Overseas Global Mobility and Business Travel: Personal Injury Liability and the Duty of Care in Times of Zika

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET

Price: $224 Webinar

Donald C. Dowling, Jr.
Partner, K&L Gates LLP


Even as Zika has made its way to parts of the United States, many Americans face their greatest risk of Zika exposure traveling abroad on business trips and global mobility (expatriate) assignments. And beyond Zika, Americans traveling or moving abroad on company business risk communicable diseases, accidents, crime, terrorism, civil unrest and natural disasters—not to mention routine illness, heart attack or a stroke.

Workplace health and safety laws require employers to follow the duty of care.  But health and safety laws are maddeningly vague as the scenario of an employee suffering an injury while traveling or on assignment outside the home country. For example, health and safety laws are silent as to the scenario of an employee contracting Zika on a trip or assignment overseas.

Everyone tells employers to “heed the duty of care,” and of course, taking state-of-the-art safety precautions is very important. But no matter what preventive steps an employer takes up front, there is always the risk the employee or assignee will get hurt or killed while working overseas. After that injury happens comes the inevitable claim: The employer should have taken even more precautions—and so the injury was the employer’s fault.

What can an employer do to minimize personal injury liability in the international business travel/global mobility context? This fast-paced session offers up practical strategies for minimizing exposure to personal injury claims of U.S.-based business travelers and assignees who suffer injuries abroad.

Educational Objectives:
The session will lay out practical strategies regarding:
• Extending the U.S. workers’ compensation bar overseas
• The shortcomings of assumption-of-risk waivers
• The “election of remedies” concept

Who would benefit most from attending this program?

• Global mobility professionals 
• Risk management and worker compensation professionals 
• Compliance professionals at multinationals
• Employment and immigration lawyers advising clients on cross-border personnel moves


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Mr. Don Dowling concentrates his practice on outbound international employment law as part of the firm’s Global Employer Solutions team. He advises multinational headquarters on cross-border employment law compliance, including global codes of conduct, whistleblowers hotlines, employee handbooks, HR policies and workplace safety codes.

Mr. Dowling was formerly a partner at the New York office of another global law firm. He once served in Paris as in-house international employment counsel for a Fortune 500 company. He has been an international employment law consultant at a global consulting firm, and he practiced in both Cincinnati and Chicago before coming to New York.

Mr. Dowling is a member of the NYU Law School Center for Labor & Employment Advisory Board. He is chair of (or has chaired) international employment law committees of the International Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association and the Cincinnati Bar Association. He is a past chair of XBHR, a cross-border HR group.