard is ranked as one of the top Employment Lawyers in the country. Richard writes and lectures extensively on Employment Law and Taxation. You can see some of Richards publications and lectures in our publications section.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Richard’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Federico Allavelli joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Employment Law member in Italy

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Federico Allavelli as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Employment Law expert in Italy. Federico’s office is located in Varese.

Employment and Labour Lawyer with experience in litigation, out-of-court and contractual assistance.

Federico gained experience for ordinary daily business activities as well as for extraordinary operations (collective dismissals, transfers of company or branch, restructuring and reorganizations, also in business crisis context).

He also offers advice on Privacy & Data Protection; in particular issues concerning Employment and Labour Law.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Federico’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

L&E News Alert: Alabama Unemployment (UI) Fraud and Abuse

Introduction

The Alabama Department of Labor (“ADOL’) is working closely with the U.S. Department of Labor and various other state and federal law enforcement agencies around the country to share information regarding the unprecedented rise in unemployment insurance fraud. As a response, the ADOL is encouraging employers to advise their employees to take reasonable measures to protect personal information, establish PIN and passwords that are difficult for an outside person or computer to generate, and be vigilant in identifying any suspicious activity related to unemployment claims.

Indicators of Fraudulent Activity

The ADOL encourages employers to be vigilant in recognizing the various indicators of fraudulent activity and advising their employees accordingly. For example, receipt of mail from the ADOL notifying an employee of a claim in their name when they have not filed an unemployment claim is an early indicator of fraudulent activity. In addition, receiving an IRS Form 1099-G stating an employee has income from unemployment when they have not filed an unemployment claim is an indicator of fraudulent activity. If an employee filed for benefits, receipt of this form is to be expected as benefits are taxable income in most states. However, in some cases, this could be the first indication that a fraudulent claim has been made. Text messages from the ADOL asking an employee to verify their unemployment account is also an indication of fraudulent activity. Employees should be advised that the ADOL does not use text messages to correspond with claimants. Lastly, employers receiving claim notices on employees who do not exist or who never terminated employment with said employer is an indicator of fraudulent activity. If an employer or employee suspects any of the aforementioned indicators of fraudulent activity, they are asked to report it to the ADOL.

Reporting 1099-G Fraud

Employers should provide a gateway for employees to report fraudulent activity. For example, an employer may advise its employees to report to its HR Department if an employee receives an IRS Form 1099-G for fraudulent benefits. In addition, an employee should then be directed to  report the fraud to the State Workforce Agency  and to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) at https://identitytheft.gov/. The FTC provides employees with a personalized recovery plan and can walk an employee through each step of the recovery process. Employees should also report the identity theft to the IRS. This allows employees to avoid paying taxes on the fraudulent income.

Reporting Fraud to ADOL

If your employee suspects fraudulent activity, they should be advised to report it to the ADOL at www.labor.alabama.gov. The ADOL conducts various types of fraud and abuse investigations on unemployment claims to ensure the accuracy of benefit payments. The ADOL allows an employee to report the following: (1) Report that they suspect someone has used their social security number to work or claim UI benefits, including those who have received a 1099-G but did not receive unemployment benefits; (2) Report any suspected UI benefit fraud and abuse; and (3) Report that they suspect an employee or employees receiving UI after returning to work, or of receiving PPP funds that may impact the individual’s eligibility for UI benefits.

Conclusion

Unemployment fraud is a national issue and the ADOL is working diligently to encourage employers to take reasonable measures to protect their employees in advising them to protect personal information and report any suspicion of unemployment fraud or abuse. We will continue to assess any developments implemented by the ADOL to protect the identities of employees. We are available if you have any questions.

Mexican Labor Law Amendment Abolishes Outsourcing of Personnel

On April 23, 2021, an amendment to the Mexican Labor Law was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation. Below are the key points about the amendment and how they will affect employers that outsource or subcontract work.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

According to the amendment, employers are no longer permitted to subcontract or outsource personnel. The law covers any individual or legal entity providing employees to be supervised and managed by a third-party client and that determines the services and work to be rendered. The law includes carve outs and exceptions under certain circumstances.

  • Specialized Services
    • The amendment permits the subcontracting of specialized services that are not part of the core business in terms of the company’s corporate purpose and activity registered before the Tax Administration Service (or Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT). Services will be considered specialized provided that they are not part of the core business of the company that receives them—the so-called “operating entity.”)
  • Companies in the Same Corporate Group
    • The amendment allows companies within the same corporate group, i.e., the “former service entity,” to render services or activities.
  • Employment Agencies
    • According to the amendment, employment agencies or intermediaries, which were previously referred to as “outsourcing companies”) may participate only in recruitment, selection, and training of candidates. The amendment states that the company receiving the services must be the one that conducts hiring.
  • Profit-Sharing Cap
    • Because some companies have attempted to avoid tax liabilities, they have adopted the practice of creating distinct companies that employ their workers. These companies are currently required to distribute 10 percent of the company’s taxable profits (PTU) to employees. The new amendment establishes a cap on these profit-sharing obligations. As a result, a maximum limit of three months’ salary or the average of the amount received in the last three years—whichever is more favorable to the employee—is now in place.

KEY OBLIGATIONS

  • Companies Providing Subcontracting Services
    • Companies that provide subcontracting services are required under the amendment to take the following actions:
  1. Obtain the registration certificate before the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare or Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social, (STPS). Among other obligations, the company must evidence that its tax and social security obligations are up to date. Companies are required to renew the certificate of registration every three years.
  2. Execute a contract for the provision of the specialized services.
  3. Submit a quarterly report to Mexico’s Social Security agency (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social or IMSS ) and Mexico’s housing agency, Instituto del Fondo Nacional de la Vivienda para los Trabajadores or INFONAVIT on the specialized services contracts executed.
  4. Provide the contractor with a copy of the registration certificate before the STPS, tax receipts for payments of salaries, payment of withholding taxes and employer’s contributions and the value-added tax return, and a copy of the corresponding payment voucher.
  • Companies Contracting Specialized Services
    • Companies that provide specialized services are required under the amendment to take the following actions:
  1. Verify that specialized services are not part of company’s core business.
  2. Verify that the company providing the subcontracting services is registered before the STPS.
  3. Collect copies of:
    1. registration certificates before STPS;
    2. tax receipts for payments of salaries;
    3. receipts of payments of withholding taxes and payments of employer contributions; and
    4. value added tax returns and their corresponding payments.

CONSEQUENCES OF NONCOMPLIANCE

  • Labor
    • In the case of noncompliance, companies may be subject to fines of up to USD$222,000 and even incarceration of a company’s representatives.
  • Tax
    • Companies will not be able to credit or deduct taxes for subcontracting services, unless they fulfill the above requirements.
  • Criminal
    • Companies that do not comply with subcontracting obligations and attempt to deduct or credit taxes for the services of subcontracted personnel, or use simulation schemes for the provision of specialized services, will be subject to criminal liability for fraud.
    • Both the company that subcontracts and the one that employs subcontractors may be held jointly and severally liable for all labor, social security, and tax obligations, which they would have otherwise been obligated to pay.

What are the best practice areas for solo attorneys?

So, you’ve decided to take your practice solo, congratulations! You’re taking the steps to tackle your legal career goals on your terms, and that’s something to be excited about. Before you get too ahead of yourself, have you considered what are the best practice areas for solo attorneys?

Whether you’re moving away from a law firm or starting out solo, there are several business decisions you must consider if you want to be successful. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to get a good grasp on the practice areas you will focus on. This will determine your services, marketing, and entire business model.

Motivation and values

A good starting point when deciding what areas your solo practice will specialize in is finding your ‘why.’ In fact, all attorneys (solo or firm-based) should understand their ‘why’ for going into the legal industry.

This is your main motivation for wanting to practice solo law and will be your driver towards a fulfilling career. Some attorneys look to practice solo because they have more control over their billable hours and greater earning potential. Other attorneys are passionate about a specific practice area and feel they can make a bigger impact on their own. Neither option is better than the other, but it’s important to understand your motivations and values behind your practice. You’ll find more fulfillment and come across more genuine.

Practice areas

Bankruptcy law

This area of law is perfect for solo attorneys who are good with numbers and financial literacy. Many of your clients will owe money to another entity and have declared bankruptcy. For this reason, you’ll need to be comfortable evaluating financial documents to best represent your client. Additionally, if you don’t love going to court, bankruptcy law is for you. Most cases are settled outside of the courtroom. 

Civil litigation law

Litigation attorneys or trial lawyers are people who are quickly adaptable and enjoy a busy environment. Civil litigation typically involves disputes between parties seeking monetary damages or judgement based on non-criminal accusations. Since civil litigation law is broad, It’s best for solo attorneys to specialize in specific areas, like family law or medical malpractice.

This area of law is best suited for solo attorneys who can handle being pulled in many directions while also maintaining organization. Civil litigation often involves working very closely with clients, being in court, and out-witting your opposing counsel.

Employment law

Employment attorneys spend most of their time assisting the employer-employee relationship. This involves reviewing employment contracts, discrimination suits, termination, lay-offs, settlements and more.

Employment law is a great area of practice for solo attorneys who enjoy advocating for the rights of their clients. To best represent your clients, you’ll need to stay up to date on employment and labor legislation and be ready to have difficult conversations. The employee-employer relationship can be sensitive and guiding a client through legal proceedings while also maintaining a sense of empathy can be difficult to manage.

Family law

Cases within family law are almost always sensitive, especially when child or separation of a household is at stake. Adding in these factors on top of upholding the law can create a stressful work environment for solo attorneys. On the other hand, family law can also be very rewarding when you are able to better your client’s lives.

Similar to employment law, solo attorneys practicing family law must be able maintain a level of empathy while also helping their clients make difficult legal decisions.

Real Estate law

Real estate attorneys assist their clients with legal property matters. This could include assisting a lender with the sale of property, drawing up contracts, titles, and litigation of tenant-landlord relationships.  This area of law is great for solo attorneys who have a knack for attention to detail. Depending on the client, real estate contracts can be long and must include specific language to protect the clients assets surrounding the property.

Solo attorneys who prefer transactional work are a great fit for real estate law. Once a contract is in place, the client will likely only contact you or need your services when there is a breach or conflict that arises.

Choose what’s best for you

At the end of the day, the practice area for solo attorneys comes down to what you want. Figuring out what you’re passionate about or what motivates you is a great first step in finding the best practice area. Next, evaluate your skill set and how you can separate yourself from the pool of solo attorneys.

Article by;

Kamron Sanders
PracticePanther

Irwin Mitchell Boosts Employment Team With Partner Hire

Law Firm Continues To Invest In Its Services For Senior Executives And Employees

National law firm Irwin Mitchell has boosted its London Employment and Professional Discipline team with the appointment of partner Danielle Parsons from Slater & Gordon.

Danielle is a leading lawyer representing senior executives and professionals in high value discrimination, whistleblowing and high court claims. She also advises on bonus disputes, severance packages and restrictive covenants.

Her clients come from a wide range of sectors including individuals working in financial services, healthcare and medical sectors, and creative industries, including TV and print media. She also acts for senior solicitors and barristers.

Shah Qureshi, Head of the Employment and Professional Discipline team in London at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion

“The past year has been a difficult time for many senior employees with the Covid pandemic creating a great deal of uncertainty. The need for expert employment law advice has never been greater.

“We are delighted that Danielle has joined us and her arrival is a welcome boost for the team. She is well-respected and will bring a high level of expertise for our clients. The number of enquiries we receive from senior professionals suffering discrimination and whistleblowers being victimised has grown exponentially since the start of the pandemic and Danielle’s arrival continues our plans to grow the team and meet that need.”
Shah Qureshi – Partner

Commenting on her arrival, Danielle said: “Irwin Mitchell’s national Employment team is one of the largest in the UK with one of the strongest reputations. I am delighted to join the firm’s London team which specialises in advising senior executives and professionals. I am looking forward to building on this and supporting the team’s continued growth.”

Fergal Dowling, partner and National Head of the Employment team, added: “Our team in London is one of the UK’s leading teams advising senior executives and professionals. Employment services have been in high demand amongst our existing clients and we have been appointed by some very high profile businesses and individuals during 2020. Our new business pipeline looks very strong and we are anticipating further growth over the next 12 months.

“Our success is based on us being one of the most innovative and best resourced employment teams in the UK. It is our vision to offer practical solutions for our clients as their needs and demands change and this has certainly been evident over the last year.

“Danielle joining our senior team is an important development for us in 2021 and I’m confident that her appointment will help us stay one step ahead.”