Jeff’s On Call!: Discrimination Abroad

This week’s inquiry comes from a 2010 article titled “American Employment Law Applies in Foreign Countries,” by John Howard Torrance-Nesbitt. The article is about discrimination litigation regarding U.S. citizens applying for employment with American employers or for employment with American-controlled foreign employers.

The question is from a comment by Joe Lee and Amybeth forwarded it to me:

What about foreign corporations recruiting Americans for foreign employment? Can a foreign company recruit from the Internet in the United States and say no one over 40 may apply ( protected class)?

Delighted to answer . . .

. . .  with ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Title VII of the United States Civil Rights Act of1964, as amended by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 clearly prohibits “over 40 need not apply” or any similar pre-employment barrier.

There is no difference with regard to the protective labor laws that apply to a foreign entity that employs someone in the United States. Virtually all federal, state and local laws (whether statutory or judicially determined) as well as any government administrative rulings apply.

So employment discrimination, wage and hour, workplace safety, and other mandates are enforced just a though the employer was in the state where the employee resides.

Article Continues Below

Hope this answers the question.

Happy New Year!


If you have a legal question you’d like to have Jeff answer here on The Fordyce Letter, check out Jeff’s On Call! and submit your question.

More than thirty-five years ago, Jeffrey G. Allen, J.D., C.P.C. turned a decade of recruiting and human resources management into the legal specialty of placement law. Since 1975, Jeff has collected more placement fees, litigated more trade secrets cases, and assisted more placement practitioners than anyone else. From individuals to multinational corporations in every phase of staffing, his name is synonymous with competent legal representation. Jeff holds four certifications in placement and is the author of 24 popular books in the career field, including bestsellers How to Turn an Interview into a Job, The Complete Q&A Job Interview Book and the revolutionary Instant Interviews. As the world?s leading placement lawyer, Jeff?s experience includes: Thirty-five years of law practice specializing in representation of staffing businesses and practitioners; Author of ?The Allen Law?--the only placement information trade secrets law in the United States; Expert witness on employment and placement matters; Recruiter and staffing service office manager; Human resources manager for major employers; Certified Personnel Consultant, Certified Placement Counselor, Certified Employment Specialist and Certified Search Specialist designations; Cofounder of the national Certified Search Specialist program; Special Advisor to the American Employment Association; General Counsel to the California Association of Personnel Consultants (honorary lifetime membership conferred); Founder and Director of the National Placement Law Center; Recipient of the Staffing Industry Lifetime Achievement Award; Advisor to national, regional and state trade associations on legal, ethics and legislative matters; Author of The Placement Strategy Handbook, Placement Management, The National Placement Law Center Fee Collection Guide and The Best of Jeff Allen, published by Search Research Institute exclusively for the staffing industry; and Producer of the EMPLAW Audio Series on employment law matters. Email him at


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