Working from home

I have a question....I have on several occasions work from home with my former supervisor on several occasions for different reasons and now other staff that get to do this as well. I have a new boss know and had a family emergency were I needed to work from home, There is no policy and now they don't want to pay me .... Is there any laws you can cite to protect me from this

1 answer  |  asked Jun 14, 2010 09:45 AM [EST]  |  applies to District of Columbia

Answers (1)

Stephen Chertkof
There is not enough information to give a clear answer. There is no general right to work at home or anywhere other than where the employer assigns you. (Sometimes work at home may be appropriate as an accommodation for a disability or some other legal right, but that does not appear to be the case here.)

Some employers have policies about working at home, or permit it in their discretion, but your question says there is no such policy. Your question implies that your current supervisor did not approve the change in work location, which works against you.

An employer should not offer this option (or any benefit) in a discriminatory fashion, e.g., permitting women but not men to work at home, although it may make distinctions based on job functions and other lawful criteria.
The fact that an employee was permitted to work at home at one time or under one supervisor does not create a right indefinitely into the future. However, it might be reasonable to rely on past practice until the employee receives notice of a change in practice.

On the other hand, there is a general rule that employees have to be paid for the work they do. So if you performed work (and proving this may be more difficult if you were at home), you should be paid for it. But if you worked at home without permission, the employer might be able to fire you for that act, even as it pays you for that unauthorized work location.

If you want to discuss your individual situation, please contact our office.

Stephen Chertkof
Heller, Huron, Chertkof, Lerner, Simon & Salzman
1730 M Street, NW #412
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 293-8090

posted by Stephen Chertkof  |  Jun 14, 2010 3:43 PM [EST]

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