Telecommuting — Employees Enter the Sharing Economy? (Part 2)


Last week we began delving into some of the many issues that the rise of telecommuting has caused employers to confront, ranging from jurisdictional questions to how to determine when remote employees are actually working and how to compensate them appropriately. With telecommuting employees, questions arise not only with how to track their normal working activities, but also whether other activities traditionally understood as non-compensable become compensable time because of the different nature of the employee’s job. Continue reading this entry

But We Need You to Work More Than 40 Hours This Week! Overtime and the Health Care Employer


Hospitals and other health care facilities often do not know exactly how many hours each week they may need nurses and other allied health staff to work. Other employees may get sick, have a baby, go on vacation, or patient censuses may spike. From the Emergency Department in a busy inner-city hospital to a burgeoning primary care practice in the suburbs, health care employers may need to request – or require – that employees work overtime. Continue reading this entry

Avoid Potential Traps When Updating Employment Terms in Your Key Documents


There is little debate that best practices for employers include periodically refreshing the company’s key employment documents like personnel policies, confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements. Quite often, there are similar provisions in several documents. Team members in different parts of the organization, such as human resources, the general counsel and members of a specific business unit, may make changes to key language. They may also make those changes at different times. Each of these factors can contribute to a risk of inconsistent or contradictory terms and the risk may not surface until a dispute about the terms in question arises. Courts will typically hold these kinds of inconsistencies and ambiguities against the employer. Continue reading this entry

Telecommuting - Employees Enter the Sharing Economy? (Part 1)


As onrushing technological changes continue to disrupt our society, the concepts of how we work and, more particularly, where we work, are not immune from that disruption. Forbes Magazine reports that 11 percent (8,000 employees) of Xerox’s employees now work remotely 100 percent of the time. At Aetna, as many as 43 percent of its employees telecommute (in some form) while 20,000 Dell employees telecommute. This sector of the workforce will only expand and, like many disruptive technological changes, will challenge how we measure, regulate, and compensate work, requiring reexamination of yardsticks developed when workers clocked in at a factory gate, took a mid-shift meal break, and traveled home at the end of the work day. Continue reading this entry

Avoiding Non-Enforcement of Non-Competes


The use of non-competition agreements to protect a company’s relationships and sensitive information is a relatively common practice. What can be less common, however, is careful use of non-competition agreements, with the potentially damaging consequence of making a non-compete unenforceable at a time when protection of business interests is critical. Continue reading this entry