Is the “Virtual Workplace” — where employees can telecommute from home or merely check e-mail via a smartphone — a dangerous place for employers?

No. At least not any more so than the brick and mortar one. Sure there are risks to manage, but employers are used to managing those types of situations all the time.

But just because the virtual workplace isn’t dangerous, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a landline or two to avoid.

Is this the ideal virtual workplace?

Fortunately, an article this week in the Connecticut Law Tribune Labor & Employment Law Supplement written by a former colleague of mine, Beverly Garofalo, does a pretty good job at summarizing what some of those land mines are.

Among the topics to look at:

  • Avoiding discrimination claims
  • Dealing with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Complying with wage and hour rules and regulations
  • Workplace injuries — even in the virtual world
  • Applying the FMLA to working from home

I’ve touched on the subject of telecommuting in the past – but not recently.  Employers seem to have adapted to the changes in many respects.

The state continues to have a website devoted to telecommuting too.  But don’t look for it on the Department of Labor site.  Instead, you’ll find it in the Department of Transportation.  Why it’s a transportation issue instead of workplace/labor one is something I questioned way back in 2007. Four years later, it’s still at the DOT.  Go figure.