Commuting and Overtime Pay

If you have employees with remote workplace access and long commutes, you may be at risk for a wage headache. Generally, you do not have to pay your employees for normal travel from home to work. But, if your employees work during their commute, you may have to pay them for that time. If a telecommuting employee comes into the office for a meeting, you may owe them pay for their commute. If you knowingly let employees work off-the-clock from home, you might also be liable.

Limit your risk by including a policy in your handbook prohibiting unauthorized work; however, a handbook policy by itself will not protect your business. To reduce your risk further, regularly remind employees of the policy. You should also discipline employees who violate an unauthorized work policy. Increased monitoring is a common form of discipline for unauthorized work issues. In more extreme cases, you might have to cut off e-mail or remote access privileges. It may even be necessary to confiscate employer-owned electronics. If you have telecommuting employees who come to the office for required meetings, you can take extra steps. The easiest way to handle this is scheduling the meeting for the beginning or end of the day.

© 2013 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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