DOING BUSINESS IN THE UNITED STATES

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DOING BUSINESS IN THE UNITED STATES

A Guide to Basic Employment and Labor Laws for Foreign Companies



Doing Business in the United States

A Guide to Basic Employment and Labor Laws for Foreign Companies

This guide is intended to provide general information only and is not intended as legal advice. ? 1992-2005 by Preston Gates & Ellis LLP Reproduction of this manual in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

Contents

Introduction .........................................................................................1 Foreign Employers Beware...................................................................2 The Relationship Between Federal, State and Local Laws...................2 A Word About Unions.............................................................................2 Hiring the Workforce ............................................................................3 Wage and Hour Issues ..........................................................................7 Recordkeeping ......................................................................................9 Handbooks or Personnel Policies ........................................................9 Evaluation of Employees.....................................................................10 Promotions ..........................................................................................10 Health and Safety in the Workplace ...................................................11 Introduction to Discrimination Laws ..................................................12 Terminations and Layoffs....................................................................15 Conclusion ..........................................................................................16

Introduction

A company contemplating doing business in the United States should be familiar with the laws governing relationships with employees. U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies may be subject to U.S. employment and labor laws. In addition, parent companies may, in some circumstances, be held responsible for the acts or omissions of their U.S. subsidiaries. This guide introduces many of these laws. However, it provides only general information regarding certain laws and is not intended as a legal opinion or legal advice. Readers should consult with legal counsel on the application of the law to their particular situations.

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