Managing Remote Employees: Five Issues to Consider

Allowing employees to work from home can provide significant benefits for employers and employees. It can improve morale, reduce real estate and facility costs — office-620817_1280and even reduce traffic congestion and make the environment cleaner. However, when the appropriate oversight is lacking, fraud and abuse can result and wipe out many, if not all, of the benefits associated with a work-from-home program.

Before allowing employees to commute to desks within their homes, consider the following issues to minimize the risk and maximize the returns associated with a work-from-home-program:

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Working Virtually: The New Frontier in ADA Accommodation?

startup-593322_1280Sometime this year, a U.S. District Court in Detroit will dive back into the weeds to decide whether a particular job at Ford Motor Corporation could be done adequately by an employee working four days a week from home.  That’s the task it was given by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.  This court overruled a trial court’s initial rejection of a discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  The EEOC is the federal agency charged with enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act.  What constitutes a reasonable accommodation without placing an undue burden on the employer?  The answer is constantly evolving as the EEOC explores new theories and fact patterns.  (EEOC v. Ford, No. 12-2484).

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