Haley Morrison Looks at the New Reality of Telecommuting
At the June 9 Labor & Employment Event, Tonkon Torp partner Haley Morrison led a discussion on working from home. Haley reviewed the pros and cons of telecommuting, and the realities of a post COVID-19 workforce, including employee engagement, recruiting, and legal issues such as ADA and wage/hour concerns.
Among other things, employers should review their policies regarding working from home, and must take a closer look at telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation. Additionally, job descriptions, performance goals, and success metrics should be reviewed and adjusted as appropriate.
With regard to digital channels, Haley encourages businesses to consider ADA compliance with regard to their external websites and employee intranets. As to the latter, employers should be posting policies and posters online, so that employees working from home have ready access.
Wage/hour issues also are a primary concern for employers with remote workers. Haley stressed that clear policies, good record keeping (with attestations), and consistent enforcement are key.
Finally, Haley covered the importance of data security, including implementing software to limit printing/forwarding/screengrabs of confidential company information, and setting up multi-factor authentication for all devices.
Haley’s talk wrapped-up with a brief look at additional considerations for employees telecommuting from different states. These include workers’ compensation, state tax and business registration, choice of law, and reimbursements laws. Haley is a partner in the Tonkon Torp's Labor & Employment Practice Group. Her primary focus is employment litigation in California and Oregon, in both single plaintiff and class action contexts.