Labor obligations in the US: hiring employees for your internationalized company

Having a skilled and committed team is key to the success of your company

When taking your company to the United States, you will need good professionals to keep your business running in the most perfect order. Outsourcing can be a very practical solution in this scenario, but those who like to closely monitor the progress of their company may prefer to hire their employees directly.

However, there are several differences between labor contracts in the US and Brazil, and understanding them is a sure step toward the smooth functioning of labor relations in the country. For example, as in Brazil, in the United States there is also a system of social security contributions and unemployment insurance. The difference is that unemployment insurance in the US applies at both the federal and state levels. In addition to these charges, there is also health insurance, called Medicare.

Pay attention to labor obligations!

Social security contributions relate to salaries or amounts received by employees and are intended to finance the benefits paid by the Federal Government. For the year 2017, the total rate was 15.3% (of these, 12.4% for purely social security benefits and 2.9% for financing health services) over the first USD 118,500.00 received by the employee. However, there is no limit as to the value for the rate destined to finance the health service. Half of the rate is collected by the employer, and the other half by the employee.

An important detail is that social security contributions are collected regardless of the citizenship or residence of the employee, that is, the employees who were transferred from the Brazilian company are also subject to this payment. Also note that this employee is subject to social contribution.

Labor obligations do not depend on the nationality of the employee

As already mentioned, unemployment insurance is also collected. The tribute to finance federal unemployment insurance focuses on amounts paid to employees for services rendered in the United States. Most states have unemployment insurance, but the payment of this tax can be offset by federal tax. The amounts paid to freelancers are not subject to this tax.

Foreign nationals with work visas, US citizenship or green card have the same rights and duties as Americans with respect to unemployment insurance. The criteria for receiving this insurance are determined by the federal government in conjunction with the state governments.

The rights are equal also in relation to retirement: the foreign taxpayer legally in the country is entitled to receiving a retirement pension in case of residence abroad.

You must also pay attention to the retirement of your employees

Every employer is required to withhold tax at the federal, state and municipal agencies, in addition to collecting social security contributions and unemployment insurance payments. Depending on the shareholding structure, the company is also required to report the amounts paid to US entrepreneurs.

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