Business Insurance

Connected by technology: Are you staying compliant with overtime laws?

It's difficult to know when to draw the line when it comes to phones and laptops. As an employer, you know the drill about making sure your employees are compensated for any overtime work that they do. You realize you'd be in hot water if you didn't pay your employees the correct rate for their extra time. But have you considered time they place in at home using their electronic devices?

In our technology-dependent world, we tend to take laptops and mobile phones for granted. They're just a a part of life. But when it comes to overtime pay, there are some stuff you need to know as an employer. Your liability goes up if you ignore the additional hours your staff put in beyond the office when they’re staring at a screen. We've got a few tips that you can follow to make certain that you're paying your employees fairly for the quantity of work they do.

What do I need to understand about overtime laws?

The Fair Labor Standards Act states that employees are entitled to receive pay and a half (or 1.5 times their usual wage) for any quantity of work they do that goes over forty hours inside a week. If an employee puts in forty-eight hours inside a week, for instance, they'd get forty hours of wages at their regular rate and eight hours at pay and a half. You will find major consequences for not adhering to these laws, including hefty fines and even jail time.

Some employees are exempt from overtime laws. There are certain qualifications that allow for an employee that need considering exempt, or otherwise eligible for overtime pay. (But that's not an excuse to work anyone to death.) The FLSA considers all employees to become non-exempt, or entitled to overtime payment for extra hours, unless the employer can show without dispute that the employee in question meets the standards for exempt status.

How do I know if my employees' remote work is considered overtime?

The employee's exemption status and the work itself see whether or not an employee needs to be compensated for remote work. If you have determined that the employee is non-exempt, you need to look at the work itself. Are you requiring the employee to operate? Are you gaining from it? Are your employees “on-duty” while they work? They may have to be paid. Paying people is good.

Other considerations are whether the employee is carrying this out remote work of their own free will or if they're being pressured or required to do it by their employer. The quantity of oversight that the employer has is also a consideration-is the employee expected to respond to the employer at the drop of the hat? Is the employer pulling the strings? Was the employee assigned any tasks to complete at the time from the remote work?

What can I do to ensure that remote work is completed in compliance?

To lower your likelihood of getting in trouble for noncompliance with overtime laws due for your business's remote work, you can put the following things into practice. Your employees will thank you.

Some suggestions for the policy are:

  • Evaluate which of your employees really need a company mobile device. Only giving devices to those who require them reduces your likelihood of running into issues with remote work.
  • Have your non-exempt employees get permission from a supervisor to work remotely so that everyone is conscious of the work being put in.
  • Make sure that your employees are clear on which their job responsibilities and hour requirements are.

You need to make sure that all your employees are classified correctly as exempt or non-exempt. A good place to begin is to familiarize yourself with FLSA exemptions so that you understand what you're looking for.

If you have any questions about overtime compliance or your insurance, contact us today. We're pleased to help answer any of your questions and help you ensure that your liabilities are taken care of. If you’d prefer to obtain a free quote on your business insurance, complete our quote form or give us a call!

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