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Unpaid Work in the Remote Era

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The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed major changes in how work is done. Many companies and industries have offered employees the option to work entirely from home or on a hybrid schedule.

But with the prevalence and freedom working from home can bring, remote workers should be aware of their rights so they receive all the pay and benefits they are entitled to.

Remote Work Prevalence

Remote work is more common than ever, and workers enjoy being productive outside the office. As more employees voice their satisfaction with remote work, many employers have enacted a permanent work from home policy or some version of a hybrid schedule.

In fact, employees are forcing the hands of companies to offer remote work. The “Great Reshuffle” is happening in part because employees desire jobs with more flexibility and are less willing to compromise — according to a LinkedIn report, nearly 63% of job seekers list work-life balance as a top priority when considering a new role. However, workers shouldn’t let themselves be taken advantage of in exchange for that flexibility.

Remote Worker Rights

Employers aren’t required to offer the option for employees to work from home, but if they do, it’s essential to understand your rights.

Whether you work in an office or at home, you have the right to the same benefits and standards of health, safety, and protection from harassment or discrimination as outlined by the Department of Labor.

Do Employers Have to Provide WFH Equipment?

Who pays for necessary remote work supplies and equipment has been debated and has even led to class action lawsuits from employees seeking to recover unreimbursed business expenses.

There are discrepancies concerning which equipment and expenses are covered, so you should reach out to your company’s HR department for clarification. Contact an employment law attorney if you believe you are entitled to reimbursement for necessary work-from-home equipment.

Are Remote Workers Entitled to Overtime Pay?

No matter where work is being completed, you are entitled to your regular pay rate plus overtime if you qualify. The Department of Labor states that, unless exempt, employees who work over 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to overtime pay of at least one and one-half times their regular rate.

Working Off the Clock

If you work from home, it can be tough to set boundaries between when work ends, and your personal life begins. However, you should be paid for the total amount of time you work. This means never working “off the clock” or doing work without recording your hours in the designated system for your workplace.

Your hours can be broken up and don’t have to all be recorded in a continuous shift. For example, if you work on a hybrid schedule and work before traveling to the office or after leaving the office, that time counts as hours worked even though your work wasn’t performed continuously.

However, you can’t be compensated for the time spent traveling between your home and office.

Have Questions about WFH Rights? Call Biller & Kimble, LLC

You should be paid fully and fairly for your work regardless of where you complete it. If your paycheck reflects anything less or you are being asked to work off the clock, reach out to the wage and hour lawyers at Biller & Kimble, LLC. We will investigate your case and fight to recover any lost wages you may have been cheated out of.

Call 614-604-8759 today to discuss your case or contact us online.