Policies For Reopening and Remote Work Forces

The pandemic has created a lot of challenges for both employers and their workforces. Many (but not all) jurisdictions have begun reopening their offices; even more have embraced an enhanced role for a remote workforce.  To discuss what legal obligations this brings for employers, SIIA’s General Counsel, Chris Mohr, sat down (virtually) on July 1st with Karen Vladeck, a partner at Wittliff | Cutter PLLC and expert on employment law. 

Their conversation addressed three key questions:

  • Does the CARES act as extended leave, and what does that mean for my business? 
  • What are the key employer considerations around reopening safely? 
  • What legal considerations surround transitioning to a remote workforce?

Some key takeaways from their discussion:

  • Follow your local rules and advisories.
  • Have a written return to work plan.
  • Be sure that all your employees are on the same page re: expectations about being inside the
  • Pay careful attention to wage and hour requirements when people are remote—remember you
    have the burden of proof.
  • ADA accommodations apply to the remote workforce.
  • Understand CARES requirements for sick leave and family leave, and be sure than any leave
    allowances that you have are equally applied.

Watch the full recording of their conversation here:


Karen Vladeck
Partner, Wittliff | Cutter PLLC

Karen represents corporate, start-up and non-profit clients in the resolution of disputes pending before the EEOC, state employment agencies and state and federal court. She has extensive practice defending employers against claims involving Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the FLSA and the False Claims Act. Karen also counsels clients to seamlessly accomplish the on-boarding and termination of employees, reductions in force (RIFs), the development of employee handbooks and policies, resolution of medical and disability leave issues, conducting internal investigations and compliance with state and federal wage statutes, among other issues. She also represents individual clients seeking advice on employment and severance agreements. Karen has worked with clients across an array of industries, including hospitality, fashion and luxury goods, higher education, real estate, sports, insurance, television, technology startups, trade associations and non-profits.

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