HR Solutions & Employee Relations in the USA with IRIS  

IRIS HR consulting has varied experience helping businesses grow in the United States of America. Without expert guidance, it can otherwise be risky and costly to leave local laws and legislation, from state to federal level, open to interpretation. For a scalable, compliant operation, IRIS can manage your HR in the USA to help businesses hire, recruit, and pay staff overseas in new, unfamiliar countries. With the USA being a global powerhouse, IRIS can navigate local barriers – from culture to compliance – to arrive at a rewarding opportunity for your business to thrive in this booming marketplace.    

Take your business to the USA with IRIS HR Consultancy.  

Recruitment in the USA

Global Expansion in the USA 

The USA is an industrial giant when it comes to expansion. It is one of the UK’s closest trading allies, and it is often a priority when it comes to global expansions – owed to its familiar market, language and demographics. America is the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP and net wealth, and the second largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). 

However, America is starkly different from most Western countries when it comes to statutory allowances, and the difference between state and federal laws can quickly become confusing.  

The large size of the US provides hubs for different industries, including Silicon Valley, the Rust Belt, Wall Street, Hollywood and more. In recent years, a trend of reshoring has happened within American industry. This describes how manufacturing processes are being brought back to the USA, providing an interesting and varied economic landscape.  

Small businesses make up the largest employers in the USA with a 37% share of the job market, and large businesses employing 36% of the workforce. Spurred by economic possibility, many businesses are encouraged to prosper through a pro-entrepreneurship climate and private-public partnerships.   

A Global Powerhouse 

The USA is a global powerhouse and has one of the most formidable economies in the world. It is the world’s largest importer and second largest exporter, as well as a partner to several free trade agreements.  

When opening your business into a large consumer market, or to venture capitalists, the USA is a priority destination for serious contenders.  

Establishing your business in the USA     

Embarking on a global expansion is a strategic move to gain extra value from one of the biggest markets and economies out there. But the international stage isn’t always easy to navigate, especially one as complex as the USA.  

To consider entering the US market, you need to consider location carefully, as state employment laws and required benefits vary greatly. 

It is a daunting proposition, but one that IRIS HR consultants are best placed to advise on. We can advise you on the best state for your business and needs, no matter the size of your company.  

Did you know?

The U.S. dollar is the currency most used in international transactions and is the world’s foremost reserve currency. 

Working in the USA

Employment rights & contracts in the US 

The US has some federal policies on employing personnel, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity laws, but there are various unique laws that vary from state to state. Employment in the US is typically done on an at-will basis, meaning employment can be ceased at any point. The only state that this varies in is Montana, where a specific cause is required.  

Oral and implied contracts are legally enforceable, but can create problems if employment lawsuits emerge.  

Hiring & recruitment in the US 

When getting your first hire overseas, you will need to negotiate terms of employment. But that requires local knowledge, strict compliance, and an understanding of what to include in an offer and thereafter – including before, during and after the commencement of an employment contract. 

What are the working hours in the USA?  

The standard work week is established at 40 hours, the average person works eight hours a day for five days a week. However, there are exceptions. Some non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a single working week are entitled to 1.5 times normal pay for any overtime hours, under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Exempt employees, like those in managerial positions, receive a salary over hourly pay, unlike non-exempt employees.  


There is no legal provision to take holidays in the US. Paid vacation is often not given as standard and is seen as an additional benefit to jobs. Employees in America also tend not to take it, with less than half of employees who have paid holiday available ending up not taking all of it.  

Sick Leave in the US 

Like vacation, there is no statutory requirement for sick leave. If an employee requires to take leave then under the Family and Medical Leave Act they are entitled to 12 weeks unpaid leave, under the stipulation that the company they work for employs more than 50 people in a 75 mile radius and the employee in question must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months.   

Maternity and Parental Leave in the US 

With the same stipulations as sick leave, parental leave can only be taken under the FMLA provided the employer has more than 50 employees in a 75-mile radius, and the employee in question must have worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months.  

However, this 12-week period is unpaid as the USA only requires this under FMLA. Anyone not covered by FMLA has no statutory protection.  

Public Holidays in the USA 

The US celebrates 10 federal holidays, including: 

  • New Year’s Day 
  • Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  • Washington’s Birthday 
  • Memorial Day 
  • Independence Day 
  • Labor Day 
  • Columbus Day 
  • Veterans Day 
  • Thanksgiving Day 
  • Christmas Day 

Only federal employees are legally entitled to these off, where banks, the US postal service and government offices are closed on these days. Private employers are not legally required to offer these days, but many choose to. These can be paid or unpaid or given to employees as an optional day of rest.  

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Deliver your business to new, exciting markets with confidence and compliance.

End of Service 

HR in the USA requires compliance not only during an employee’s service, but also at the end of it. End of service might include severance, termination, redundancy, and leaving packages. Or, for globally mobile companies with teams in foreign markets, this could be repatriation services for those returning from an assignment overseas.  

For these more complicated matters, you will need expert HR guidance to navigate American labor laws and remain compliant.  

HR in the USA

Termination (including Severance) in the USA 

At-will employees are often expected to provide low notice periods, or none at all. Employment can start or finish at any point and is more often evaluated on performance. Both the employee and employer are not legally required to give a defined notice period.  

Pensions in the US 

Pensions are more commonly known as Defined Benefit Plans and offer a fixed amount provided to the employee in retirement. These are becoming less commonly favoured and replaced by Defined Contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans.  

Neither of these is required under law, and not many people are given government pensions aside from veterans and similar public servants.  

Supplemental benefits

Health Insurance  

There is little compulsory requirement for health insurance coverage provided by employers. Rules and expectations are based on the size and location of the employer, but generally businesses with over 50 employees on their payroll are governed by different laws to those who are considered SME’s (small to medium enterprises).   

Under the Obama administration, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted, giving more legally required benefits to the employee and penalising employers with over 50 employees who fail to meet minimum requirements.  

There is also support available for smaller employers in the form of tax credits to provide health insurance to employees.  

Life Insurance  

This is considered an additional benefit, which may be offered to an employee during negotiations.  

Hiring in the USA

Why Partner With IRIS?

When entering large powerhouses with varying state and federal laws, you will need an employment specialist to navigate the parts of local laws that are mandatory and those that are not. Delivering a compliant solution, IRIS can help your business arrive into new marketplaces whilst protecting your workforce – our partners can discover power and protection through us.  

Overseas expansions can seem risky to those who dare it alone. Understanding the complexity of a fully compliant solution, IRIS can help businesses reach the USA.  

Our cost-effective, knowledgeable approach to HR in the US makes us an ideal partner to commence your overseas plans.