Thanks Jasmine Comer . Indeed, it would be a discrimination protection (i.e., a freedom) for any eligible employee who is seeking to telecommute for any reason. Entry level, management, anyone -- if they are covered under standard Title VII legislation, they'd be eligible. Most notably, that excludes businesses with fewer than 15 employees.
How this all relates to a pilot under the Challenge would be to push a major local employer (at least one, but as many as possible) to trial a corporate policy in the spirit of the legislation -- allowing anyone to telecommute any or all the time, as long as they meet the conditions set by PORT. In doing so, Indy would end up with one of the world's largest (and certainly the most holistic) studies in telecommuting impact.
This is not how PORT works. It's also worth keeping in mind these are not new conditions or procedures for discrimination protection -- they already exist under Title VII, and specifically the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Deciding whether an employee or their job qualifies for protection is a well-established practice at this point.
If your core job functions cannot be performed away from the work site, or if it requires undue burden on the employer (i.e. unreasonable alterations to current business operations) in order to be performed away from the work site, your job would not qualify for the protection.
In the two examples you provided, it seems highly unlikely that the employee could perform the core functions of their job away from the work site. As with ADA, the employee could certainly make a request to telecommute -- and subsequently file a complaint or lawsuit if the request was denied -- but the burden is on the employee to prove discrimination occurred.
Title VII rights are empowerments that civilians can exercise; they are not actively monitored by law enforcement for compliance.
Thanks MaCie' Moore . I alluded to this in the budget/pilot section, but to clarify: the pilot and budget spent towards it would be the development of programming and education for Indy's local employers and workforce, in the spirit of the legislation but independent of it. In this way, it becomes a true pilot for the legislation: if focusing the resources and publicity of the Challenge leads to a significant increase in telecommuting adoption, then we can surmise the legislation may be unnecessary. If it doesn't, we know the legislation still needs to be pursued. Any employer who doesn't want to see this legislation passed would be incentivized to demonstrate during the pilot period that they have pursued telecommuting employment to the best of their ability, and have a solid business case to defend any lack of it.
Ghost employment is a felony committed by a specific employee; often someone solely in charge of payroll or budgets. If there are any Indiana employers using that code (Article 35-44.1-1-3) as a defense for not hiring remote workers, PORT would contend they are practicing discriminatory behavior. Refusing to hire a defined group of people because their traits make it easier for another employee to commit fraud wouldn't stand up in court under any established Title VII protection. Further, if we were to follow the logic of such an employer -- the argument that an employee you can't physically supervise presents other employees with greater opportunity to commit fraud -- they ought not to hire anyone who works in a separate building from their supervisor, or who travels regularly for work, or who works overtime when their supervisor isn't present, etc. The employer would have to prove that they only pay for work they can directly observe as it occurs.