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Young NYers Prioritize living-wage jobs at the ballot box; Community action agencies celebrate 60 years, renew calls to battle poverty; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Tug-of-war for more access to IL streams continues.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell regarding conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Indiana's Tug-of-War: Work Remotely, or Head Back to Office?

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Monday, July 17, 2023   

About one in three Indiana workers now works remotely, according to the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University, and some companies are growing frustrated with those who refuse to come back to the office.

Some businesses are offering incentives such as a relaxed dress code, onsite dry-cleaning service, or free meals. But workers are not biting; not even for a hybrid schedule. Managers concerned about morale and productivity are exploring their legal options.

Kenneth Dau-Schmidt, employment law professor at Indiana University, said the question is whether companies will get the same employees to do the jobs.

"This is bound to a negotiation between the employer and the employee, and it depends on how much the employer wants the employees to be there, and how much the employees would rather look for a different job," Dau-Schmidt explained. "There's no legal obligation on the part of the employer to allow employees to work from home."

Information technology, health care, education, sales and human services are Indiana's top remote work industries, according to the job watchdog site "Virtual Vocations." And Forbes Advisor magazine ranks Indianapolis as second among 100 U.S. cities as the best for remote workers, citing low cost of living and an abundance of good Wi-Fi spots as factors.

Business Insider reports top companies like Amazon, Apple, Salesforce and Twitter all are facing backlash from employees who want to continue their work-from-home status. As a last resort, some employers are threatening to fire those who resist the back-to-office mandates.

In response, some workers have quit, while others wonder if they have any rights in this tug-of-war. Dau-Schmidt said not really.

"If you are an employee at will, which is what the vast majority of American employees are, the employer can change those terms and conditions of employment whenever they want to," Dau-Schmidt pointed out. "Your choice is to either stay and continue to work under the new working conditions, or to go find another job."

He noted companies insisting their people work at the office are simply going to lose out on some good employees. The greater flexibility, time and money saved on commuting, and fewer childcare costs are the common reasons staffers prefer remote work.


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