Amidst the spread of COVID-19, or the coronavirus, around the world and within the U.S., more employers are urging their employees to work from home in order to reduce contamination. Google advised all of its 100,000+ employees to work remotely, joining other tech companies like Apple and Microsoft in their move to protect workers from the outbreak.
As the number of states that report COVID-19 cases increases, so do the number of individuals working from home. For some employers, this may be the first time they’ve had to create a remote work policy. For this reason, it’s more important than ever that employers make sure they’re compensating their workers properly and are complying with federal and state wage and hour laws.
Exempt Vs. Non-Exempt Employees
Employers should make sure they have protocols set in place that pay workers properly for the work they do, whether they’re exempt or non-exempt.
Employees who are exempt from overtime work must be paid for the entire workweek, during which they do any amount of work. Because exempt workers must perform exempt work as their primary duty, it’s crucial that employers find ways to ensure that the remote tasks their employees are performing qualify as exempt work.
Employers have more freedom to reduce their non-exempt employees’ hours, but if they want to extend the hours in case of increased demand, they need to be aware that certain state laws require extra pay.
Keeping Track of Remote Non-Exempt Workers
One issue with allowing non-exempt workers to work from home is that it can be difficult for employers to monitor their hours, which creates a risk for potential overtime and off-the-clock claims.
Employers who want to make sure their employees are being paid for the work they’re doing outside the office should consider the following options:
- Have workers use time card software that allows them to record their working hours online.
- Create a written policy that outlines expectations for tracking meal and break times, as well as for recording working hours.
- Encourage non-exempt workers to work their regularly scheduled hours.
- Create or reinforce a policy that prohibits unauthorized overtime.
- If possible, test work from home software or protocols before sending employees home to make sure they work properly and don’t interfere with productivity.
Protecting the Rights of Workers
At Donati Law, PLLC, our employment law attorneys have won millions of dollars for our clients who have been wronged through wage and hour violations, car accidents, and more. If you’re a worker, you deserve to be paid for the hours you’re on the clock. When employers and companies take advantage of their employees or cut corners to save money, they deserve to be held responsible for their illegal actions. We can help you stand up for your rights and receive the compensation you’re entitled to – with our team on your side, you won’t be alone.
Call Donati Law, PLLC at (901) 209-5500, or contact us online if you need help addressing a wage and hour violation. Our employment law attorneys are devoted to defending the rights of workers, and we fight for full and fair compensation. You can trust our track record: we’ve secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients.