Worries about lawsuits less prominent in business culture in Denmark
As Kay Xander Mellish writes in her book Working with Americans: Tips for Danes, one of the major differences between business culture in Denmark and the US is the prevalence of litigation in the US. Being sued is something American businesspeople worry about every day, and it is a part of almost every business decision.
This is particularly important when it comes to hiring. In Denmark, a business can hire whomever seems to be the best fit for its team. But in the US, the hiring process is very rigid, with an enormous number of rules to make sure there is no racial or gender discrimination and that every applicant gets a fair shake.
A hiring manager who fails to follow these rules lays himself open to an expensive lawsuit from an unsuccessful applicant.
The same is true when it comes to firing an employee. Every employee’s work must be carefully documented, so if an employee is fired it can be proven it was because of the quality of her work, not because of discrimination.
Danish companies who plan to hire in the US should obtain the services of an HR specialist who can help them navigate the employment law landscape. And keep in mind that there are 50 US states, and the laws are a little bit different in each.