Absence Matters: Can Employees Exist in Two States at Once?

Jai Hooker@Work

Can an Employee Exist in Two States at Once?

By Bridget Caswell, Director, Product Compliance and Statutory Administration, Sedgwick

Remote work is at an all-time high. Between 2019 and 2021, the number of people primarily working from home tripled from 9 million (5.7%) to 27.6 million (17.9%).1 And that change in working environment — which was unexpected for many, at least initially — poses unprecedented challenges for absence management professionals.

Take the case of Gloria, who works for ACME Party Planning (APP), a fictitious company, from her home in Tennessee. Her supervisor, Meredith, works from home in Vermont. APP has no physical company headquarters. So, what is Gloria’s work state?

The answer (unsurprisingly) is not simple. Generally, employment law dictates that the laws of the state in which the work is performed govern. And it’s important to know the applicable work state since each state has different laws and requirements regarding unemployment, workers’ compensation, payroll taxes, and other employment law issues.

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