Legal Issues While Working from Home

Since the Covid-19 Pandemic, many workers have begun telecommuting to work. You may have had to sign new agreements, adhere to new policies, but what are your rights? 

1. Can my employer apply different Work-From-Home Policies to different employees?

First, you want to check if you are being treated differently. If you are, is there a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason you are not allowed to work from home? If not, contact us today to see if we can help you navigate this new landscape.

If you were terminated or disciplined for requesting work from home due to a disability or related to the Covid-19 Pandemic, we may be able to help. 

2. Can my employer Monitor my Productivity and Communications without my consent? 

The answer is mostly yes. So long as your employer's policies are consistent with online productivity monitoring, they may be able to monitor your communications and productivity. Generally, your employer can monitor your work email systems, so long as there is a valid business purpose for doing so and employees do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in using the employer’s system.

Have you been terminated, disciplined or had your pay cut because of wrongful employer monitoring? You can contact our team to see if we can help. 

3. Do I get paid for overtime hours while working from home? 

The laws on overtime have not changed, although you may be seeing more and more violations. Employees must still be paid for all time worked when working from home, including overtime, the same as if they were working in person. Your employer may restrict at-home employees from working overtime, but must pay all overtime that is worked.

Contact us today if you believe you are owed overtime compensation. 

At-Will Employment: Myths and Misconceptions

You have maybe heard the line that in an at-will employment state like Tennessee, "you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all." Truthfully, there are many, many exceptions to at-will employment, so it may just be that line does not apply to you or your situation. 

For example, you cannot be fired or face adverse employment action in retaliation for a good-faith workplace complaint to OSHA or the EEOC or even for filing a workers' compensation claim. You cannot be fired or face adverse employment action on the basis of your race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin or disability. Your employer also cannot terminate your employment for taking leave under FMLA. 

A growing area of concern in Tennessee is being fired or demoted or discriminated against for union activities. Under federal law, you have the right to lead, form, join, or assist a union and cannot be fired for engaging in unionization. If you suspect you have been fired for engaging in union activities, even if your employer gave you a different reason, please contact The Heisserer Firm. 

Oftentimes, your employer will give you a benign reason for termination or adverse employment action such as low performance. However, your employer may be giving you a pretextual reason for termination, and if you suspect the genuine reason is something other than the given reason, contact our team so that we can evaluate it. 

It's important to check with an experienced attorney to help you consider all of your options. Your case is unique and may differ from your friend or family member's case or even your co-worker's case. 

your case is unique.

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