Lobel, Orly


The shift to widespread remote work in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated changes to the labor market, including flexibility of time, place, and nature of traditional office jobs, and a steep rise in gig economy work. As vaccines became available and employers began to require their employees to return to in-person work, many employees instead chose to move to jobs with more competitive pay, more flexibility, and better remote work options. Now, law and policy must evolve to address this changing labor market, including the uncertainties and risks created by remote work. This Article identifies inequities that have deepened with the availability of remote work and calls for systems to better support work-life balance and worker mobility, and to protect both gig workers and employees whose jobs do not lend themselves to working remotely. Post-pandemic labor policy must also address the portability of benefits for employees and independent contractors, as well as the issues employers face when their remote employees work across state lines. Following the Great Resignation, heightened workforce insecurity and mobility presents new risks and opportunities for both employers and workers, yet measured policy reforms in response to the new labor landscape are needed to maximize human capital and social welfare.

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