Overview: Telecommuting (also called flexiplace, telework, working from home and flexible working) aids in retaining employees and engenders positive employee relations. Employers may offer telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities. In addition, telecommuting can be a valuable tool in retaining workers with caregiving responsibilities.
Telecommuting options allow employers to ensure business continuity when faced with a natural disaster or other business interruptions. In addition, telecommuting can be viewed as a valuable recruitment tool for hard-to-fill positions.
However, telecommuting can pose management challenges for supervisors seeking to comply with health and safety regulations in remote locations. In addition, fines and penalties await an employer that misclassifies a telecommuter or that fails to accurately record and pay any hours worked.
Trends: Telecommuting agreements continue to evolve. Employers should ensure their internal telecommuting policies and procedures offer optimal protections against regulatory hurdles, while promoting compliance with work rules regarding time theft and other abuses.
Author: Marta Moakley, JD, Legal Editor
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, has ruled that an employer did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act by denying an employee's request to telecommute, holding that regular and predictable attendance is an essential job function.
Telecommuting programs have numerous advantages for both employees and employers, including combatting absenteeism, boosting productivity and morale, and increasing employee retention. Employers should follow the steps in this How To on managing telecommuters.
A divided full panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Ford Motor Company did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it decided not to allow an employee with irritable bowel syndrome to telecommute four days a week.
XpertHR's Financial Services Resource Center for HR helps financial services employers handle their most challenging employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
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.
An employer may use this form to create an agreement between the employer and an employee who has been granted telecommuting privileges.
This briefing for supervisors examines the law and best practices for managing telecommuters, including enforcing telecommuting policies, monitoring telecommuters and evaluating telecommuting requests.
An employer may use this policy to ensure employees understand under what circumstances telecommuting might be an option, and the parameters for such an arrangement. A Telecommuting Policy can reduce overhead expenses, improve employee productivity and increase available employee work time.
This section of the XpertHR best practice manual discusses the importance of flexible working, the issues involved in drawing up an organizational policy and the main types of flexible working.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of telecommuting.