There is high number of undocumented workers in the United States today. Many of these workers provide manual services in industries, farms, restaurants and so on. Since these people provide services within the countrys borders, they are eligible for protection by the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA is mandated to regulate the conduct of employers towards their employees in virtually all the sectors of the economy. According to OSHA, an employee is required by law to do all what pertains to the safety of his employees in the workplace. Some of the obligations of the employers are provision of relevant training, provision of personal protective equipment, protection from all hazards and repetitive stress injuries, and if need be, information on the prevention of protection from of sexually transmitted infections.
In its guide to front-line advocates in a manual called Immigrant Worker Health and Safety, OSHA states that all workers are covered regardless of their immigration status (OSHA, 2011). OSHA lists all the standards of work that workers should be legally subjected to. However, it says that these standards do not apply to immigrant manual workers performing lowly-paying manual jobs. For instance, it is not practical to standardize the weight that a restaurant employee is supposed to lift in one day. Nonetheless, undocumented workers have the right to report unsafe working conditions including those that expose them to unduly hard work. Moreover, under OSHA, undocumented workers have a right to information and retaliation in case their rights are abused. An undocumented worker can file an OSHA complaint against their employees and be considered equally by the administration. Therefore, they are eligible for compensation in case they encounter an accident in the workplace or they are treated unfairly by their employers.
The United States labor laws, including the OSHA regulations, only cover the countrys employees and employers. There is no any instance that calls for the exportation of the laws to cater for employees of US multinational companies. However, a foreign employee may be covered by the laws if they spend substantial amount of time in the country working for a US employer (Baker & McKenzie, 2011). Two laws, in particular, are relevant for foreign employees working for US incorporated companies: the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). For instance, if a German national working for a US subsidiary in German is to be hired or terminated, the subsidiary company must adhere to these laws as it would for a US national.
US companies operating abroad should obey the labor laws existing in foreign countries. They must treat their workers with respect by providing proper working conditions that protect them from work related injuries. Also, the companies must provide equal employment opportunities and refrain from discriminating employees based on their religion, race, age, gender or diversity. The United States multinational companies are not bound by the US laws regarding employee compensation and employers conduct. Nonetheless, they should ensure that universal human rights are respected. Furthermore, there are laws and regulations by the International Labor Organizations that stipulate how employees and employers should relate with each other. Foreign employees have a right under the international labor laws to boycott and peaceful demonstration in pursuit of their better working conditions.
Baker & McKenzie (2011). US employment law for global employers. Cornell University
Occupation Safety and Health Administration (2011). Immigrant Worker Health and Safety: A Guide to Frontline Advocates
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