Running on very little information here, but I have heard that it is illegal to offer remote opportunities to some employees and deny it to others.

I understand there are going to be some situations where this does not work.. IE desk work vs manufacturing.. and all sorts of other catches.. my question is for 2x people doing the same work. Can one be allowed and other denied, legally?

Can anyone provide any specific laws or cases that back this up?

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    It's illegal where, exactly? This sounds like a question for a local law expert. – AndreiROM May 19 '16 at 15:16
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    Fairly certain a boss can set whatever rules he/she likes in a situation such as this. Only real law, at least in the US, is they can't limit or force you to work from home for reasons listed in the EEO. Basically they can't say "well you're a woman, you can't work from home". At least from my understanding. – New-To-IT May 19 '16 at 15:18
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    Hopefully there is nowhere on this wretched planet with such a ridiculous regulation. – Spehro Pefhany May 19 '16 at 15:22
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    There are a variety of reasons why a manager/company would disallow certain individuals from working remotely. Some people need supervision, others don't. Some projects require on-site contact, others don't. The list goes on. – Chris E May 19 '16 at 15:32
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    The real question is did you specifically ask your manager why some folks are allowed and others not? I would imagine if you asked your boss he would give a very specific reason and based on that reason you should make a determination if it breaks your local laws. – Dan May 19 '16 at 18:44

You do not generally have to give benefits equally to all people. The ability to work from home is a privilege not a right. It may be granted only to those who are high performers or senior or only to those with a personal situation requiring them to work from home such as a cancer patient with a compromised immune system. It may be by job category (it is hard for the receptionist to work from home!). New employees may not be allowed until it is certain their performance is up to snuff. It may only be granted to those people who do not live in the same place as the office. There may be limitations on your network as to how many remote workers it can handle.

If your coworkers are allowed to work from home and you are not and you are in the same job, then I would suggest that you look to your own performance.

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    In the US, "benefit" has a specific meaning and in many cases they are required to be the same for people in the same class. Typically though they're talking about compensation such as a certain type of insurance, etc. Obviously, working remotely isn't a benefit in that context, but I'm just clarifying. – Chris E May 19 '16 at 15:37
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    It could also be a matter of trust, i.e. you haven't been there long enough where your employer is confident that you're a good candidate for completely unsupervised work. – Chris E May 19 '16 at 16:33

Can one be allowed and other denied, legally?

Yes. In the jurisdiction where I live (USA) this is legal.

With that said, there are a number of laws in the USA that prevent discrimination. For example, I cannot deny a worker the right to work remotely because of his or her: race, color, religion, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or citizenship status.

If you believe you are the victim of discrimination in the workplace you may have legal grounds for a lawsuit, and may want to contact an attorney.

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    And by the same token, a person could be granted permission to work remotely BECAUSE of a disability, such as an accommodation for that disability. As a result, others may not be offered that opportunity because of the lack disability (i.e. an accommodation is not needed) – Chris E May 19 '16 at 15:34

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