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Set Rules Can Smooth the Path for Telecommuters — and Their Bosses

7.24.15

Rosemary Gousman was quoted in NJ Biz on July 24, 2015. The article “Set Rules Can Smooth the Path for Telecommuters — and Their Bosses” discussed how New Jersey, one of the Top 10 states for working from home, has helped make the benefits of telecommuting astoundingly clear: increased flexibility and productivity, and reduced stress and costs.

Rosemary was quoted on why employers should carefully consider the variables and risks at hand before offering this benefit to their employees.

For example, did you know that if an employee injures himself while working at home, his employer may be held liable?

“Under OSHA law, employers have a duty to protect their employees whether or not they are on their worksite,” Rosemary said. “If there is an accident while they are working, employers could be subject to questioning.”

“As much as an employee may want to telecommute because of child care issues, working at home is not designed to replace child care,” she said. “Employers need to make that clear to employees as part of a telecommuting agreement. Schedules may of course be modified, but if you’re working from home, you’re supposed to be doing job-related work.”

“You want to make sure that the employee is accessible even if they are at home,” she said.

Finally, employers should address overtime restrictions for their non-exempt, telecommuting employees. Rosemary suggested that any additional hours be approved prior to by a supervisor and to install and require that employees use time-tracking programs.

“It’s then suggested to have a trial period to see if the arrangement fits both the employee and the job,” she said.

“If someone is a good, self-motivated employee and the job lends itself to telecommuting, generally, there aren’t any issues,” she said.

To read the full article, please visit NJ Biz.

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