The federal overtime provisions contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provide that non-exempt employees covered under the Act must receive overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The FLSA doesn’t place limitations on the number of hours an employee can work in any week, and nothing in the FLSA requires any employee to work any particular schedule in a workweek. However, employees must be paid at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek regardless of whether the employee works at the office or at home.
Employees Must Be Paid…No Matter Where the Office
If an employer learns that an employee is working from home on work-related activities, the employer must ensure that the employee is getting paid for it. In a society that’s increasingly dependent on technology, it’s important to consider some of the problems that could arise for technologically savvy employees who are allowed to work from home. One frequent area of confusion stems from situations where an employee performs work during his or her commute. As a general rule, any principle work which an employee is required to perform while commuting must be counted as hours worked and compensated accordingly. For example, time spent by an employee writing a report is work time, even if it happens to occur while the employee is riding on a bus or other mode of transportation to or from work.
Some courts have rules that employers do not have to compensate employees for the time they spend checking email or voicemail from offsite locations for incidental work-related activities, like picking up the employee’s daily assignments or work schedule. In contrast, the court’s holding indicated that an employer is obligated to compensate an employee for off-site activities that are directly related to the employee’s job duties, such as performing or completing a work assignment, unless the time spent is de minimus.
Employees Must Keep Track of Home Office Work
The time spent working away from the office may be considered work depending on your state laws and many factors. An employee should take notice in logging in the time and hours spent performing work-related activities away from the office. Additionally, whether or not an employee works from home has no effect on the overtime requirements of your employer. Under the FLSA, employers must pay employees overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek, even if the employee does the work from home.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 3.3 million people work from home full-time, and this number continues to rise due to the attractive flexible work schedule and the convenience of working from home. There are varieties of companies that hire full-time and part-time employees to work remotely from home. Companies such as SYKES Home, TeleTech, iGor and Covergys hire work-from-home employees for customer service jobs.
An employment lawyer can help you determine whether you are an employee entitled to overtime pay while working at home under the Fair Labor Standards Act. A lawyer can also assist you with a claim if you believe your employer has not paid you proper overtime compensation for hours worked above 40 in one week and for any dispute regarding pay.
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