Basic Facts

The United States of America, abbreviated U.S. or U.S.A., is a country in North America, a federal republic of 50 states. The U.S. is the fourth largest country in the world in area (after Russia, Canada, and China). The country is the world’s greatest economic power, measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP).


*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in the United States of America.

Capital :
Washington, D. C.
Currency :
United States Dollar ($, USD)
Languages spoken :
Population :
332.40 million (2022 est.)
Minimum wage 2023 :
$7.25 per hour (Federal)
Cost of Living index :
$$$$ (26 of 139 nations)
Payroll Frequency :
Biweekly or Monthly
VAT - standard rate :
Varies as per State
GDP - real growth rate :
5.7% (2021 est.)

Statutory Holidays

The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2024.

The federal government institutions, banks, the postal service, and government offices are closed on federal holidays. While private employers are not required to follow suit, many do observe the same holidays and either offer their employees paid time off for holidays or give them the option of taking those days off.

Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year’s Day
January 15
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Movable -Third Monday of January
February 19
President’s Day
Movable - Third Monday in February
May 27
Memorial Day
Movable - Last Monday of May
June 19
Juneteenth National Independence Day
July 4
Independence Day
September 4
Labor Day
Movable - First Monday in September
October 14
Columbus Day
November 11
Veterans Day
November 28
Movable - Fourth Thursday in November
December 25

Contract Sharing Time

The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in the U.S. is 4 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.

NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.

What You Need To Know

  1. Labor Conditions are characterized by ‘At-will’ employment. In most states in the U.S., it is possible for an employer to terminate employment without a good reason or just cause for doing so. Note, however, that there is a range of prohibited grounds for termination under U.S. discrimination legislation.
  2. Employment contracts are not always a legal requirement in the U.S., but are generally a good idea in order to set out what is expected of employer and employee.
  3. Federal law regulates wages, working hours, and overtime pay for employees covered under certain relevant statutes and regulations, but employees in executive, administrative or professional positions are exempt, as are outside sales employees, certain skilled computer professionals, and some other categories of employees.

   4.   The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that does not provide paid parental leave or paid sick leave. 

   5.  Health insurance coverage for employees working remotely across U.S. states is typically limited to the chosen plan’s network of “preferred” or “in-network” providers. Otherwise, an employee will pay the provider’s full rate or an out-of-network rate (if there is any out-of-network coverage  at all in the plan) if they see a provider who is not considered “in-network.”

Labor Conditions

Working Hours
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not limit the number of hours per day or per week that employees aged 16 years and older can be required to work. However, many state statutes mandate daily rest periods, as well as, a one-day rest period each week; generally requiring that employees who work more than four hours per day receive a break of at least 10 minutes for every hour worked. 
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Assessment (OSHA) prescribes a normal work shift to be generally a work period of no more than eight consecutive hours during the day, five days a week with at least an eight-hour rest. 

Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime, no matter how many hours they work a week. Employees who are exempt from overtime laws typically include those in managerial or executive positions, administrative positions, creative jobs, and professional positions. 

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours during a single week need to be paid one and a half times their usual pay rate. 

Probation Period

Generally, the probationary period for a U.S. employee varies and depends entirely on the arrangement agreed upon between the employer and the employee. However, a 30 to 90-day probationary period is standard in the U.S.

Termination Notice Period

The FLSA has no requirement for notice to an employee prior to termination or lay-off. In some situations, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN Act”) provides for notice to workers prior to lay-off. Under the WARN Act, employers must give 60 days advance notice to affected employees in advance of plant closings or covered mass layoffs. Some states may have requirements for employee notification prior to termination or lay-off.

Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

Annual leave is not required by law in the U.S. Maine and Nevada have regulations mandating employers to provide annual leave though in certain conditions.

Sick Leave

The U.S. does not require employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. If an employee does need to take time off due to illness, they are allowed up to 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave per year, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Act applies to companies with more than 50 employees within a 75-mile area. To qualify for leave under FMLA, an employee needs to have worked at least 1,250 hours with a company over the previous 12 months.

Parental Leave

Unlike most countries, employees in the U.S. are not entitled to paid parental leave as standard. However, some states do have regulations to provide paid parental leave. When a person gives birth or adds to their family, they are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off, under the FMLA, provided the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles and provided the employee has worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months.

Maternity and Paternity Leave 

Although paid time off for maternity or paternity leave is not legally required at the federal level in the U.S., a few states do mandate paid parental leave. Eight states – California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Oregon – and the District of Columbia – have introduced their own paid family leave policies which include parental leave paid at a percentage of the employee’s salary. 

Other Types of Paid Leave

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for time not worked, including attending a funeral. The one state in the U.S. which does have a bereavement leave policy is the state of Oregon. The policy states that companies that have over 25 employees are required to give bereavement leave of up to two weeks to employees who have worked at least 25 hours per week for a minimum of 180 days upon the death of a close relative.

Court Leave

Court leave is an approved absence from official duties, without loss of or reduction in pay or leave, and is provided to an employee who is summoned, in connection with a judicial proceeding, to: Perform jury duty in a federal, state, or municipal court; or Serve as a witness, in an unofficial capacity, for the U.S., the District of Columbia, or a state or local government.

Statutory Benefits

Social Security is a program run by the federal government. The program works by using taxes paid into a trust fund to provide benefits to people who are eligible. The employees need a Social Security number when they apply for a job. Social Security is financed through a dedicated payroll tax. Employers and employees each pay 6.2% of wages up to the taxable maximum of $142,800 (in 2022).

There are four main types of benefits that the SSA (Social Security Agency) offers:

  • Retirement benefits
  • Disability benefits
  • Benefits for spouses or other survivors of a deceased family member
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Health Insurance

Employers are not legally required to offer private health insurance, but almost all do, and they may be penalized by the government for not doing so under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The rules and expectations for health insurance vary based on the size of the employer. Generally, companies that employ more than 50 people are expected to follow different rules compared to companies that employ less than 50 people.

Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), a former employee can continue to use their health insurance for a certain number of months. Statutory benefits offered by U.S. employers include medicare, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, health insurance, and family and medical leave.

Three types of government health programs are offered for healthcare:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Veterans Health Administration. 

Other Insurances

Accident Insurance

Employers may choose to insure themselves as per Workers’ Compensation Insurance requirements if they are large enough to provide the resources. All other employers must fund and purchase a Worker’s Compensation Insurance policy. 

Unemployment Insurance

If an employee is terminated “through no fault of their own,” such as due to budget cuts at a company, they might be eligible to receive unemployment compensation from the government. A person needs to meet specific requirements to receive unemployment benefits such as being in an active search for a new job. The compensation is not meant to be permanent and usually expires after several months. Extended unemployment insurance benefits last for 13 weeks.

Public Pension

Pension and retirement benefits are not required by law in the U.S. 

Other Statutory Benefits

Bone Marrow Donor Leave

An employee may use up to seven days of paid leave each calendar year to serve as a bone-marrow donor. An employee may also use up to 30 days of paid leave each calendar year to serve as an organ donor. Certain states like California, the District of Columbia, and Louisiana, ask employers to pay for bone marrow and blood donation leave. Some other states also ask for unpaid leave like Hawaii and New York.

Leave for Military Spouses

This provides up to 10 days of unpaid leave to an employee whose spouse is a member of the armed forces of the U.S., national guard or reserves who has been deployed during a period of military conflict, and is on leave while deployed.

If a person is the spouse, parent, son, daughter, or next-of-kin of a covered service member, they work for a covered employer and are an eligible employee, they may be entitled to military caregiver leave. Military caregiver leave allows them to take up to a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a single 12-month period to take care of their military relative if they have a qualifying serious injury or illness. 


The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.

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