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Should My Employer Allow Me to Telecommute?

With today’s technology, it seems that employees are able to work practically anywhere and at any time. Indeed, many Fortune 500 companies have adopted this more flexible approach to employment styles, known as telecommuting, often making life quite a bit easier for their employees. Does your California employer offer you the ability to work for home? If not, you may be wondering if he or she is breaking the law. Are California employers required to do, at least this in certain situations? Not surprisingly, the answer depends on the specific facts surrounding your employment, which an experienced employment attorney can discuss with you.

What does it mean to telecommute?

Telecommuting is often called a few things, including remote work, or telework, and involves is a work arrangement in which employees do not commute to a central place of work. A person who telecommutes is known as a “telecommuter”, “teleworker”, and sometimes as a “home-sourced,” or “work-at-home” employee.

When must an Orange County employer allow an employee to work at home or “telecommute” due to a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

Generally speaking, if an employee is suffering from a disability and it makes reasonable sense for the employee to telecommute, you may have a cause of action against your employer if he refuses to accommodate your medical disability. Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency of the United States Government that enforces the federal employment discrimination laws, had a few things to say about whether your employer needs to allow you to telecommute.  From the EEOC’s perspective, allowing an employee to telecommute is a reasonable accommodation (even if your company does not have a telecommuting policy). Of course, the issue now turns on determining whether telecommuting is reasonable under the circumstances.

According to the EEOC, employers need to consider several factors when determining whether telecommuting is a reasonable accommodation for a disability. For more information on whether telecommuting is a reasonable accommodation, contact the experienced Orange County employment lawyers at Hardin & Associates today.