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Showing 4 posts in Telecommuting.

Sixth Circuit Vacates Decision On Telecommuting Accommodation

In May, we wrote about the Sixth Circuit’s interesting decision in Equal Opportunity Commission v. Ford Motor Co., wherein the Court expanded the instances in which a telecommuting arrangement would be considered a reasonable accommodation for disabled employees in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).[1] More >

The Sixth Circuit Broadens Telecommuting as a Reasonable Accommodation For Disabled Employees

In a new decision involving the Ford Motor Company handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Court has expanded the instances in which a telecommuting arrangement would be considered a reasonable accommodation for disabled employees in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).[1] In Ford Motor Company, Jane Harris, who worked in a supply purchasing position, was terminated from her position after she asked to perform her job primarily via telecommunication in an attempt to control her unfortunate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. There was no dispute that she possessed a disability affecting a major life activity. So the discussion revolved around whether she could do her job via telecommuting and whether Ford’s proposed alternative accommodations were acceptable. Ford denied the request for telecommuting even though it did allow those in positions such as Harris to work from home on a limited basis. According to Ford, Jane’s physical presence at the workplace was critical to the group dynamic of the resale-buyer team and thus her request was unreasonable. The district court sided with Ford, granting the employer summary judgment as to claims of failure-to-accommodate under the ADA and retaliation. The question on appeal was whether Harris created sufficient questions of fact for her case to be allowed to proceed. The Sixth Circuit agreed that Harris did present sufficient questions of fact for her claim to be considered and in so doing appeared to send a message to employers that they need to be more flexible in considering telecommunication as a reasonable accommodation.

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Telecommuting—No Longer the Way of the Future?

Marissa Mayer is making news. She may also be single-handedly changing employer policies across the country.    As Yahoo’s new CEO, Mayer already made headlines as the youngest female CEO in a Fortune 500 company. But now she is becoming known for what she does and not just who she is. Mayer recently instituted a ban on telecommuting for all Yahoo employees.  The decision was a massive shock to company employees who routinely worked from remote locations. After all, it seems paradoxical that a tech giant like Yahoo requires employees to be physically present in the office for work when technology permits otherwise. More >

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