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COVID-19: Key Considerations for Developing Reopening Strategies (Audio Only)

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Produced on August 18, 2020

$ 89 Labor & Employment and Covid-19 In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 4m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Labor & Employment Covid-19

Course Description

This program, led by Skadden Counsels Anne Villanueva and Helena Derbyshire, highlights the various legal and practical considerations in connection with employees returning to the physical workplace in a COVID-19 setting.

In developing their reopening strategies, employers should consider their own corporate philosophy; guidelines issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and equivalent bodies, such as Public Health England; and various realities (e.g., country, state and county orders, industry, geography, and practical concerns for employees, such as childcare). Specific return-to-work approaches include alternating weeks in the office, temperature checks, and daily health certifications, employees wearing masks, contact tracing, redefining the workspace, encouraging proper behavior, and managing remote workers, in each case subject to applicable law and guidance from the relevant administrative and government entities.  However, certain return-to-work approaches, such as requiring employees to take antibody tests, check their temperature, or sign waivers, may present legal issues in different jurisdictions. According to CDC and EEOC guidance, employers should ensure they are providing reasonable accommodations to vulnerable employees. COVID-19 creates significant additional liability concerns with respect to employees; customers, vendors, and invitees to property; and various other stakeholders. Finally, employers should be aware of liability concerns relating to cybersecurity, privacy and data security, employee monitoring, and biometrics laws.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Grasp key considerations in developing reopening strategies in the context of guidelines and rules promulgated by OSHA, the CDC, the EEOC, and other administrative and government entities

  2. Gain an understanding of  the approach to phasing out furlough and the application of other social policies across Europe, specifically in England, France, Germany, and Italy

  3. Discuss specific approaches to returning to the workplace, including accommodations for vulnerable employees and caretakers

  4. Review additional liability concerns created by COVID-19, including those related to cybersecurity

Credit Information

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Helena Derbyshire advises employers and senior executives on all contentious and noncontentious aspects of English employment law.

Ms. Derbyshire joined Skadden’s European labour and employment practice in 2013. She was previously a partner for 10 years at a leading U.K. employment law firm. Prior to that, she worked in one of the London’s pre-eminent international employment law firms. She advises employers and senior executives on a wide range of issues, ranging from strategic advice on the labour law aspects of corporate transactions and business reorganisations, to the day-to-day employment matters faced by business managers.

Ms. Derbyshire works closely with our M&A and international labour and benefits teams and has extensive experience in:

  • advising employers on restructuring and reorganising their workforce;

  • addressing the employment issues arising in the context of the acquisition or disposal of a business, including particular experience on the application of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) and collective consultation requirements across Europe;

  • employment advice related to cross-border transactions and coordination of international advisers;

  • collective bargaining and industrial actions;

  • the TUPE issues arising in outsourcing transactions;

  • advising on employee retention, including drafting and negotiating senior executives’ service agreements;

  • advising on, drafting and enforcing post-termination restrictions;

  • managing executive dismissals, including the negotiation of severance terms and defending employment-related claims;

  • discrimination law, including drafting and advising on effective equality, gender pay gap and flexible working policies and practices;

  • data protection issues in relation to the personal data of U.K.-based employees; and

  • training clients on employment issues, such as the application of TUPE, GDPR, discipline and grievances, and equality.

Recent matters include:

  • coordinating employment due diligence, consultation and treatment of benefits, ensuring the smooth transition of employees on numerous cross-border acquisitions for clients, including Veritas Capital’s acquisition of Qioptic; Nikkei Inc’s acquisition of the Financial Times; Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance’s acquisition of Amlin plc; XL Inc’s takeover of Catlin Limited; CME’s takeover of NEX plc; the creation of Janus Henderson; Ball Corporation’s related takeover of Rexam plc and a divestiture to Ardagh; Vantiv’s takeover of Worldpay plc; l’Occitane’s proposed acquisition of Elemis Group and Phonenix’s acquisition of Standard Life Assurance;

  • providing employment support on various transactions and related issues (including executive retention and restriction) for private equity houses including Doughty Hanson, Hg Capital, Veritas Capital, Silver Lake Partners, Castik Capital and Montagu;

  • enforcing post-termination restrictions against traders who established a competing fund during their appointment;

  • advising an insurance company on the employment aspects of its Brexit strategy, including the restructuring of its European network and associated employee transfer dismissal and immigration issues;

  • advising Nokia Corporation on the employment aspects of the US$7.2 billion sale of its devices and services business and license of its patents to Microsoft Corporation, including advice on the pre-completion reorganisation of the devices and services business across each of its locations, coordinating and summarising advice from local lawyers;

  • advising a bank on the asset sale of a Fund Investment Group, including advice on TUPE and regulatory issues arising from the change of employer, employee retention, transfer of liability for deferred benefits and negotiating severance and re-hire terms for key employees to enable the buyer to change their terms and conditions; and

  • advising a U.S. LLC on the acquisition of a commodities trading business, including the transfer of employees and implementation of new contracts of employment for key managers in the U.K. to mirror the terms of their colleagues transferring to an LP employer in the United States.

Ms. Derbyshire has been recognised by Chambers UK as a "leading lawyer," "well regarded for her knowledge of TUPE and business reorganisations," and has been described in The Legal 500 as "just excellent," "very easy to talk to, with great responses."

Ms. Derbyshire is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and is the Chair-Elect of the Employment Law Committee of the City of London Law Society.


  • M.A. (Law), University of Cambridge, 1990


  • England & Wales


  • Member, Employment Lawyers Association

  • Employment Law Committee of the City of London Law Society

Related Capabilities

Anne E. Villanueva

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Anne Villanueva counsels clients on a broad range of employment matters, including employment-related issues arising out of U.S. and multinational corporate transactions, executive employment agreements and separation agreements, restrictive covenant agreements, reductions-in-force, discrimination charges, and lawsuits, collective bargaining agreements, and internal investigations.

Her representative matters include:

  • Broadcom Corporation in its $37 billion sales to Avago Technologies Limited. Ms. Villanueva was a key member of the deal team recognized by the Daily Journal with a California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) award for innovative lawyering;
  • Visa Inc. in its pending $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid Inc.;
  • Cavium, Inc. in its $6 billion acquisition by Marvell Technology Group Ltd.;
  • Intel Corporation in its $15.3 billion acquisition of Mobileye, N.V. Ms. Villanueva was a member of the deal team recognized by the Daily Journal with a CLAY award for this matter; its $4.2 billion spin-off and joint venture with TPG Capital, L.P. to form the independent cybersecurity company McAfee; in its sale of Wind River Systems, Inc. to TPG Capital, L.P.; $1 billion sales of its smartphone modem business to Apple Inc. and the $150 million sales of its home gateway platform division to MaxLinear, Inc.;
  • PayPal Holdings, Inc. in its $4 billion acquisition of Honey Science Corporation; $400 million acquisition of Hyperwallet Systems Inc.; its $2.2 billion acquisition of iZettle AB; and its acquisition of an artificial intelligence technology company;
  • Silver Lake Partners in its acquisition of a majority stake in ServiceMax, Inc. from GE Digital LLC;
  • Bytedance (the parent company of TikTok) in a variety of employment counseling matters, including the employment agreement for TikTok’s CEO; 
  • Spotify Technology S.A. in its acquisitions of Loudr.fm and Cutler Media, LLC;
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. in connection with the proposed $1.2 billion carve-out sales of its Institutional Retirement & Trust business to an affiliate of Principal Financial Group, Inc.; and
  • The Middleby Corporation in connection with more than 25 matters, including its $380 million acquisition of Viking Range Corporation; its $1 billion acquisition of Taylor Company from UTC Climate, Controls & Security; its acquisition of Lynx Grills, Inc. from Century Park Capital Partners, LLC; and its acquisitions of Follett Corporation, CVP Systems, Inc., Globe Food Equipment Company, Burford Corporation, and Hinds-Bock Corporation.

Ms. Villanueva frequently writes and presents on developing issues in labor and employment law, including equal pay audits, gender pay gap disclosure issues, and employee speech within and outside of the workplace. She is the editor of the Labor and Employment Law Group’s Employment Flash publication. She also has published labor and employment-related articles in several magazines, journals, and internal publications, including Risk & Compliance, New York Law Journal, and Skadden’s Insights publication.

Ms. Villanueva has been a member of Skadden’s Hispanic and Women’s affinity groups since she joined the firm in 2012, having served on the Hispanic Affinity Group’s Steering Committee for several years. She currently serves as co-chair of the Palo Alto office’s Associates’ Committee and is a member of the office’s Diversity, Summer Associate, and Hiring Committees.


  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 2012

  • B.S., Cornell University, 2009


  • California

  • New York

Related Capabilities


Lori M.

Excellent overview with examples from US and Europe. A must for anyone representing businesses.

Rene B.

Instructive. Thank you.

Robert B.

Very timely. Expertly done.

Valerie C.

Very informative

Georgian P.

Excellent program! Interesting and informative! Speakers were very knowledgeable on this topic! Look forward to learning more with these speakers! Effective presentation! Highly recommend! this

Joseph D.

very good presentation

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