New Legal Challenges Face Those Hiring, Retaining Remote Workforce

In today’s largely remote work environment, companies face additional legal challenges in hiring and retaining top talent. Many hiring managers and supervisors have adjusted their application processes, with many conducting interviews and extending offers remotely.

There are numerous HR and employee morale policies and issues that also affect retention and having an effective workforce, according to Kelly Holden, DBL Law Employment Law practice group leader. “The I-9 process is entirely different if there are no in-person meetings. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued guidelines addressing remote workers and how to check documents. There are also issues with how to train and orient workers remotely to ensure they receive the same type of orientation they would in person, including receiving a copy of the employee handbook.”

Wage and hour laws still apply with keeping track of hours for hourly workers and paying overtime. “If an employer is hiring a salaried worker and they fall into the executive (managerial) exemption, they must supervise the equivalent of two or more full-time workers and this is more challenging in a remote work environment,” Kelly remarked, adding, “There can still be worker’s compensation issues that apply to remote workers as well as Title VII, ADA, ADEA and all anti-discrimination laws.” This new environment adds a layer of complexity to already complex and ever-changing employment laws.