Article Review - Compensation/Benefits Issue - MGT 431

Essay by kymberly76University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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It is no secret that telecommuting has quickly become one of the fastest growing trends in the business world today. Some of the country's largest employers, such as IBM, Microsoft, and Edward Jones have chosen to exploit the benefits and reap the savings of telecommuting in employee recruitment and retention costs. IBM announced a $700 million savings in property costs last October, after trusting a quarter of its 320,000 employees to work from home (Walmesly 25). Sitting at home in one's pajamas, bashing away at the computer at 8am instead of fighting the morning commute certainly has some appeal. However, a recent New York case involving a claim for unemployment benefits illustrates how telecommuting requires that the court system apply unprecedented rulings to this relatively new form of employment (Duff 25). This paper will review the article "Telecommuters Face Own Set of Legal Issues," written by Timothy Duff, which describes this telecommuting court case, and how companies today can avoid exposing themselves to the legal risks of this common new trend.

In this case, a company in New York allowed an employee to telecommute from her home in Florida. The employer recently offered this employee a position in New York, consequently ending the telecommuting relationship. The employment relationship ended when she turned down the offer and chose to file for unemployment benefits in the state of New York. When her claim was denied, a legal battle began between the employer in New York and the former employee's attorney. Ultimately, the highest court in New York found the employee ineligible for unemployment benefits in New York since she was not physically present in New York when she worked for her employer. The court also stated that the writers of the unemployment compensation rules had not "envisioned a world of interstate...