Overview of U.S. Employment Law for International Employers

This guide is a non-comprehensive overview of employment laws in the United States for international employers.  We hope that it will assist employers that already employ individuals in the U.S. and employers that are considering becoming operational in the U.S. in better understanding U.S. employment laws and practices.

Generally speaking, what differentiates U.S. employment law from that of other countries is that the U.S. has very few legally required benefits that an employer must offer its employees.  Although it can differ state by state, things that are legally required and commonplace in other countries—such as paid holiday, paid leave, and mandatory severance benefits—are generally not legally required in the United States.  Instead, most benefits offered by employers are considered gratuitous and used as tools to recruit and retain employees.  This has led employers to be creative in their benefit offerings, including the use of “unlimited” vacation policies, fully remote work, egg freezing or fertility stipends, and the like.

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USCIS Announces H-1B Cap Has Been Reached for Fiscal Year 2024

On December 13, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received enough petitions to meet the annual numerical allocation of 85,000 H-1B visas for fiscal year 2024 (FY2024), which includes 65,000 regular and 20,000 U.S. advanced degree (U.S. master’s degree) cap petitions. The next period during which registrants will be allowed to submit H-1B cap registrations is expected to be in the first couple of weeks of March 2024 for an October 1, 2024, (FY2025) employment start date for successful registrants.

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U.S. Supreme Court to Clarify Whistleblower Statutes Regarding Employee’s Burden of Proof

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide in Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC whether a whistleblower must prove that an employer acted with “retaliatory intent” to be protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Court’s decision will settle a split between the circuit courts, which will impact how employers defend against Sarbanes-Oxley Act retaliation claims.

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Child Labor Law Violations: U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Assessment Procedures for Calculating Civil Monetary Penalties

On November 28, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced that it will assess child labor civil monetary penalties for nonserious injury and noninjury violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act on a per-violation basis, rather than on a per-child basis as it had previously done, significantly increasing the aggregate of potential penalties.

To view the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

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