On January 11, 2021, Nick Reiter was quoted in HR Dive on what compliance professionals can expect in 2021. As the year unfolds, the coronavirus will continue to drive new or changing laws and regulations, Reiter said in an interview. Additionally, the virus will keep employers busy as they attempt to remain within existing legal boundaries while dealing with the evolving pandemic.
In 2021, employers may begin to discover the lasting effects of widespread telecommuting born in 2020. "A lot of my clients are saying, 'well, what happens when it's safe to come back to work and employees don't want to?'" Reiter said. "'What can we do? What can we say?'"
Employees don't have a right to remote work when it's safe to be in the workplace, though there are a few exceptions to that rule, Reiter noted. An employee may need access to remote work as an accommodation for a disability, for instance.
Some jobs lend themselves to telecommuting better than others, creating a fact issue for courts to navigate when litigation emerges. "It's going to be a lot harder for employers to win that issue if during the last nine to 12 months of the pandemic that employee has been performing his or her job at a reasonable level from home," Reiter said.
Employers can anticipate this tension by creating agreements with workers that "establish the fact that this is a temporary, once-in-a-century situation," Reiter said.
Click here to access the article.