The State Bar of Texas International Law Section and Austin Bar Association Employment & Labor Section Present

The Fifth Circuit Enforces Employment At-Will, Choice of Law and Waiver Agreement Against a U.S. Citizen Employee Who Worked in Mexico

June 17, 2020 | 12:00-1:00 PM

Free to participate online

1 Hour of MCLE Credit

Course # for the CLE: 174087268

CLICK HERE to register to attend the CLE via Zoom.

Once you register, you’ll receive a confirmation message with a link to the Zoom meeting and password.

Meet The Panelists

  • Marissa Sandoval Rodriguez, Partner, Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton (CCN)
  • Jeffrey A. Hiller, Partner, Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton (CCN)
  • Francisco Peña-Valdés, Partner, Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton (CCN)

Panel Description

United States companies with direct or subsidiary operations in Mexico have long struggled with navigating the intertwining of U.S. and Mexico labor laws when it comes to U.S. citizen or resident employees assigned to work in Mexico. On April 29, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an important opinion enforcing an employment at-will, choice of law and waiver agreement against a U.S. citizen who worked in Mexico. The Fifth Circuit’s enforcement of a U.S. employer’s employment at-will, choice of law and waiver agreement against a U.S. citizen working in Mexico is an important decision for U.S.-based employers who hire U.S. employees for work assignments in Mexico. The use of an employment at-will, choice of law and waiver agreement in the cross-border employment context requires a fundamental understanding of labor and employment laws in both jurisdictions.

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COVID-19 and Cross-Border Furloughs and RIFs

July 8, 2020 | 12:00-1:00 PM

Free to Participate Online

1 Hour of MCLE Credit

Course # for the CLE: 174087273

CLICK HERE to register to attend the CLE via Zoom.

Once you register, you’ll receive a confirmation message with a link to the Zoom meeting and password.

Meet The Speaker

  • Christopher V. Bacon, Counsel-Labor & Employment, Vinson & Elkins LLP

Chris’ practice is primarily devoted to litigating employment matters on behalf of private employers. He has tried nearly 40 cases in front of judges and juries in both federal and state court in multiple jurisdictions and has argued more than a dozen times before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Chris often represents clients in governmental investigations and administrative proceedings brought under the National Labor Relations Act, the Occupational Safety Health Act (OSHA), and the Mine Safety Health Act (MSHA). Because of his familiarity with international employment law, and his fluency in Spanish and French, clients in Europe and Latin America seek Chris’ advice when doing business abroad. He also counsels clients looking to hire foreign workers in the United States on immigration issues.

Panel Description

Most global human resources managers for multi-national corporations are well-aware of the challenges of terminating a poorly performing expatriate employee who has been working at a company affiliate outside of the United States. After all, it’s usually much easier to terminate employees in the United States because most non-union employees in the U.S. are “at-will” employees who can be terminated without cause so long as the decision is not motivated by unlawful discriminatory or retaliatory motives. In many countries, no-cause layoffs are either illegal or the employer is required to pay separated employees a statutory severance. In addition to the usual concerns about the applicability of foreign labor and employment laws that employers must contend with when terminating a single employee, multi-national employers considering layoffs or furloughs of employees assigned to foreign affiliates will also need to think about other countries’ legal requirements for conducting reductions-in-force or mass layoffs. U.S. companies with employees in other countries should also keep in mind that new laws have been enacted in many countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that might make it more difficult to terminate employees at this time. Any company considering layoffs or furloughs in another country should also consider whether governmental benefits are available to employers who retain employees, much like the United States Congress provided in the recently enacted CARES Act. Some U.S. companies may want to repatriate expatriate employees for health and safety reasons depending on the extent that COVID-19 has affected, or will affect the countries where their employees are assigned, and on ability of those countries’ health care systems to treat any employee who becomes sick. A further challenge facing employers with employees in countries where the infection rate is growing exponentially is how to bring those employees home.

32nd Annual Institute

*** postponed to a later date TBA  ***

“At the Intersection of the Technology Revolution & Human Rights”

April 23-24, 2020

SMU Campus – Dallas, TX

Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom (Umphrey Lee Center)

3300 Dyer Street, Suite 101

Dallas, TX 75205

Panels and presentations include: Data Privacy, Sustainability in the 21st Century, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, Brexit, and coverage of topics relevant in the Energy and Natural Resources, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Employment industries.

Luncheon Keynote Speaker:

Randy Bagwell, U.S. Army Colonel (Ret) JD, LL.M., Senior Director, International Services, U.S. Programs, American Red Cross

Presented in Partnership with the SMU Rowling Center

Registration Information

Early Bird Pricing Before March 15, 2020

  • Member ($200)
  • Non-Member ($300)
  • Students ($25)
  • Council & Action Committee Members ($175)
  • Government Agencies, Judges, New Attorneys (1-3 years) ($100)

Pricing After March 15, 2020

  • Member ($275)
  • Non-Member ($400)
  • Students ($25)
  • Council & Action Committee Members ($250)
  • Government Agencies, Judges, New Attorneys (1-3 years) ($125)

Register Now

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Annual Institute Sponsorship Opportunities

Annual Institute Sponsor Payment Form

International Trip to Toronto, Canada

*** postponed to a later date TBA  ***

May 7-9, 2020

Latest Newsletter

Join ILS in Toronto, Canada

6 Hours of MCLE Credit – Approval Pending

Our Canada trip includes morning CLE programs followed by afternoon tours and dinners. Many thanks to our Canadian Firm Partners Fasken and Borden Ladner Gervais for hosting our CLE sessions.

Early Bird Pricing By April 1, 2020 (CLE Only)

Members:   $150

Non-Members: $195

Students:  $75

Pricing After April 1, 2020 (CLE Only)

Members:  $200

Non-Members:  $240

Students:  $125

Register Now

Here’s a sneak peek at what we have planned so far:

  • CLE 8 a.m. to noon on May 7 at the law offices of Borden Ladner Gervais.
  • CLE 8 a.m. to noon on May 8 at the law offices of Fasken.

Thursday, May 7, 2020 | 8 a.m. to 12:00 noon  

Panels and Speakers

Labor and Employment Law. The impact of the unique Canadian and U.S. unionization systems on investment and international trade/law.

Trade Agreements (delve into discussion of the USCMA)

  • Jesse Goldman – leading trade lawyer in the country
  • Ryan Dingle – Canadian immigration law
  • Ruth McChesney – Moderator, US immigration law

Tech industry (AI, R&D, etc. strong connection between Austin and Montreal as hi-tech leaders) – (discussion includes government subsidizing 30% of salaries for new AI/Tech investment/business in Canada + subsidizing benefits).

Friday, May 8, 2020 | 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Panels and speakers

Foreign Investment and National Security Considerations in Cross Border M&A – Cross-border M&A transactions often face regulatory clearance hurdles. More recently, foreign investment and national security issues have risen to the forefront on certain cross-border transactions, raising issues under the Investment Canada Act and under CFIUS in the US. Our panel of experts will walk you through a hypothetical transaction providing practical advice for how to tackle such issues and mitigate deal risks.

Minority Report: What Canada’s Minority Parliament Means for Pipelines, Climate Change, and other Energy-Related Matters – This presentation will focus on how Canada’s new minority government may impact the political dynamics related to pipelines and energy resource development in Canada over the coming 4 years. In the context of a minority parliament, understanding how Canada’s government will function is essential to understanding how policy and operational decisions will be made. After a review of the key aspects of governing in Canada in 2020, we will facilitate a panel discussion on the current political climate north of the border and its implications for legal and policy aspects of the energy sector and trends in discussions related to the environment, trade policy, and other matters of cross-border importance.

21st Century Energy – Environmental and Social Considerations for an Energy Sector in Transition – There are many drivers for change to the way modern societies interact with, produce, and consume energy. Among the most significant is increased attention to the environmental and social impacts of the industry. This panel will examine some of the largest such ESG factors for the United States and Canada, such as climate change, sustainability, and indigenous rights.

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Texas Bar Annual Meeting On Demand

Managing Cross-Border Investment Disputes

June 25, 2020

1.5 Hours of MCLE Credit

Program Description

As part of the State Bar’s Annual Meeting, the ILS will record a CLE presentation in which partners Charles Conrad and Bob Sills of Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw & Pittman, LLP, and Juan Alcala and Carlos Vejar of Holland & Knight, LLP, will discuss dispute resolution considerations under current conditions. The session will cover emerging trends and best practices relating to cross-border disputes. The State Bar will make the recording available on June 25, 2020 as part of this year’s virtual Annual Meeting.






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