L&E Attorneys Examine the New Normal of Telecommuting

The Coffee Break webinar series, hosted by attorneys in Tonkon Torp’s Labor & Employment Practice Group, provides practical advice to help businesses navigate L&E issues as they reopen their business. During the May 28 program, Clay Creps and Megan Reuther looked at telecommuting during COVID-19 and beyond.

The pandemic has accelerated the acceptance of teleworking as a favorable and permanent option. Clay and Megan weighed in on the pros and cons of remote work, and reviewed policies that will ensure that teleworking is set up to best support job performance, company culture, and compliance with standing employment law.

Megan noted that while a policy language can be tailored for a particular business, telecommuting policies and contracts should clarify all details and conditions for telecommuting from schedules and equipment use, to confidentiality and professionalism. She stressed that telecommuting policy needs to address non-exempt employees and address how their time will be recorded, reported, and monitored.

While teleworking has many advantages for both employers and employees, Clay noted that there are several legal pitfalls to watch out for. In particular, discrimination, ADA, and wage and hour rules remain in full effect, and remote work policies should support compliance with all applicable employment laws.

Wrapping up the discussion, the attorneys recommended adding additional training for managers and supervisors to support and engage employees in this new working arrangement.

A recording of this webinar is available online. Webinar viewers are encouraged to follow up directly with attorneys to ask questions not addressed during the program. Tonkon Torp has published a COVID-19 Business Resource digest that is continually refreshed with news, alerts and events that address a broad range of corporate topics.

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