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
Vermont employers seeking to inform employees about their right to request flexible work arrangements and the process for doing so and to demonstrate compliance with the law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Federal employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to Managing Employees in Special Situations
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Delaware law will soon require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and applicants affected by pregnancy or childbirth.
Employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
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."
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.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of special work arrangements.