The Rise of the Remote Employee
The remote employee is becoming a staple in the modern day workplace. Even a handful of remote team members can reduce overhead, and the flexibility afforded to your off-site is a desirable employee perk. Depending on your industry, and the service or product you provide, remote work may only be feasible for some of your positions.
Below are HR related factors you must consider when managing your remote staff.
Labor Laws And The Remote Employee
While your onsite team has a clearly defined work schedule, you must determine how you will track your remote team’s daily/weekly schedule. This is essential, because you must remain in full compliance with the labor laws for the state where each remote team member resides. This means you must honor overtime laws and break laws, which can vary greatly from state-to-state.
For example, California has the most stringent labor laws. Any employee who works over 8 hours in one day must be paid overtime, even if they are on salary—and even if the total workweek is less than 40 hours.
To make sure you are not in violation of any labor laws consider:
- Creating a clearly defined work schedule. Even if this is split into two blocks of time each day, always know when your team is working.
- Require each employee to clock in and out, or to keep a timesheet of hours worked and daily breaks.
- Set expectations for overtime. For example, do your remote employees have to ask before they go into overtime?
If any of your remote team members work out of state, you will also be required to acquire an Unemployment Withholding ID number. You will also be required to comply with any other out-of-state employee/labor laws which vary from that of your home state.
For example, are you required to provide or reimburse for a computer, software, and other home office supplies?
While the pay period may be the same for all of your onsite and remote team members’, income tax requirements, filing deadlines and tax rates vary from state-to-state. You will also need to ensure each remote employee fills out an I-9 form. If I-9s aren’t properly managed, it can lead to costly payroll and tax fines.
What Is The Difference Between A Contract Position And A Remote Employee?
An all too common mistake employers make with their remote team is hiring someone for what is essentially a full-time ongoing position, but classifying them as an Independent Contractor, instead of an employee. While hiring a remote team can save money by way of eliminating the need for additional office space, keeping an employee on a long-term contract to save money in employment taxes, vacation pay, office supplies, or insurance benefits clearly violates the 1099 Independent Contractor specifications.
View our helpful infographic on misclassifying workers.
Need advice for staying compliant with labor laws for remote employees?
If you need help determining if a remote employee is best classified as an Independent Contractor or full-time employee, or you need to know what requirements you must fulfill when hiring an out of state employee, contact ManageStaff today.