Overview: Special work arrangements can increase productivity within any organization. Often, staff members who are otherwise willing to work feel constrained by other professional or personal responsibilities. Employers may offer flexibility in working arrangements to aid in the retention of top performers.
Alternative work schedules may include flextime or compressed workweeks. Flexibility in the amount of hours worked could be achieved through part-time work or job sharing. Employees seeking to work from home may negotiate telecommuting agreements with their employers.
Flexible working options aid in retaining employees with caregiving responsibilities, and may be offered as reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. The option of alternate work arrangements may also aid in recruiting a robust and diverse workforce. However, employers must ensure that any applicable external legal requirements, be they federal, state or local, are met. In addition, employers must enforce any internal work rules consistently.
Trends: With the proliferation of mobile devices, many workers have allowed their professional lives to bleed into (and, in some cases, detract from) their personal lives. In response to these concerns, experts in the field have developed a number of resources addressing the work-life balance. Interestingly, some business experts have replaced the term "work-life balance" in favor of the terms "work-life blend" or "work-life integration" when explaining how employees address professional and personal responsibilities.
Marta Moakley, J.D., Legal Editor
Vermont recently enacted a law amending the Vermont Fair Employment Practice Law and expanding existing equal pay and discrimination laws to provide greater protection to employees. 2013 Bill Text VT H.B. 99; 2013 Bill Text VT S.B. 57.
The Vermont content within the Employment Law Manual's EEO - Discrimination, EEO - Retaliation, Employee Discipline and Terms of Employment sections has been updated to reflect recently passed legislation regarding equal pay, the right to request flexible working arrangements and the right to breastfeed at work.
XpertHR's Retail Resource Center for HR helps retail employers handle their most vexing employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
In light of a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, employers should review their internal policies regarding flexible work arrangements in order to recruit and retain qualified employees with disabilities.
XpertHR's High-Tech Resource Center for HR: Flexible Work Arrangements for a Global Workforce helps high-tech employers handle their most challenging employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
The Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act poster, mandated by the Illinois Department of Labor, is required for all day and temporary labor service agencies.
Best Buy Co, Inc., the Minnesota-based consumer electronics retailer, announced on March 4 that it will discontinue its workplace flexibility program (known as the Results-Only Workplace Environment or ROWE) for corporate employees. Best Buy's actions mirror those of the Silicon Valley-based Yahoo! Inc. in late February.
XpertHR's Transportation Resource Center for HR: Disability and Reasonable Accommodations helps transportation industry employers handle their most vexing employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
While Pennsylvania's unemployment compensation reform may save the state well over $250 million per year, the recent amendments are causing some dismay among seasonal workers.
The ADA requires that an employer engage in an interactive process in connection with efforts to reasonably accommodate an employee's disability. This process requires an exchange of information between an employer and employee. Having a policy in place that memorializes an employer's desire to engage in the interactive process and consider reasonable accommodations is recommended - such a policy will be written evidence of an employer's desire to comply with the ADA and will assist supervisors, managers and HR professionals in handling requests for accommodations in a consistent manner.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of special work arrangements.
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