Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Employment in the Old World - Lessons from the Brits and French

Although it is easy to remain insular in thinking about employment law related matters, there are more and more signs that is short sighted. Some stories this past week that caught my attention were a post from an interesting blog, Work-related Blogs and News by James Richards, a lecturer at a Scottish university. The post, Mothers face greater discrimination than any other group discusses several U.K. studies showing the difficulties that mothers face in obtaining employment, including a study that mothers face more discrimination than disabled people, Asian women and the elderly.

I have seen similar issues raised in the U.S. In fact, just this morning a comment was posted by Diane Danielson of the H.R. Blog supplementing my post, A Nice Turn of the Phrase - Glass Ceiling or Sticky Floor, to point out a problem that single mothers are facing -- how to deal with promotions requiring relocation that could cause custody battles.

The other ongoing story is rioting in France over a limited version of America's primary principle of employment law -- employment at will. French students are rioting over a looming law that would allow employers to discharge employees under age 26 within their first two years for no reason. Jurist has the story, Protests against new youth labor law spread across France, and makes the point that the hope of the law is to make it easer for the now protesting youth to get jobs.

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