In late February 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised businesses to start preparing for the spread of COVID-19, specifically by transitioning to telework. Companies that did not have a standard remote work policy in place had to quickly develop, test and deploy telework procedures. For many employers, beginning the daily operations of a totally remote workforce amid a pandemic and a pending economic recession had its challenges, including adherence to compliance protocols.
HR departments had to figure out how to fulfill notice posting requirements, for example. And, although HR leaders did not have the same visibility as in a typical office environment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requirements remained to uphold federal anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Meanwhile, questions remained on how to review employees’ identity and employment authorization documents in person to meet U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requirements.
Companies with employee productivity and security concerns also had to decide whether or not to use monitoring technologies. Some may consider the practice intrusive, but it’s very common, according to Fred Cate, senior fellow at the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research at Indiana University. "I would be surprised if there's no monitoring," Cate told HR Dive in a previous interview. How much work employees perform while working from home, the use of intellectual properties and log-on and log-off times are reviewed by employers, he said.
HR Dive produced the following reports exploring the compliance challenges that companies faced.