A new law gives Vermont employees the right to request "a  flexible work arrangement" for any reason and requires the employer to consider such a request "at least twice per calendar year."

A "flexible work arrangement" is defined as "intermediate or long-term changes in the employee’s regular working arrangements, including changes in the number of days or hours worked, changes in the time the employee arrives at or departs from work, work from home, or job-sharing."

When given a request, the employer must discuss it in good faith with the employee, an interactive dialogue of sorts. The employer must grant the request if it is "not inconsistent with business operations or its legal or contractual obligations,"  a term somewhat akin to "undue hardship."  The law list eight reasons a request might be "inconsistent with business operations." They include that the flexible schedule would result in additional costs or in an inability to reorganize work among existing staff, or have a detrimental effect on "aggregate employee morale,"  on the employer’s ability to meet consumer demand, or on "business quality  or business performance."

 The law is part of an equal pay law, which amends the state’s equal pay law and also gives employees the right to take unpaid leave to attend his or her town meeting if it would not conflict with "the essential operation" of the employer’s  business.

For additional information concerning this law, click here.