Statistics from the U.S. State Department indicate that more than nine million U.S. citizens live outside the country, a large percentage of whom expatriated for work reasons. Whether for career advancement, corporate transfer, or the opportunity to live and travel in a foreign country, international employment is common in our global economy. If you’re thinking about an overseas posting, you should address some critical issues with your employer before you take the job.
First and foremost, your rights, protections, and obligations should be set forth in an employment agreement before you accept a position overseas. You may have previously entered into an employment contract for a U.S. job subject to the laws and regulations of the U.S. and the state in which you work; but expat contracts also must address the local rules and customs of your new workplace. Make sure the agreement is in writing and clarifies essential elements, such as the job description, work hours, place of work, compensation, termination rights, and other issues addressed here.
Duration of Employment
Defining how long you will spend in an international posting allows you (and your family) to plan ahead and establishes a mutual expectation with your employer. This is especially important for employees who expect to return to jobs in the U.S. when their assignments end.