As remote work becomes more prominent throughout the U.S., both employers and employees have been on a learning curve with employment law. For example, employers may have questions about overtime pay for remote employees.
If you are a non-exempt, hourly employee, you have the right to be paid for every hour worked, whether those hours were in the office or in your home. Employers who withhold overtime pay to their employees could face serious legal consequences.
Call our wage and hour attorneys in Sacramento today to discuss your legal options if you have been denied overtime compensation while working remotely. The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.
Remote employees should not be viewed any differently than those who are working in an office when it comes to paying them for hours worked. Therefore, people who work from home more than 40 hours in a single workweek are still eligible for overtime compensation if they are non-exempt employees.
Remember that a non-exempt employee is paid on an hourly basis instead of a fixed salary. Generally, non-exempt employees are not in a managerial position.
While it is easy to lose sight of work hours and off-time when your home is your office, it is important to distinguish between the two so your rights are protected. If your employer asks you, or expects you, to work more than eight hours in a day or more than 40 hours in a week, you should be paid for those hours accordingly.
Because it is so easy to lose track of the work you do while you are working from home, there are several ways you may be able to keep track of the hours you work.
Try to set a schedule for yourself. If your job has a set time like a normal office job, be sure to complete work only during those allotted hours. Do not check your work email during non-work hours to avoid having to complete tasks and working overtime hours. If your job requires you to check emails or answer phone calls after hours, make sure you are logging the time spent doing so. That way, you can be paid for every hour worked.
Tracking those hours can be done relatively easily, as all you need to do is log the time you start the task and when it is completed. Whether on your phone, computer or a piece of paper, it is best to have it written down.
If your work provides a timesheet to log your hours, be sure to utilize this valuable tool. That way both you and your employer are keeping tabs on the time you spend working. For employers who prefer to limit overtime for employees, this may also be beneficial to ensure their employees are not being asked to work after hours.
No, your employer cannot deny paying you overtime wages simply because you are a remote employee. Under California and federal law, non-exempt employees have the right to be paid one and a half time their wages for every hour they work over 40 in a work week.
Your employer is allowed to implement rules that limit how many hours you can work, but they must be clearly defined. If your employer asks you to complete tasks after hours, and this causes you to work more than 40 hours in a week, you are eligible for overtime pay.
Your employer cannot deny you overtime pay if your workload forces you to complete tasks after hours either. However, it is important that you are not putting off tasks just so you get overtime. Employers may be within their rights to fire employees who do this.
If possible, back up the timesheets with time stamps on emails, phone calls or text messages that are related to the work you do.
For example, if you receive an email from a supervisor to complete an urgent request for a client at the end of the day that might take you several hours. Not only should you keep track of the email from your supervisor, but you should also keep track of your response acknowledging the task and when it was completed. This helps paint a full picture of the expectations from your employer and that you did not work more than your allotted hours to game the system.
Some employers also keep tabs on remote employees’ computers to ensure they are not browsing non-work-related websites. This could also be used as evidence in your favor because it could help you prove that you were completing a work task at a certain time, helping corroborate your story if your employer is doubting that you worked during a certain period.
If your employer is denying you overtime compensation, you may be eligible to file a claim pursuing backpay for those hours worked. As an employee in California you have certain rights, and our attorneys are prepared to help you protect those rights.
Call today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options with a member of our experienced legal team.
No upfront fees. Call 916-777-7777 today.