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Back at Work Around the World: Cross-Border Strategies for Multinationals Returning Staff to Workplaces in the Shadow of Coronavirus

Speaker(s): Donald C. Dowling, Jr., Lavanga V. Wijekoon
Recorded on: May. 28, 2020
PLI Program #: 301065

Donald C. Dowling has extensive experience advising U.S.-based companies on outbound international labor and employment laws. Don provides counsel on a wide variety of global employment law matters, including codes of conduct and HR policies that guide operations in multiple jurisdictions, international compensation and benefits issues, whistleblower hotlines, and cross-border internal investigations and HR compliance audits. He regularly advises clients on employment matters that arise with international restructurings, reductions in force, mergers, acquisitions, and outsourcing. Additionally, Don helps clients properly engage independent contractors overseas, manage expatriate programs, and develop employment agreements and employee handbooks.

Earlier in his career, Don served as in-house international employment counsel for a Fortune 500 company in Paris and as an employment law consultant for a global consulting firm. He has delivered hundreds of presentations on international employment law issues in English and Spanish in countries around the world, and regularly publishes articles and teaches courses on a variety of global employment law topics.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member, Advisory Board
New York University School of Law’s Center for Labor & Employment Law

Former Chair
Cross-Border HR Group


Named, America's Leading Lawyers for Business
Chambers USA 2017

Named, Legal 500
US Labor & Employment, Workplace and Employment Counseling

Named, Super Lawyer
New York
Super Lawyers

Named, Attorneys Who Matter
Ethisphere Institute

Named, Leading International Labor/Employment Lawyer
PLC Which Lawyer?

Order of the Coif


  • J.D., Levin College of Law at University of Florida, 1985
  • A.B., University of Chicago, 1982


  • Spanish

Bar Admission

New York


  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Lavanga V. Wijekoon has experience representing employers in a wide range of labor and employment class action and single-plaintiff matters, involving such as issues as:

  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Retaliation
  • Wage and hour
  • Misclassification
  • Employment contracts
  • Independent contractors
  • Wage garnishments

Lavanga handles district and appellate level actions in state and federal courts and before agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), and the Illinois Human Rights Commission (IHRC). 

Lavanga also provides strategic advice and counsel to multinational employers on a wide range of international employment and compliance matters, including such areas as:

  • Global mobility programs and expatriate workforces
  • The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • Labor obligations under free trade agreements
  • Multi-country and international surveys on employment laws and practices
  • Global codes of conduct and international policies
  • Global independent contractors
  • The employment cycle including applications, interviewing, hiring, discipline, promotions, demotions, recordkeeping and terminations

Lavanga also has an active pro bono practice in which he represents clients in asylum petitions before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and immigration courts.  He has also represented numerous “Dreamer” clients in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals petitions. 

Prior to joining Littler, Lavanga was an associate at an international law firm in Chicago. He also served as a law clerk to Hon. Marywave Van Deren of the Washington State Court of Appeals and as an extern to Hon. Marsha J. Pechman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

While in law school, he served as an editor for the Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal and as a member of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court team. He was awarded grants to conduct field research on human trafficking in India and Nepal.