Legal Considerations for In-Office, Remote and Hybrid Workforces
Dinsmore labor and employment partner Thaddeus Harrell was published this week by Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) on the topic of navigating a fully in-office, remote or hybrid workforce and the legal considerations that come with each option. An excerpt is below.
How can an organization determine its best strategy? There may not be complete buy-in on the correct course of action, but there are certain factors employers should consider and questions they should ask themselves to start off on the right foot:
• As an organization, what will our policy be concerning COVID-19 (i.e., mandatory vaccination, regular testing, etc.)?
• Is there a possibility of losing talent if employees are required to return to the office full time?
• Is there a possibility that the organization will not be able to attract the best talent if employees are required to work in the office full time?
• Have employees and management been interviewed to consider their preference moving forward?
• Does the organization have the policies and staff in place to adopt any of these models?
• Has the organization developed a list of employees who are eligible for remote work?
• If eligible employees are allowed to work from home, what hours must the employees be available?
• What technology must the employees have and when must they respond to inquiries?
• Does the organization have policies and guidance in place to address business reimbursements? Do they comply with state law?
• Does the organization have policies and guidance in place to address requests for accommodations?
Of course, this is not a complete list of questions or issues to consider. However, it does provide a starting point. Upon adopting a model and beginning to put policies and guidance in place, the organization should carefully amend its existing policies, create new policies where applicable, and consider trainings when relevant. One tip is to make sure that the policies reflect the current environment while also staying true to the needs of the organization. Employers should work with their in-house or outside counsel to make sure its model and policies comply with city, state, and federal laws.
Read the full article here.
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