Thursday, August 7, 2008

Posthuma & Secunda on American Workers Abroad

Posthuma Secunda_2

In today's Boston Globe, Farah Stockman writes about American companies employing American workers abroad through foreign subsidiaries.  The effect is that the workers lose their employment rights under American law, and are protected, if at all, only under the law of the country in which they work. 

"The company has put up a hurdle that is probably insurmountable, or is just not going to be worth it to fight," said Richard Posthuma, an international labor specialist at the University of Texas, El Paso.

The impact goes beyond denying satisfaction to those who want to sue. By lessening the threat of lawsuits, the practice makes it easier for US defense contractors to fire workers and deny them benefits they were promised in exchange for agreeing to undertake dangerous assignments, according to international labor specialists.

"What is considered appropriate in workplace discipline in the Arab world is not considered appropriate in the US," said Paul M. Secunda, associate professor at Marquette University Law School, who co-authored a book on international employee benefit law.

For the complete article, see US Workers in Mideast Find Hurdles in Local Courts.


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