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Jurisdictional Challenges in the Age of Remote Work

With remote work becoming more common due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are facing challenges in determining where legal proceedings should occur if an employment dispute arises. To handle this new territory, lawyers must think innovatively and consider state and federal laws, preference of forum clauses, and emerging legal precedents.  Resolving disputes efficiently and fairly while taking the remote work landscape into account is a complex challenge that requires careful consideration.

Personal jurisdiction refers to the court’s authority over the parties to an action as is required to render a judgment. In other words, a court must have personal jurisdiction in order to render a judgment against a defendant. A court without personal jurisdiction over the defendant is without authority to hear the dispute, and if the court proceeds to hear such an action, its judgment is invalid and voidable.

As one can expect, the rise of remote work has complicated matters surrounding personal jurisdiction.  In the context of labor and employment matters, there are various factors to determine jurisdiction, including but not limited to the location of the employee, the company’s location, the amount of contact the remote employee has with the forum state, and the governing law specified in the employment contract, etc.  These factors play a crucial role in shaping the outcome of disputes related to worker classification, wage and hour violations, and contractual agreements.  When California-based companies hire domestic or international remote workers, it’s crucial to ensure these employees receive essential employment rights and protections while considering the jurisdictional differences.  It is important for companies to consider the compatibility between labor and employment laws in other states and California’s legal framework. It is essential for companies to identify the relevant laws that govern minimum wage, working hours, overtime pay, and worker classification standards. Compliance with these laws is crucial to ensure that the company operates within the legal framework and avoids any potential legal issues.

Chauvel & Glatt is your go-to source for expert advice on navigating labor and employment matters as your business incorporates the latest technology and scale operations across different locations. As remote work continues to become more popular, determining the correct legal jurisdiction can be difficult.  We offer valuable guidance on creating remote work agreements and navigating this intricate issue. Trust us to help your business stay on top of the latest developments in this constantly evolving landscape.

The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500.


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