International operations are booming as businesses move more towards mobile, global applications. Employees are given more international assignments and responsibilities, and companies are finding that there are some things they don’t know about being multinational employers. It’s important that you understand what your employees’ rights are under the laws of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the United States. With this knowledge, you can make more informed decisions about how to move ahead and how to avoid certain lawsuits as they pertain to multinational situations with your employees.
Coverage of the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws
When it comes to the U.S. EEOC laws, there are certain aspects that are covered. Certain laws disallow employers from discriminating against their employees for any reason. This includes religion, ethnicity, gender, disability or age. Conduct that is prohibited includes the following.
- Harassment – Employees are required to report harassment of any form in the workplace. As an employer, you have a responsibility to prevent sexual, racial or religious harassment, among other forms. If you do become aware of such practices, you are required by law to correct the behavior and take steps towards making it stop.
- Employment Discrimination – This includes firing, hiring, assigning, transferring or recruiting individuals based on anything discriminatory. These steps should only be considered based on professional qualifications of the individual, and not on whether the person is a male or female, Christian or atheist.
- Retaliation – Employers are disallowed from retaliating against any employee that stands up against discrimination. This could include participating in a proceeding related to discrimination or opposing it in the workplace.
Of course, there are many other situations to be considered. Discrimination comes in many forms, and the U.S. EEOC laws cover them all. Be careful when dealing with your multinational employees to ensure all workers are in a comfortable environment where they can be themselves and promote their specific professional skills.
Working Within the United States
Employees who work for multinational employers are protected by the law if they work in the United States. This is regardless of their work authorization or their citizenship. As an employer, you need to understand this. You cannot force, bribe or coerce employees from another country to comply with your unprofessional and unreasonable demands. They are protected by U.S. EEOC laws, and you will be held accountable.
Working Outside the United States
Individuals who work for companies owned by United States citizens, but who work outside the country, are protected by certain laws. If those companies hire individuals from other countries, those employees do not have the same protection from the United States. It’s important as an employer that you let your employees know what they are protected under or if they are not protected at all. You don’t want to deceive foreign employees into thinking they have U.S. protection if they don’t.
Working Within the United States for Non-U.S. Employers
Certain companies are given permission to run their businesses within the United States, though they are considered non-U.S. employers. In this situation, a company can base their hiring on ethnicity if they choose to hire individuals from their own country. If someone from the U.S. claims discrimination, the employer will not be held accountable as long as their hires are common citizens from their country.
Keeping It Real
As a multinational employer, you have a responsibility to know and understand the U.S. EEOC laws. You also have a responsibility to inform your employees of these laws. Give them the information they need to read up on their rights and privileges as they become employees of your company. Make sure they have the resources they need to find safety, should they feel they are ever discriminated against. In doing so, you become a trusted employer with a trusted company.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.