The business environment for companies with global operations is changing—quickly, substantively, and permanently. Our global team of labor, employment, immigration, and benefits lawyers counsels companies on the issues affecting the global workforce. We advise clients on cross-border projects involving employees and workplace laws in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Our full-service team helps multinational employers manage their global workforces in line with their global business objectives.
We work with employers to manage immigration and global mobility needs as part of a broad spectrum of corporate operational and legal issues. We recognize the close connections between a multinational corporation’s immigration program and its other essential operations, including employment policies, corporate compliance and governance, and plans for expansion and corporate development. To support company operations, we counsel clients on US visas and permanent residence, provide global immigration services for movement of employees to and between countries worldwide, and advise on immigration compliance.
Morgan Lewis works with a trusted network of labor, employment, and immigration counsel around the world. When necessary, we draw on our well-established local counsel relationships throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East on behalf of our clients. This international counsel network allows us to coordinate and manage cross-border projects, while providing practical, commercial, and cost-effective advice.
We have well-established employment capabilities across our offices worldwide that enable us to provide employment advice on the full spectrum of workforce issues at all stages of the employment life cycle.
We help employers answer and address the toughest workforce questions and challenges they encounter when operating or expanding overseas. Rarely is there a single set of employment standards and code of ethics for all employees in a global company, so we help document regulations and expectations in each country while creating integrated standards for a global workforce.
We also counsel clients on the main statutes and regulations relating to employment in each country. These include laws surrounding discrimination and harassment, employee privacy, background checks and testing, hiring processes, terminations and reductions in force, trade secrets and restrictive covenants, independent contractor relationships, and employment manuals.
Worker representation laws vary across countries and regions. Employers need a skilled and insightful team to keep pace with the changing dynamics of works councils or workers’ committees. Our lawyers counsel employers in connection with labor-management relations, corporate campaigns, union negotiations, strikes, collective bargaining, and project labor agreements.
We also represent clients in litigation in specific international markets. From their home countries, our lawyers lead litigation matters and manage investigations involving discrimination, harassment, corporate whistleblowers, and data privacy issues. Our global employment lawyers work regularly on the most pressing employment-related issues, including noncompetition and trade secret cases, data privacy laws, and hiring and termination packages. We also handle related conciliation, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution.
Super-governmental bodies, such as the European Commission and International Monetary Fund, have a growing influence on employment laws. We monitor the evolution of workforce recommendations and counsel clients on how these recommendations influence trends or regulations in domestic markets.
Our immigration team offers a combination of service and value. Employers who hire us receive:
From managing US and global immigration programs on a day-to-day basis to successfully addressing the sophisticated immigration issues that arise in major corporate transactions or reorganizations, our immigration team has the experience and resources to partner effectively with clients’ HR and global mobility teams. Our services include:
Knowing how to best compensate executives, balance compensation strategies across markets, and establish consistent employee benefit plans is essential to the effective management of a global workforce.
We advise clients on establishing, designing, managing, and adjusting every type of compensation and benefit program, including employee stock option plans (ESOPs), bonus plans, and other equity compensation arrangements. We also advise on the legal and practical ramifications of those plans, including the effects on taxation, securities laws, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), labor laws, corporate laws, and accounting considerations.
Coordinated workforce counsel during cross-border transactions is essential to getting the deal done well and navigating avoidable workforce issues. Our team provides seamlessly integrated transactional due diligence that encompasses labor, employment, benefits, immigration, and tax-related counsel. We regularly work with transactional teams regarding the workforce aspects of global restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, buyouts, outsourcings, joint ventures, public offerings, private equity investments, and company disposals.
Whether a client is involved in a complex global transaction or a corporate activity that involves only a handful of countries, our agile team has the resources necessary to meet that client’s needs. We are well versed in workforce integration issues, including advising on the legal implications of assimilating employees into the workforce; handling consultation and communication issues; managing uncertainty; counseling on the harmonization of terms and conditions, pensions and benefits, and employee retention issues; and managing fallout.
We advise clients on data protection, particularly in the context of maintaining cross-border compliance and implementing appropriate international transfer mechanisms. Our team also helps companies comply with workplace monitoring and investigations. In addition, we coordinate data protection due diligence and compliance projects, and provide follow-up management training.