McGuireWoods’ Adam Simons Quoted on COVID-19 Reimbursement Policies

July 15, 2020

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted McGuireWoods Baltimore associate Adam Simons in a June 29, 2020, story on reimbursable expenses for remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The story focuses on Pennsylvania workers, who under state law are not entitled to reimbursements from employers for work-related expenses incurred while doing their jobs from home.

One of the only means for Pennsylvania workers to recoup out-of-pocket home-office expenses is to claim them when filing their state taxes, the newspaper reported. With a second wave of coronavirus anticipated in the fall or winter, Simons said, “If an employer doesn’t have a reimbursement policy spelled out, now is the time to look at this.”

Despite states reopening, some employees say they feel safer working remotely, but according to Simons, “In the absence of a statutory provision or executive order, there’s probably not much that would stand in the way of an employer calling employees back in.”

Simons, a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Department, said state reopening guidelines and individual company contracts could be obstacles, but legally the issue would have to be resolved on a case-by-case basis.

“You have employees who don’t want to come back to work, whether they’re fearful or have an underlying health risk,” Simons said. “There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for that.”