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Adrift, Yet Connected

Some estimates have upwards of 10 million Americans living abroad; three-fifths of them are working in some fashion, according to a 2017 survey by the expatriate support organization InterNations. And even if a much smaller number are working for US employers, a substantial portion have spent much of 2020 navigating the challenges of visa, benefits, taxes and work status. Beyond that, the challenges that come along with remote work—Zoom fatigue, balancing caregiver roles with job tasks and more—are exacerbated by working across a long stretch of time zones. In a recent article by Evolve, McDermott partner Brian Cousin outlines the importance of employers staying engaged with their employees working abroad—and staying on top of shifting employment circumstances and restrictions. Access the article.

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UK Tax Perspective on Expatriates Working Abroad

UK employees "working from anywhere" face fines or investigations from foreign tax authorities if they stay too long, become a resident in a foreign country for tax purposes and fail to declare their UK incomes. In some cases, they could also be hit with double taxation on the same earnings. In a recent article in The Daily Telegraph, McDermott partner Simon Goldring advises employees to consider the tax implications of extended "work from home" abroad. Access the article.

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Dress Code Policies Reconsidered in the Pandemic

Employers are contending with how to respond to telecommuters dressing down during the pandemic. Companies also are considering how to ensure dress codes don't unlawfully discriminate or violate National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) rights. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, McDermott Employment associate Philip Shecter advises employers to be mindful of these rights, which may arise in the context of attire in favor of social justice movements. Access the article.

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DOL Provides Guidance on Tracking Telecommuters’ Work Hours

Employers must use reasonable diligence in tracking nonexempt telecommuters' work hours and may do this by providing a reporting procedure for unscheduled time, the US Department of Labor (DOL) stated in August 24 guidance. The workers then must be compensated for all reported work hours, even those not requested by the employer. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, McDermott partner Ellen Bronchetti explained that employers should have policies that prohibit working off the clock. "If an employer has an expectation that an employee was working from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and the employee works later at night responding to emails, that could lead to wage and hour liability." Access the article.

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