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
Updated to include forthcoming municipal developments regarding right to request laws.
Updated to reflect protected communications under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, effective May 11, 2016.
Updated to include whistleblower immunity notice under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, effective May 11, 2016.
Delaware employers with four or more employees should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
An employer may use this checklist when sending an employee to work abroad to ensure that all issues are considered and decided prior to finalizing the international assignment.
An employer may use this policy to set out the organization's approach to international assignments in circumstances in which employees move temporarily to work in another country.
An employer may use this model letter to set out the initial terms that will apply when an employee moves temporarily to work in another country.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of special work arrangements.