I am planning to hire a free-lancer from France for short-term (less than a month) for 15 hours a week. Are there any legal issues that need to be complied with? Appreciate community advise.
It's not illegal to hire French people.
Just hire who you want to hire.
It's not your responsibility to worry about all the laws of all the countries people are from. If it's not legal for people from a particular country to work on Upwork, then Upwork doesn't allow people living in that country to be contractors.
Where I live, it is illegal to refuse a person who comes to your house or business a glass of water if they ask. This is a real law. But why should you care? If you hire me, you'll do so through Upwork. You're not going to come to my house.
If there are laws that French people are supposed to obey, let them worry about that. I can assure you that if you hire a French contractor, you won't see law enforcement officials come to your house a month later to arrest you, telling you: "Didn't you know that in France, graphic designers MUST wear a beret while editing CSS files?"
I'm hoping that either Nichola or Rene - or better yet both - see this and weigh in. Rene is a French national and Nichola a long-time resident of France if not a French national.
I'm sure the original poster will feel better getting a response from one in question as opposed to the comments from those of us who are not actually French.
French are, exceptionally, allowed to be hired on Upwork since the new CEO of Upwork is French. Otherwise, French would not be allowed.
Please, come on, French, really? And what next, Germans maybe?