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The US and EU Labor and Employment Laws

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I hail from Ukraine, the country that is still not a member of the European Union, nevertheless is definitely a European country. Therefore, I have always been interested in the EU laws, policies, priorities, regulations and so on to contrast Ukrainian reality with that of the EU states. Now I live and study in the country I have always had an innate and subconscious love to – the USA, the country known as the country of big opportunities. As the result, I became increasingly interested in the US laws and regulations, in particular employment and labor laws. To combine these two passions I decided to prepare a paper that compares the US and EU labor and employment laws. In this paper, I focused on the major differences between the US and EU regulations of the following labor issues: employment contracts and termination of employment; working hours; sick leave and holidays; maternity and paternity leave; discrimination; child labor; workforce restructuring; privacy protection. First things first, termination of employment and employment contracts. There are a lot of significant differences in this domain between the US and EU, but foremost is that in the United States there is no legal requirement for an explicit labor contract. Most employment is on an at-will basis, which means that either the employer or employee can terminate the employment without any prior notice at any given point of time if the reasons for this are lawful. Notably, American federal laws and the US Fair Labor Standards Act do not mandate that employers should notify their employees before termination. An employer can fire an employee for any reason other than discrimination, retaliation, defamation, breach of explicit contract or fraud. On the contrary, in... ... middle of paper ... ... to measure governmental performance around the world in meeting the needs of working families. To complete the index, data was gathered from 177 countries that represent a wide range of political, social and economic systems. Their findings revealed that 137 countries mandate paid annual leave, including 121 countries that guarantee 2 weeks or more each year. In contrast, the United States does not require employers to provide paid annual leave. In addition, at least 145 countries provide paid sick days for short- or long-term illnesses, with 136 providing a week or more annually. More than 81 countries provide sickness benefits for at least 26 weeks or until recovery. The US provides only unpaid leave for serious illnesses through the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act 0f 1993), which does not cover all workers. More information on this can be found in appendix.