Working Remotely - Prepare for the New Normal
After the COVID-19 seclusions, will “the workplace return to normal?” In some ways, probably not! During the last few months approximately 45% of employees worked from home at least part of the time. Employers who traditionally resisted work from home, were forced to implement, even require it. People got used to it. Like it. Based on their experience, some employers may decide in the coming months and years to shift more work to be home-based. At what savings? What cost? What liability? Post pandemic, many more employees will demand to be able to work from home; many employers may resist. Depending on how long the health risk remains, older workers and employees with pre-existing conditions may have no choice but to seek an accommodation to work from home. Some studies show that working from home increases productivity by 13%. Some employers have found this not so, and experienced problems and increased liability with home work. The ADA has been a battleground over work-from-home for years. Employees demand it as a reasonable accommodation. Employers claim it is an undue hardship, as not all work can be done from home. Who will win? The pandemic may have made it more difficult to claim that working from home is not reasonable. What will both the employee and the employer have to prove? Several others laws must be addressed for work-from-home arrangements. The Fair Labor Standards Act – wage and hours tracking. The FMLA. Privacy and security of information, productivity and quality control. Does Workers Comp cover injury in one’s own home? Even dress codes for remote appearances. And much more. Please join Bob Gregg, attorney at law, as he explains the pros and cons and regulatory requirements associated with work from home arrangements which Human Resources and Managers will be forced to deal with as they bring their employees back to work.
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