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Consultants' Corner
Volume 10 Issue 02

Does the ADA Apply to Foreign Employment?

From the desk of Linda Carter Batiste, J.D.

Many U.S. citizens work for employers operating in foreign countries and of course many foreign companies operate within the United States. The following is a summary of when the ADA applies to foreign employment. The information is from: Enforcement Guidance on Application of Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act to Conduct Overseas and to Foreign Employers Discriminating in the United States.

The ADA applies to:

A. U.S. employers with 15 or more employees

    1. Conducting business in the U.S.

      a. U.S. citizen employees – yes

      b. Foreign employees – yes

    2. Conducting business in a foreign country

      a. U.S. citizen employees – yes, unless the foreign laws defense applies

      b. Foreign employees – no

B. Foreign employers with 15 or more employees

    1. Conducting business in the U.S.

      a. U.S. citizen employees – yes, when the discrimination occurs within the U.S., absent constraints imposed by treaty or by binding international agreement

    b. Foreign employees – yes, when the discrimination occurs within the U.S., absent constraints imposed by treaty or by binding international agreement

    2. Conducting business in a foreign country

      a. U.S. citizen employees – no, unless the foreign employer is controlled by an American employer or other covered entity and the foreign defense do not apply

      b. Foreign employees – no

For more information, see: Employee Rights When Working for Multinational Employers-Fact Sheet and The Equal Employment Opportunity Responsibilities of Multinational Employers-Fact Sheet.

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