Telecommuting Gives Way to Lawsuits over Comp, Expenses

December 15, 2006 ( - The swelling numbers of telecommuters over the past few years has also meant an increasing number of claims filed by these at-home workers over pay and unpaid professional expenses.

An article in The National Law Journal says that one of the most recent suits was brought by telecommuters at Cigna Healthcare of California Inc., claiming that the company denied a group of home-based medical processors overtime, severance pay and compensation for mileage for traveling to mandatory meetings.

The Cigna case alleges that the firm violated the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as the California wage and hour laws, but the company has yet to file a response.

Similar cases involving pharmaceutical sales representatives, insurance employees and technology workers have been filed in California and other states such as Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and New York have also seen cases involving the telecommuter claims, according to the publication.

One recent survey found that 67% of human resource managers predict that telecommuting will increase over the next few years (See Telecommuting May Soon Become a Standard in the Workplace ).The ranks of full-time telecommuters in the United States increased from 8.8 million in 2003 to 12.4 million in 2004, WorldatWork, a professional society and research organization for human resources professionals, found, according to the Law Journal.