How do employment laws work for remote employees?
As the pandemic started, private sector and corporate companies started making a shift to remote working. Even though remote working existed even before the pandemic, because of the rapid shift, things got more intense.
The majority of the workforce started working from home. However, concerns surrounding the employment laws for remote employees increased too. Thus, many states modified and added new provisions that made sure that the employees got paid for the work they were doing.
If you are a remote employee who has not been compensated enough for the work they are doing, it is advised to hire an employment lawyer to assess your situation and find out the best way of settling things with your employer.
Before you make that ‘employment lawyer near me’ search, here are some employment laws that affect the working of remote employees so that you can identify any injustice taking place at your workplace.
Wage and Hour considerations
When it comes to wage and hour considerations, things can get tricky in any job. In remote job scenarios, this concern can get even more amplified. The violation of the wage and hour laws is often not intentional but the consequences can be big for the employer as it is one of the most basic rights for the employees and they can sue their employer for any related violations.
According to the wage laws, wage and hour consideration becomes even more important when it comes to non-exempt employees. Exempt employees are paid a fixed amount of money, no matter how much they have worked in a week or a month. But, non-exempt employees are paid according to the work they have done. To make sure that they get paid for the work that they have done, the employment laws make it mandatory for employers to pay a minimum way at the very least to these non-exempt employees.
This law is effective on remote employees as well. The work and work communication through emails and calls that are received by the remote employees outside the work hours must be included in the ‘over-time’ category and the employment laws regarding wage and hour considerations make sure that they are also compensated for the overtime.
Even when the employees are working from their own homes, they are still expected to comply with laws, regulations, and policies that concern the company they are working from. Employees can also be terminated if they aren’t able to match the required standards given by the organization.
Even without face-to-face communication and instructions, the compliance from the employees is expected to be perfect. Yet, in this situation, the employees become more prone to face illegal firing and workplace discrimination. Thus, employment laws make it mandatory for employers to document the performance and compliance of the employees. This helps things to be transparent between the employees and the employers.
The information also helps in the investigation in case of a complaint from the employees’ sides. The procedure of the investigation is supposed to be documented as well.
Different states, different rules
When it comes to hiring remote employees from different states or making a huge shift towards remote working (for example, during the COVID-19 pandemic), there is a chance that the employee laws of the states can clash. Simply put, the location of the office can have a different set of laws, and the location of the employee can have a different set of laws. In such situations, it becomes important to decide which laws will be effective for remote employees and which won’t.
When the employees work in an office, they usually use office supplies provided by their employer. However, when it comes to remote employees, they have to invest in a lot of things to get the work done. This can come as the cost of supplies, any new appliance or device employees have to buy for work, electricity, and WiFi. Employment laws make sure that the employees get reimbursement for the expenses they have made from their salary so the work will get done.
Remote employees are employees too and thus they deserve the security and benefits of being an employee. This is exactly why the employment laws are an essential part of today’s world where a massive part of the workforce is working remotely. Knowing about these laws would empower the employees since they will know their rights. It will also help employers save themselves from any wrong allegations.