Remote Workforces

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Is your company stuck in reactive mode when it comes to remote and flexible work issues? From deciding the right approach for your organization, to bringing remote workers back, you need a proactive strategy that addresses the legal perspective alongside the potential impacts to your business model—now and in the future.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution ushered in a workplace shift toward greater flexibility powered by technology, and a push for greater flexibility to create inclusive and healthy work environments for all workers.  In 2020, these changes took on a sense of urgency as physical distancing became the norm for workplaces. While many were prepared for the sudden shift, many more were left scrambling to better understand how to navigate the multitude of options, risks, and benefits that come with remote workers. This will have a long-term impact on businesses across many industries. Whether you're ready to implement a long-term strategy, or need help reacting to unprecedented circumstances, we can help. 


Our attorneys have been at the forefront of remote work issues and best practices in flexible work well before the break of COVID-19, assessing trends, legislation, and risks associated with remote workforces. When clients engage with us, they can expect to receive customized counsel and advice in everything from the initial establishment of remote work protocols, to the creation of policies and training, and the mitigation of risks, all based on an assessment of  their business needs and obstacles facing them. Our strategies and solutions are dictated by each client’s specific needs based on workforce size, location of operations, global considerations, and overall scope of remote workforce—whether partially or fully remote. We also help evaluate various flexible work solutions in addition to location of work.


In 2020, our head start on remote and flexible work issues was brought to bear as we guided our clients through a complete or partial  reorientation of the way they manage their workforces and the way that employees do their work. Throughout this turbulent shift, we have counseled clients on how to move away from physical workspaces without disruption to their businesses, and how to think about returning to work as shelter-in-place orders relax. Now we are seeing an uptick in those who are seeking to “make it work” with a remote workforce on a longer term or even permanent basis. As some employers consider ongoing work-from-home arrangements, our counselors have been advising on best practices, protocols, and policies to implement across their businesses.

For those considering a future that includes remote work, Seyfarth offers the virtues of a truly full-service firm, as the related issues do not exist in an employment law vacuum. Privacy, real estate, commercial, benefits, and liability concerns are all in play. Ours is a holistic approach with a practical bent that takes into account business’ risk tolerances, regulatory changes, and litigation threats on the horizon. Indeed, we are already paying close attention to what claims are being filed by the plaintiffs’ bar in connection with remote working, and we are advising and arming our clients with strategies accordingly.

Additionally, with the formation of our COVID-19 Task Force this year, we have been able to leverage the knowledge of a cross-disciplinary team to advise clients on short-term responses and long-term strategies for dealing with the challenges and opportunities related to remote work due to the pandemic. The Task Force has been central to our ability to share timely and critical information with clients from industry, practice, location, and regional perspectives, and help them resolve the issues with thoughtful solutions.


Advisory Services. We advise clients on every aspect of how they manage, oversee, protect, and develop their remote workforce. Our attorneys will work with you to ensure that your policies are compliant and thorough, and help you address issues you may not have had to consider in the past—such as assessing which employees to work remotely, what equipment they will need, how they are paid and reimbursed, setting work hours and tracking them, and how your managers are equipped to manage people, not “face time.” Our services in this area include:

  • Remote and flexible worker policies and handbooks
  • Wage hour and payroll considerations
  • Hiring, onboarding, off boarding, and returning remote workers
  • Tax considerations and implications due to remote worker locations
  • Workplace safety, OSHA, and CALOSHA
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Training for managers through our subsidiary Seyfarth at Work

Risk Mitigation. Not only can we help you establish compliant procedures and protocols, we are also here to work with you to renegotiate, mediate, and litigate when needed. Unique risks related to remote workforces range from privacy and security risks, to navigating discrimination, harassment, and workplace accommodations claims. We can help you revise processes for handling everything from remote investigations and performance management to renegotiating contracts or walk-away from existing office-space leases. Our services in this area include: 

  • Privacy and security
  • International employment laws
  • NLRA considerations
  • Selection of remote employees
  • Reasonable accommodations and ADA Title III
  • Intellectual property
  • Business equipment and expenses
  • Harassment and discrimination claims
  • Real estate leases and office space
  • Remote HR: investigations and performance management


Seyfarth Scout. We offer forensic software workflow tool for remote digital forensics, eDiscovery, and investigations that collects data for high-priority triage. For a predictable flat fee, Seyfarth Scout focuses on the most critical and relevant data artifacts while avoiding the need to capture a full forensic image. This avoids on-site forensic consultant visits or shipping hardware back and forth through common carrier. Learn More. 

Managing for Success in the Work-From-Home Era. Managers with primarily on-site supervisory experience often encounter pronounced skill gaps relative to managing remote employees. Effectively supervising remote teams requires new skills and practices. Seyfarth at Work’s interactive and practical Managing with Success in the Work-From-Home Era course provides a critical set of tools and strategies for all those in roles of authority. Learn More. 

SAFE RETURN: COVID-19 Return to Work Training. With millions of employees returning to worksites across the country, providing practical training and guidance on how to protect co-workers and others is rapidly becoming a critical necessity, given the potential reach and impact of COVID-19. Seyfarth at Work has launched a holistic, comprehensive eLearning solution to assist organizations across industries, as they re-open physical sites and facilities. Learn More.