As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many people are still working from home. This arrangement raises important questions. May employees take advantage of tax breaks related to having a home office? Must the employer pay for the expenses of setting up a workspace at the employee’s home? What related information should employers and employees be aware of? Workers may be able to obtain tax deductions or tax-free reimbursements from their employer due to working at home, but they have to meet specific requirements as follows.
COVID-19 has made working from home commonplace, with many identifiable benefits from operating with a mostly remote workforce. Since COVID-19 relegated workers across America to home offices, nonprofit and other employers have realized significant costs savings with a smaller office footprint and also greater opportunities for attracting top-tier job candidates outside their ordinary geographical reach. Such benefits may transform remote work from a temporary solution, to address for workers’ health and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, into predominantly more long-term remote work arrangements.
When does a government restriction burden congregants’ religious liberty too much, therefore becoming illegal and unenforceable under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)? On October 9, 2020, a D.C. federal trial court granted injunctive relief to a church against the D.C. Mayor, in Capitol Hill Baptist Church v. Bowser (Case No. 20-cv-02710). According to this important ruling, government restrictions on in-person gatherings should fail if unevenly enforced against houses of worship acting responsibly and in accordance with their sincerely held doctrinal beliefs.