Don’t expect Iceland’s economic stimulus to include strippers

By Brian Norris
Contrary to all the recent work by governments to stimulate the global economy, Iceland has recently passed law to prohibit profiting from striptease shows. Citing concerns with issues like human trafficking, the law was unanimously past this week in the island nation.
The new law, seen to many as a progressive step advancing woman’s rights, has thrown Icelandic employers into a realm of uncertainty. Uncertain about the scope of the law and uncertain of the impact the new regulation will have on their businesses. It appears that there will be some time before the scope of the law is clarified; either through further legislation or through the common law.
What can Canadian employers and employees do when changes in the law affect their business?
Club owner and employer, Asgeir Davidsson, had the right idea. He decided not to act until he spoke with his employment counsel. It is important for employers to seek advice on how to conform to, or abide by, the applicable laws as the onus regarding compliance is overwhelmingly larger for employers when compared to employees. Furthermore, the penalties for violating the laws are generally harsher than that for employees.
Brian Norris is the Office Manger of Whitten & Lublin LLP, an employment law office providing counsel to both employers and employees.