Employees Terminating Abroad (Voluntary or Involuntary)

Introduction Legal
Finance (Including Payroll) Reporting and Compliance
Human Resources Research Compliance (Federal)
Risk Management (Safety and Security)


Employment laws in non-U.S. countries are often complex, and they are typically designed to protect the employee, not the employer. Extreme care therefore should be taken by universities when terminating employees outside the United States. Any termination must be in accordance with host-country laws and with any employment contract and/or assignment agreement already in place. Host-country employment laws often make terminating employees difficult, and termination often requires the payment of substantial severance.

Hiring professional legal experts who are well versed in employment laws of the host country is essential when terminating employees outside the United States. Legal advice must be sought by the university or project administrators well before terminating an employee to ensure due process and to avoid claims of unfair dismissal.  Institutions should often have language in the employment offer letter regarding termination to ensure compliance with local labor laws.