By Nancy CreminsOctober 2017
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But be careful, there are still limitations when it comes to terminating international workers.
Terminating employees who work in countries outside of the United States can pose challenges. Because “at-will employment” is uniquely a U.S. concept, countries around the world have a very high bar when it comes to employee termination.
Though, there may be one exception. Read on to find out just when an employee working in a country outside the U.S. could be considered an “employee at will.”
The employee probationary period
The probationary period is a period of time during which the employment relationship most closely resembles employment at will. In many countries, probationary periods in employment contracts are permitted and can serve as a useful tool for employers when it comes to terminations.
The rules and standards vary, but generally, probationary periods of 3 to 6 months are not uncommon at the beginning of an employee’s employment.
A word of warning: Many employees attempt to negotiate to eliminate the probationary period out of their employment agreement. Be cautious about agreeing to such a provision. If you agree and the employee doesn’t work out, you could end up paying significantly more money to the employee upon termination.