21 May 2020 – We are pleased to present you with Issue No. 3 of L&E Global’s weekly client circular, Reimagining Employment Law In the Era of the Coronavirus, bringing you the latest insights on the COVID-19 crisis and related employment law developments from across the globe.

As companies work to prepare for their return to a safe workplace, establishing a social distancing policy is key. Innovators are rising to meet the changing needs of the workplace with a range of technologies, including social distancing “wearables” to be worn by employees and visitors. A wearable is a smart electronic device worn close to the skin, that is able to detect, analyse and transmit information – usually in the form of a bracelet or badge. Wearables used for social distancing, generally alert the wearer that he or she is getting too close to a colleague, which may boost an organisation’s efforts to adhere to distancing requirements.

The advantages of these technologies can be substantial, quickening the path to compliance and opening the organisation’s doors to business. However, implementing a social distancing policy that is effective, and in compliance with privacy, security, employment and health laws is an ongoing effort.

Below are some questions organisations should consider:

  • What is the organisation’s goal for the technology? If the goal of the workplace is to keep workers separate from one another, a social distancing wearable could be a helpful tool. On the other hand, if the goal is to identify workers exposed to COVID-19, then other technologies such as a contact tracing tool or temperature monitoring kiosk may be more appropriate.
  • Does the technology work? As developers of wearables race to provide organisations with cutting edge tools to help them navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be glitches along the way. It is important for employers to validate the accuracy and effectiveness of the device.
  • Is notice/consent required? This may be a difficult question to answer without having an understanding of the data that the technology is collecting. For example, if the wearable is linked to an employee’s personally owned device, notice and consent are likely required, and most certainly a best practice. In addition, use of such technology may require an employer to consult, and possibly engage in bargaining with, the applicable works council or union. Finally, collecting the geolocation of employees, and interactions with others is likely considered elements of personal information under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and other similar consumer privacy laws.
  • Will workers participate? If implementation and/or usage is voluntary, the effectiveness of the technology in meeting the organisation’s goals may be substantially impacted. Regardless of whether implementation is voluntary or required, it is important for organisations to communicate with their workers to explain the goals of the technology, answer questions regarding same, and address concerns over privacy and related issues in order to ensure buy-in and effectiveness.
  • How is data collected, shared, secured and deleted? Understanding the answers to these questions are imperative in order to help ensure compliance. This is especially true as there are numerous laws across the globe which may be implicated when data is collected from workers. In addition to statutory or regulatory mandates, organisations will also need to consider existing contracts or service agreements, which may provide for, or limit, the collection, sharing, storage, or return of data. Finally, whether mandated by law or contract, an organisation should still consider best practices to help ensure the privacy and security of the data that it is responsible for.
  • When should the use of the technology end? As organisations look to the future, and the hopeful end to the COVID-19 pandemic, they will need to consider when the state of the pandemic no longer supports the use of this technology.

In short, we now have extensive technology at our disposal and/or in development, which may play a crucial role in helping organisations address COVID-19, ensuring a safe and healthy workplace and workforce, and preventing future pandemics. Nevertheless, organisations must consider the legal risks, challenges, and requirements associated with any technology prior to implementation

» Argentina
Extension of Prohibition of Dismissals and Furloughs
• 19/05/2020
» Australia
COVID-19 and Your Business
• 20/05/20
» Belgium
Social Elections Officially Postponed due to Coronavirus
• 15/05/20
» Canada
Reopening Ontario – Stage 1: Select Businesses Reopen
• 18/05/20
» Germany
Parliament decides to Increase Short-time Compensation
• 15/05/20
» India
Standard Operating Procedures to Restart Aviation Industry
• 14/05/20
» Mexico
COVID-19 fosters Digital Offices
• 18/05/20
» Poland
Amended COVID-19 Act Changes Employment of Foreigners
• 18/05/20
» Portugal
Temporary Framework for COVID-19 State Aid Expanded
• 19/05/20
» United Kingdom
COVID-19 Update on Employee Holiday Issues
• 18/05/20
» United States
Workplace Issues of Reopenings, Returning to Work
• 18/05/20
L&E Global invites you to register for our Global Webinar Series via the Registration links provided below. Our complimentary series of webinars feature some of the world’s foremost labour and employment lawyers practicing today. These renowned thought leaders present practical insights and expert analysis on a wide-range of trending legal topics - nationally, regionally and globally. We look forward to learning with you!

The Impact of COVID-19 on Employers
Jackson Lewis Webinar
• Date: 28 May 2020
• Time: 1:00pm Eastern Daylight Time
• Duration: 60 minutes

» Register Now!

Please bookmark this site for the latest developments in our webinar series.

L&E Global is pleased to provide you with full access to our Global Webinar Series Archives. To view any of our webinar presentations, please click on the links below:

How to prepare for the post-COVID reopening in Latin America!
L&E Global Webinar
• 12/05/2020

Restarting a Global Business: COVID-19 Challenges in Europe and the USA
L&E Global Webinar
• 28/04/2020

COVID-19: Your Essential Workforce Law Update in Asia-Pacific!
L&E Global Webinar
• 20/04/2020

COVID-19: Your Essential Workforce Law Update in Latin America!
L&E Global Webinar
• 8/04/2020

COVID-19: Your Essential Workforce Law Update in Europe!
L&E Global Webinar
• 23/03/2020

How COVID-19 is Impacting the Workplace in the USA, China and Europe
L&E Global Webinar
• 2/03/2020
TozziniFreire Advogados Webinar
COVID-19 and Data Privacy
• 21/05/2020

Flichy Grangé Avocats Webinar
Partial Activity: How to Anticipate and Manage Controls?
• 20/05/2020

United Kingdom
Clyde & Co Webinar
Rent in COVID-19: Have Statutory Demands been Banned?
• 18/05/2020

United States
Jackson Lewis Webinars
COVID-19 Briefing: Restaurants
• 18/05/2020

COVID-19 Briefing: EEOC Guidance on Reasonable Accommodations
• 15/05/2020

COVID-19 Briefing: Environmental, Health and Safety Compliance
• 14/05/2020

In the context of this unprecedented threat to the global economy, we recently launched our dedicated CORONAVIRUS IN A FLASH microsite, a virtual COVID-19 crisis resource centre for employers affected by the pandemic. Please bookmark the site in your browser.

This publication may not deal with every topic within its scope nor cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice with regard to any specific case. Nothing stated in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law on any particular aspect or in any specific case. Action should not be taken on this document alone. For specific advice, please contact a specialist at one of our member firms or the firm that authored this publication. The content is based on the law as of 2020.

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