Working from home used to be a flexible option provided to employees by some employers, but was definitely not a mandate. With the current coronavirus pandemic, a shift has been made that makes remote working not only an option, but in some cases, a requirement.
As businesses reopen, employers and employees are reevaluating the way they work. Some may determine that a remote model is preferable, but what are the legal impacts? There are key policies, such as time tracking and ADA compliance, that should be evaluated. What legal considerations need to honored in a work-from-home environment?
To successfully address a work-from-home model, a remote-work policy must be set and communicated to staff. In it should be defined deliverables, productivity standards, and work hours. Additionally, for non-exempt employees, a means to track hours should be established and the process for how this information is collected needs be clearly explained. To comply with the ADA, any employee who had modifications at work to support his or her role, should be offered that same reasonable assistance at home. Additionally, all employees in California are required to take meal breaks and rest periods, even when working from home. Employers should also reach out to their workers’ compensation and insurance brokers to ensure that coverage still applies for employees working remotely.
When making this decision it is important to understand any legal implications to ensure compliance. Contact the attorneys from our labor and employment team for support.
Trevor D. Large, Partner