According to Pew Research, approximately 60% of the American workforce are now telecommuting at least part of the time. Most of these employees say they were working at home even before the last strain of COVID (the omicron variant) started to spread. The difference now is that most of these employees want to work from home not because they’re afraid of catching COVID but because they prefer it.
For employers, the reshaping of the American work environment is almost complete. This restructuring to embrace at-home work has come with some compliance risks. This blog will look more closely at what compliance risks your HR team should be monitoring with your remote teams.
What Are The Best Compliance Practices When Managing Remote Teams?
Compliance Laws and Your Remote Staff
Payroll doesn’t have to be tricky with a remote team as long as employees are logging their time. While things may have gotten more complex because you’re hiring from outside your geographic territory (remote workers can work anywhere), as long as you set up your payroll systems properly, you can protect yourself. The other big issue with remote workers is that they should be recording their time somehow. This alleviates the risk of workers that log a lot of after-hours time. We know it’s difficult to separate work from home when home is work. However, make sure the employee is somehow documenting their time so that you don’t end up with a compliance issue surrounding unpaid wages.
If you are doing your payroll manually, or if you have some manual processes, double-check that you are paying all of your employees correctly. If you’re paying minimum wage, be careful. Each state has its own minimum wage, and some cities and counties even have regulations regarding how much you should be paying your minimum wage worker. Yes, it’s very complicated if you don’t have the right software or an employer of record (EOR) to handle these tricky and ever-changing wage compliance rules.
This is another tricky area because some states have lower or higher standards for what is legally considered harassment. For example, consider the remote employee that has what some would consider an offensive poster behind their desk. So, every Zoom meeting could be a harassment complaint waiting to happen. Or the employee that wears inappropriate clothing to an online meeting. Review the laws in each state where you’re doing business. Then set some ground rules with your staff, in writing, about what is appropriate for remote workers. Note: You are walking a fine line here; the remote employee is working out of their home, after all. So, keep your standards short and to the point and make sure the team understands the logic behind their selection.
Remote employees are eligible for family and medical leave, with a few stipulations. FMLA says the remote employee’s home base is the work office that assigns their duties. If that office has 50 employees within 75 miles of that location, the remote employee can receive FMLA time off.
Are You Managing Remote Teams?
We know the state of your current dispersed workforce can be confusing. That’s why FoxHire, an EOR, is here to help remove your compliance risk. Let us take on the management of your hiring processes so you can focus on your core business goals. Find out more here.