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Posted June 24th, 2013 in Legal Insights with Tags , , , , , , , ,

Shifting Towards a New Era of Workplace Flexibility

In the modern workplace, flexibility in workplace hours, sick time and paid time off is quickly becoming the norm rather than a perk. Despite the occasional flashpoint from companies like Yahoo, the trend towards flexibility seems to be a trend on both sides of the HR desk, thanks in part to blue-chip companies like Google that are paving the way in progressive flextime policies, and to technologies that make us never far from “work,” no matter our physical location. According to labor and employment attorney David James at Nilan Johnson Lewis, employee flex-time policies may look very different in 20 years than they do today, whether by internal policy or law. “There has been a very visible change in expectations over the past five years,” said James. “More companies are going to a ‘catch-all’ PTO policy, and we might see a day in the not-too-distant future when many companies do away with flex time completely and evaluate employee performance based on quality and quantity without regard for attendance at all.” He points to recent legislation introduced in Congress that aim to provide more employee protections and flexibility, such as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the Working Families Flexibility Act, as recent moves in this direction. State and local legislation also are assisting with the shift in mindset. Minnesota, for example, recently expanded the rights of employees to care for a sick family member. Meanwhile, the New York City Council just approved a bill that will require many businesses to offer paid sick time to employees.

Contact David James at 612-305-7573 or

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