It Was Friday the 13th

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Do you remember where you were the day the office went away?

Four months have passed since the modern office vanished. It was Friday, March 13, 2020. Like any good scene in a scary movie, it happened quickly – with little warning – though there were whispers here and there.

If you were a train commuter back then, you cautiously boarded on Monday, March 9, aware that the formerly acceptable sardine-like configuration of human bodies was not smart, but unaware that it was the last week you would be inside another man’s armpit.

If you were a music lover, you might have caught a live show, aware that nobody coughed between sets, but unaware that the venue would shutter in days and, perhaps, never reopen.

If you were a proud working parent who finally “had it all” – thanks to a mixture of some planning, much outsourcing, and a whole lot of luck – you were slightly annoyed by the talk of a school closure, but never imagined that a pushed-up spring break would become … summer.

Yes, the world is different in July than it was in March. And if you are an employer, your team is living with you in that world. Some are terrified. Others are lonely. A couple feel just fine (they tend not to have children at home). The minute #togetherapart started trending, the office changed forever. For many sectors, what was once a perk became a necessity. For other sectors, what was once a job became an essential service. We were no longer navigating a discussion over flexible work policies, #MeToo, and work-life balance. Like the 2020 primary, the hot topics lost their heat. What matters now? Two things: COVID-19 and how you respond.

The Brave New Remote World is here.

This blog will analyze the remote employer. We’ll look at trends, challenges, liabilities, and opportunities. We’ll study issues like safety, privacy, morale, and organization, and tackle the legal implications of this new world, including ADA accommodation, FLSA wage and hour, and, yes, #MeToo – unfortunately, sexual harassment exists on the internet.

Whether you were a remote employer in pre-COVID days or are just getting started, we hope you’ll follow along.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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