On Tuesday evening, March 31st. FACC Members and guests gathered at Manhattan's Cornell Club for a discussion that explored What Employers in Small and Medium-Sized Companies Need to Know: Contrasting French, American & New York Labor Laws.
This event was held at the initiative of the FACC's SME Task Force.
A panel of U.S. and French experts explored the complex terrain of U.S. labor law in comparison to current French regulations.
Serving as moderator, Philip Berkowitz, U.S. Practice Co-Chair, International Employment Law Practice Group, Littler Mendelson, New York guided an informative discussion with Christina Bianchini, Human Resources Director, Versace USA, Inc.; Guilaume Desmoulin, Partner, Fromont Briens, Paris; Johan Lubbe, U.S. Practice Co-Chair, International Employment Law Practice Group, Littler Mendelson, New York; and Sophie Pelecier Loevenbruck, Partner, Fromont Briens, Paris.
Opening with a brief comparison of overall U.S and French legal systems (including the role of collective bargaining in the governance of labor relations and the role of unions, works councils and other staff representative bodies), panelists explored some key differences between the two countries in a variety of employment-related issues. For example, they discussed differences in hiring, including the necessity (or not) of medical examinations, the role of Social media in recruiting, employment contracts and probation periods.
Panelists also explored the contractual provisions that are specific to each country and the role of these provisions in protecting the employee. The rules of compensation were also debated, noting some key differences in eligibility for overtime, Wage notification requirements, and family and other types of leave.
Finally, the panelists outlined similarities and differences in the termination of employees - focusing especially on the notion of "at-will" that exists in the United States.
The FACC thanks member Littler Mendelson for its invaluable sponsorship of this informative event.