HR Support on Special or Flexible Work Arrangements

Editor's Note: Offering a variety of work-life options boosts legal compliance and productivity.

Marta MoakleyOverview: 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

Latest items in Special Work Arrangements

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    Date:
    03 June 2014
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    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.

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    Type:
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    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.

  • Content Added to Reflect Amendment to San Francisco's Family-Friendly Workplace Ordinance (FFWO)

    Date:
    17 January 2014
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    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.

  • Managing Employees in Special Situations

    Type:
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    In-depth review of the spectrum of Federal employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to Managing Employees in Special Situations

  • Harvard Study Links Job Flexibility to Equal Pay

    Date:
    07 January 2014
    Type:
    News

    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.

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    Type:
    Policies and Documents

    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.

  • Ohio Federal Court Rules "Crying Spells" Formed Basis for FMLA Claim

    Date:
    26 November 2013
    Type:
    News

    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.

  • New How To on Protecting Trade Secrets, Nondisclosure Agreement Form Added

    Date:
    26 November 2013
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    Users may now access the resource How to Protect Trade Secrets When Employing a Mobile Workforce and Telecommuters. In addition, a Nondisclosure Agreement With Return of Materials Provisions form has been added to the Policies and Documents Tool.

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    Type:
    Policies and Documents

    An employer may use this form agreement to protect against the dissemination of trade secrets and other employer property. This form should be used when an employee is initially hired within an organization, and steps should be taken to ensure that new and existing employees understand their responsibilities to maintain the confidentiality of the employer's business information.

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    Type:
    How To

    In today's changing workforce, employers are no longer confined to the walls of their bricks and mortar facilities. Now employees are more mobile and no longer tied to a desk. This How To will assist an employer with clear directives on how to safeguard its trade secrets in light of an increasingly mobile workforce.

About this topic

HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of special work arrangements.