Use telecommuters? Defuse 5 main lawsuit threats

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employee Benefits Program,Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Telecommuting is popular with employers and employees. Com-panies with telecommuting programs can realize productivity gains, im-proved morale, lower office space rent and reduced absenteeism.

But you'll also face unique legal risks. And because the trend is still evolving, employment laws surrounding the issue are still playing catch-up.

Latest legal twist: When a tele-commuting employee works in Florida and her company's office is in New York, where should she be entitled to receive unemployment compensation benefits if she loses her job?

Until this summer, no court had addressed this issue. But New York state's highest court ruled that eligibility depends on where the worker is located, not the company. It remains to be seen whether other courts will adopt the New York rule in unemployment compensation cases, or with other state-provided benefits, such as workers' comp and short-term disability benefits.

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