On Demand

How to Engage a "Floating Employee" to Work Remotely from a Foreign Country


Created on May 12, 2020




An international telecommuter―someone working remotely from overseas, in a country other than that of the employer―poses special problems beyond the basic logistics issues inherent with local telecommuters. Indeed, setting up someone to work remotely in a foreign country where the employer does not issue payroll is an awkward structure outside what employment law presumes (employment laws worldwide assume a "master" employs and pays a "servant" both in the same jurisdiction, presumably in the same workplace). These challenges can make a proposed international telecommuting arrangement not worth the cost and effort. Often, they cause these arrangements to fail. Sometimes, they spark expensive international lawsuits.

This fast-paced session, presented by Donald Dowling of Littler Mendelson P.C., sets out the various international telecommuting contexts and scenarios. Then it works through a checklist of the issues to account for in structuring a cross-border or transnational telecommuting arrangement―and the five different ways possible to structure them.

Who Should Attend: 

  • In-house compliance and employment lawyers

  • HR professionals at multinationals involved in cross-border HR

  • Managers/Supervisors with subordinates in foreign countries

  • Global mobility professionals including those involved in outbound expatriation

Learning Objectives:

  1. Become familiar with different international telecommuting contexts and scenarios

  2. Develop a checklist of issues for structuring an international telecommuting arrangement

  3. Examine the five possible ways to structure these arrangements ― and the pros and cons of each

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