Telecommuting

Telecommuting is an employment relationship whereby employees do not commute to a central office location, but instead work remotely using technology to communicate and share information with colleagues and... more +
Telecommuting is an employment relationship whereby employees do not commute to a central office location, but instead work remotely using technology to communicate and share information with colleagues and employers. Telecommuting arrangements often vary depending on the workplace. In some arrangements, employees may never come into a central office. While in others, employees may only telecommute a few days per week or month.  Telecommuting can lead to greater employee satisfaction and productivity; however, some employers may find that working frequently outside the office diminishes team building and brainstorming. In addition, allowing telecommuting may implicate certain workplace legal issues.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Common Sense Prevails: Working From Home Sometimes Will Not Work

Well, phew. We like when legal developments we believe raise troubling questions with problematic implications later develop into something seemingly more rational based on the intersection of law and logic. One such pleasant...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects EEOC's Demand for Telecommuting as ADA Accommodation

Last year, a panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held 2-1 that the Americans with Disabilities Act required Ford Motor Company to allow a buyer with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to possibly telecommute up to four...more

Is Telecommuting A Reasonable Accommodation, Or Is It Not?

In the context of a lawsuit brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a recent court decision says that “regular attendance” is an essential function of the job. But what is “regular attendance”?...more

Employers Can Decide That Physical Presence at the Workplace is an Essential Function

On April 10, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited en banc decision in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Ford Motor Company following a vacated panel decision from April 2014 in which a...more

En Banc Sixth Circuit Decision Holds that Telecommuting Was Not a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities...

Last Friday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sitting en banc held that telecommuting up to four days a week was not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA for a disabled Ford Motor Co. employee. The decision, EEOC v....more

6th Circuit Provides Road Map for ADA Accommodation Cases

A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case provides employers with a great example of how to evaluate accommodation requests under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., a case which...more

6th Circuit: Telecommuting Not a Reasonable Accommodation

On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued its decision in EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, No. 12-2484, 2015 WL 1600305 (6th Cir. Apr. 10, 2015), an ADA case involving telecommuting as a reasonable...more

Sixth Circuit Holds Telecommuting Not a Reasonable Accommodation Where Regular and Predictable On-Site Job Attendance is an...

Courts have repeatedly recognized that “regular job attendance” is an essential function of most jobs that need not be altered in order to reasonably accommodate a disabled employee. This common sense notion, however, has...more

Thanks, Ford! Hard-Fought Win Against EEOC In ADA-Telecommuting Case Is Welcome News For All Employers

Last Friday, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found in favor of Ford Motor Company in a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. ...more

En Banc 6th Circuit Returns to Practicality, Finding Regular and Predictable Attendance to be Essential Function of Position

In May 2014, we reported on an opinion of a divided panel of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit embracing the position of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that virtual full-time telecommuting could...more

Unreasonably Sporadic Telecommuting

One year ago, we reported on the Sixth Circuit’s ruling that telecommuting could be a reasonable accommodation for a resale steel buyer at Ford suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. There, the employee requested to...more

More Road Rules: Telecommuting as a “Reasonable Accommodation” Under ADA Gets an Update

Last year, my colleague Gabe Jiran, had a series of posts on telecommuting as a possible reasonable accommodation. In one post, he reported on a Sixth Circuit decision that allowed an employee (and EEOC) to proceed to trial...more

Blizzards, Hurricanes, and That Dreaded TORCON Index

Many “it was the worst day of my life” stories begin with a weather event. I will never forget sitting with a client in an early April morning mediation several years ago when she received a call on her cell phone. She was...more

Remote Controlled: Keeping Trade Secrets Safe While Employees Work Remotely

One of the biggest challenges the cyber-security field faces today—aside from outright hacking—is the fact that employees’ data is increasingly portable. Data portability can be a major boon for employers. For instance, it...more

The spy who came in from the kitchen…

Offering workers the opportunity to work from home has many benefits for both the employee and employer, but it can bring challenges as well. One challenge is handling trade secrets, which are defined as any information that...more

Is Your Company Ready for the Millennial Shift?

With Boomers exiting and Millennials entering, significant shifts in the work environment are coming—along with shifting concerns for employers. Are you ready?...more

Patent Office Scandal Identifies Ongoing Need For Whistleblower Hotline Providers & Wage and Hour Training

Have you been following the recent scandal at the US Patent Office? It’s been an interesting case to watch. In late August, the Commerce Department sent a memo to 47,000 employees reminding them that “erroneous...more

BREAKING: 6th Circuit Will Rehear Ford Telecommuting/Reasonable Accommodation Case

Law 360 reports this morning that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has agreed to rehear the EEOC v. Ford Motor Co. case, which I reported on (and disagreed with) in April. The original decision, holding that...more

USPTO and "Telegate"

By now, we've all heard of the controversy regarding the lax oversight at the USPTO of examiners in the Office's Telework Program--what I'll unofficially dub as "Telegate." Now, the House Oversight and Government Reform...more

Russian Employment Law: Terms of Employment and Separation

Terms of Employment. Under Russia’s Labor Code, there is a maximum 40-hour work week for employees, and less than that for certain types of jobs and workers, such as for employees working in dangerous environments or...more

Keeping Up with the Times: Solving the I-9 Conundrum for Remote Employees

The impact that technology has on our everyday life is impressive. It touches us at work, home, and even while we’re on the road. And while technology has its disadvantages (you are always “on”), it also has its advantages:...more

Teleworker, Or Teleslacker? Here’s How Employers Can Tell The Difference.

Is the employee’s home worksite conducive to work? Does the employee have proper equipment, or does she have a Commodore 64 with dial-up modem, and a rotary phone? (If the latter, are you willing to provide her with a decent...more

Should telecommuting be a reasonable accommodation?

Increased use of telecommuting reflecting flexibility in the workplace has been the trajectory for many businesses, especially those in technology markets. Then Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer decided to take a very different stance...more

Employers May Now Have To Provide Employees With The Added Comfort Of Working From Home

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has put employers on notice that they may need to accommodate employees with disabilities by allowing them to work remotely from home, forcing employers to reconsider whether a physical...more

Quirky Question #232, We Can Require Our Employee To Work At The Office, Right?

Question: We are a medium-sized Minnesota employer. Our lead accountant recently spoke with our Director of Human Resources and requested to work from home several days a week due to a medical condition. We believe...more

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