International Law Report Employee Rights in France, United States of America, Djibouti & Germany [pic] Introduction Since the beginning of the industrialized world, employees have expressed the will to be more respected. The fight for employee’s rights started in Europe and in the United States of America with strikes, demonstrations and later legal and political procedures. This evolution of the laws resulted to more employees’ rights in the occidental countries. Both Federal and State laws in all over the world have bestowed each employee with specific rights at the workplace.
In a word, all employees have to be treated and compensated fairly at all times and should be aware about their legal rights and employment laws. Nowadays, we can observe many employees rights differences between countries in Europe, Anglo-Saxons employment rights and African employment laws. In this report, we mainly focus on the Employees’ Rights in some countries for these three different business cultures and areas. The first and second part of this report will be dedicated to European rights with analysis of French and German Employment rights. After this, in a third part we will take a look to American employments rights.
To conclude, we will focus on Djiboutian employment rights. Employees rights in France Under the Regulation Rome 1, the French employment contract is governed or by the law selected by the parties or in the absence of selection the law that governed the contract is the law of the country where the employee habitually carries out his work in performance of the contract. However, if the place of performance cannot be determined because the employee performs in many countries, then the law of the country where the place of business through which the employees was engaged shall governed.
This means that in case of absence of selection, a French employee working in Amsterdam in a German company, the law applicable will be the Dutch Law. However, if the French employee performs in many countries the German law will govern. Concerning the French employment law, it imposes some particular obligation to (foreign) employers. For instance, a German company implants the French market, to operate performance on the French market, with French employees, in that case in absence of selection; the law that governed is the French employment law and its obligation: – 35 working hours per week paid 39 hours Minimum wage per hour of 8,86€ gross (per month on a basis of 35hours it is 1343,80€ gross and 1055,42€ net) – 5 paid weeks of holidays – 11 public holidays (mainly in May) – Strong influence of trade unions These are example of obligation to respect when having French employees, or a firm that performs in France. Employees rights in Germany The general rights of employees include: a. Basic rights, notably the freedom of occupation and freedom of contract and “positive” and “negative” freedom of association; and b. The provisions on employee protection, protection gainst technical hazards at work and protection against dismissal. In addition, employees are entitled to: a. Be properly informed about their tasks and responsibilities, and about the nature of the work activity concerned and the way in which they fit into the overall workflow; b. Be consulted in connection with establishment matters and management decisions that affect individuals; c. Make their own suggestions regarding the organization of the workplace and the workflow; d. Receive an explanation of the components of their remuneration and how it is calculated; e.
Be allowed access to their personal files; f. Put forward complaints and have them replied to and remedied, in cases where this is within their rights. Employees can consult a member of the works council in connection with discussions of pay and access to personal files, and can also bring complaints before the works council. Employees rights in USA The United States of America is the first developed economy in the world. With such a status, the US governments have created a very sophisticated law system since the United States first law: the United States Constitution ratified in 1788.
The United States Labor Law is a complex collection of state laws and federal laws. The Employee Law – Civil Rights Act of 1964, established most of the notable federal laws still in use nowadays. Wages and Working Hours The Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) was the first law to determine clearly the minimum wage and working hours. This law is not concerning all the states because in some area the unions or the local governments are fixing the minimum “living” wage. Regulations of Unions The National Labor Relations Act (1935) is giving the right to employees to be represented by a union.
The employers are not allowed to discriminate an employee because of his membership a union. Employee Contracts Most employees in the US have an “at will employment” doctrine. That means that either party can break the relationship with no liability. Here is the legal doctrine: “Any hiring is presumed to be “at will”; that is, the employer is free to discharge individuals “for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all,” and the employee is equally free to quit, strike, or otherwise cease work »
The WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) oblige private sector employers to inform sixty days in advance of plan closure and large scale layoffs. Of course, in emergency cases this law is not in use. Employment Discrimination Since 1866, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Congress intended to protect the employees from racial discrimination, but the Supreme Court only accepted a limited version of it during World War II. In 1964, the Civil Right Act of 1964 protected employee from discrimination based on race, national origin, gender and religion.
Age discrimination is also prohibited in the United States; the American Congress ratified the Age Discrimination in Employment Act in 1967. Employees rights in Djibouti We are all aware (or should be aware) of the common law rights such as the right to be treated with dignity and respect, the right not to be unfairly dismissed, the right not to be victimized and the right not to be unfairly discriminated against, and so on. But unfortunately, this is not the case in several African countries!
Here is a concrete example of Djibouti, a country located in the Horn of Africa where employees know more or less their rights or even do not have any clue about it! Of course there is a “Basic Conditions of Employment Act”, and laws that prohibit the discrimination against individuals on the bases of race, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability. However, these laws require only that employees be treated equally. Employers have the unfettered right to fire workers at any time, for any reason, whether grave or frivolous (as long as they do so in a non-discriminatory manner).
In Djibouti, the fundamental employees rights of free expression and privacy are still largely unprotected in the workplace: • Employees do not have the right to fair labor practices (sex, wage, income, hours…), • They are not treated fairly and equitably, • They are not free from discrimination, • They are not compensated equitably i. e. same pay for the same work done, • They are not paid for overtime i. e. for extra hours, • They are under obligation to work 6 days per week, • They can be fired for no reason, • They privacy rights are not protected, • They do not have the right to strike, They do not have the right to join a trade union… As the financial crisis is throwing many people out of work, so the employees are in a way forced to take informal jobs with low pay, no protection and high-risk exposure… Employers in many African countries, believe that the more they put pressure on their employees and the more they obtain a good result… Conclusion This report allows us to see the huge divide between Western European, Anglo-Saxons and African employment rights. The United States of America have a very liberal labor law that will allow some specificities that will be in favor of the employer.
The French employees law is changing a lot in function of the government in position (for instance the law Aubry about the 35hours paid 39 hours) and as in Germany the Trade Unions are really powerful and are involved in the respect of employees rights against employers or the state. In Djibouti the situation is different for employees, as we have seen in the last part, the extra hours are not necessarily paid for instance. In some developed and many developing countries employment rights are still limited or even inexistent and do not offer enough protection regarding workplace security or working wages.
In this global economy, an applicable employment right act would be a solution but its application will be extremely difficult to install. The best option would be to install applicable and fair employment rights country per country. Sources Management Help: http://managementhelp. org/l United States Department of Labor: http://www. dol. gov/compliance/guide/ L’entreprise www. lentreprise. com Bized www. bized. com French Ministry of Labour Eurofound http://www. eurofound. europa. eu/emire/GERMANY/EMPLOYEERIGHTS-DE. htm The Economist German Ministry of Labour