Flex schedules: Do we have to offer to everyone? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Flex schedules: Do we have to offer to everyone?

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Q. We have 35 employees and two of them are struggling with serious family issues that make it hard for them to get to work on time. We’ve let them adjust their schedules. Now we have others who want to adjust their schedules to fit their kids’ sports activities and other events. Do we have to give schedule flexibility to all employees? — M.M., Indiana

A. The short answer is no. Depending on the particular circumstances, you may have an obligation under federal, state or local laws to provide flexible scheduling as an accommodation for an employee’s religious observances or for an employee’s disability. Otherwise, an employer generally is not required to provide flexible scheduling to its employees.

If you do choose to provide flexible scheduling to some employees and not to others, you’d better have a legitimate business reason for doing so. Be careful that the reason doesn’t discriminate on the basis of any protected characteristic or activity in deciding which employees will get flexible scheduling.

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