Portions of this posting have been excerpted from Corporate Counsel (http://www.law.com/corporatecounsel/PubArticleFriendlyCC.jsp?id=1202615626549).
In an article from Corporate Counsel titled “Global Hiring Poses Hitches for Startups,” the author discusses situations in which hiring workers abroad can be problematic (especially for early phase companies). The author acknowledges that “technology is redefining the workplace. And as emerging companies chase talent, the prospect of employing skilled workers all over the globe can be more appealing than battling to bring them into the United States.” However, using a global workforce without taking precautions can have significant legal consequences including complicated tax implications and possible lawsuits in foreign jurisdictions.
The ability of a company to classify foreign workers as independent contractors may vary from country to country. And even when the designation is correct, a company will likely be required to follow complex employment laws here and abroad. The article highlights a few common employment differences between the U.S. and other countries. For example, in the U.S., companies typically require employees to assign intellectual property rights to the company. However, in many countries those rights generally defer to the individual employee. Also, most countries don’t permit “at-will” or “termination without cause” provisions in employment contracts, “non-compete” agreements, and “duty of loyalty” obligations or restrictions against competition with a current employer.
IP & Business Law Counseling, LLC can help your company navigate the complexities of drafting and negotiating employment and independent contractor agreements, and myriad issues related to global hiring and outsourcing.