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: Certain states and municipalities are considering "right to request" laws or ordinances, which protect from retaliation those employees who request a flexible working arrangement. Employers should pay close attention to this growing trend, which seeks to ensure family-friendly workplaces.
Author: Marta Moakley, JD, Legal Editor
As part of a Temporary Worker Initiative launched in April 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have released "Recommended Practices for Protecting Temporary Workers."
In-depth review of the spectrum of Federal employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to Managing Employees in Special Situations
One of the most challenging aspects of staffing a productive and profitable organization concerns striking a balance between employee compensation costs and fulfilling client expectations. Often, an employer strikes this balance by increasing staff on a seasonal basis - especially in industries such as hospitality or retail.
As mandated by the Illinois Department of Labor, all Illinois day and temporary labor service agencies must post the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act Poster.
The FMLA: California, Other Leaves: California and Managing Employees in Special Situations sections of the Employment Law Manual have been updated to reflect an amendment to the FFWO that clarifies which employers must comply with the FFWO.
Harvard professor Claudia Goldin's new paper links employee access to flexible work arrangements as the key to narrowing pay disparities among the sexes. In an address to the American Economic Association (where Goldin serves as President), the professor suggests that employers have great latitude in narrowing gender wage gaps by allowing flexible work arrangements (e.g., telecommuting, job sharing or flexible schedules) where practicable.
As mandated by the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, San Francisco employers with 20 or more employees must post the San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Poster.
An Ohio federal court ruled that "crying spells" were sufficient for an employee to take FMLA leave and found that the employer's dubious response to the leave may have violated the FMLA.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of special work arrangements.