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Scope of U.S. Employment
Discrimination Laws in International Setting

We’ve blogged about court translations, professional translation online and employment contract translations provided in languages other than English to ensure worker safety and non-discrimination of foreign workers.  One of the most complex legal questions is whether or not U.S. employment discrimination law applies to international employers. Specifically, this question tends to focus on the international applicability of such laws as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended in 1991) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

As a general rule, these laws do not apply to foreign corporations unless a U.S. firm controls the foreign corporation. And even then their applicability is not guaranteed. In general, these laws are only applicable so long as certain conditions are met. The required conditions can generally be summarized into four “guidelines”:

  • Location of the work
  • Employer status (including home country)
  • Employee status (US citizen, resident, etc.)
  • International law defenses

Before one can begin investigating whether or not the scope of U.S. employment discrimination laws apply in an international setting, one must first understand the nature of the job as it applies to the above-listed four categories. To do this, one will require professional translation services. For example, to understand the status of the employer and employee, along with the particularities of applicable foreign laws and international treaties, one needs to obtain a professional English language translation of all the pertinent foreign-language documents.

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