By Karol Rose * Originally posted on Working Mother
Employers are often concerned about two kinds of risks regarding flexibility policies and practices – practical risks and legal risks. What could go wrong in implementing flexibility? Will I be sued? To protect against risk, it is imperative that risk managers and legal personnel understand a new area of the law directly related to flexibility.
Employers have been concerned about the risk that occurs when they offer flexibility. They worry, for example, about backlash from employees who do not have access to flexibility, or risks about security or injury from employees working remotely. But there's a disconnect between what employers worry about and what actually happens. In reality, the risk comes less from offering flexibility, than from implementing it in inappropriate ways.
By Sandy Burud
No doubt there is a powerful trend toward workplace flexibility. It is no longer a question of whether employers should make it possible, but how well they will do it. As if to emphasize that point, regulators have made it clear that employers cannot discriminate against employees because they have family responsibilities. They cannot, for example, hold people with child care or eldercare needs to stricter work schedules or pay people working part-time for family reasons less than others doing the same job on a full time basis.
In 2007 the EEOC issued guidelines guarding against this discrimination. Now, a number of key states have crafted legislation that would make it illegal. (New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Montana, New York and California, and others). This train is clearly moving.