Although the remote workplace was gaining momentum pre-pandemic, today more than ever businesses are faced with the challenges of a growing offsite workforce. This puts a lot of stress on HR teams who need to understand how labor laws for remote employees affect those working from home. To ensure you are adhering to labor laws here are some of the most common things at risk of falling by the wayside.
Maintaining Privacy and Security
You are now working in a decentralized environment that leaves you vulnerable to privacy and security issues. Whether it is your own proprietary information, or the confidential information of your clients or patients, having a secure central location for data and personal information is a must. Every aspect of wireless access must be considered from passwords to authorization. You might also have to worry about financial data. To make sure everyone is following strict privacy and security rules, you can:
- Provide a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for all remote workers so they are no longer using a more vulnerable public WIFI service
- Enable 2-factor authorization for highly sensitive information
- Encrypt hard drives
Adopt a policy that ensures all employees remain compliant with security and privacy rules.
Your employees might now be working in multiple states. Because of this, you have to ensure you are paying people based on state laws. To remain payroll compliant you must review the following:
- Each remote employee’s minimum wage in their state, county, and/or city
- What information must be included on paystubs
- Payday frequency rules
- Paycheck delivery rules
- Payroll deduction requirements
- Overtime calculation methods
- Payroll tax calculation
Your best bet is to use a payroll software that will track everything for you. This will reduce the additional burden on payroll staff as everything is done automatically. You can also use an integrated time clock software to accurately track remote workers’ hours.
Remote Hiring & Interviews
Hiring online can pose a new set of problems for HR departments. However, it can also present new opportunities. You might consider expanding your search perimeters because you are no longer tied to talent living within a reasonable distance of your office. Common problems you might encounter include state laws that require you to list compensation in your ads or unionized job searches made challenging due to the remote nature of the position.
As well, it can be awkward holding interviews online and keeping track of a longer list of candidates. An applicant tracking software will streamline and automate the recruitment process ensuring your team follows best hiring practices.
Improve Onboarding to Remain Compliant
Remaining consistent with your onboarding process helps keep all employees on the same page. This is the best way to ensure compliance as you have the opportunity to train from day one using the same methods. A self-guided training portal that walks each new hire through the most important information needed to do their jobs effectively should also include all relevant state labor laws for remote employees to ensure you cover all your bases.
Health and Safety for Remote Workers
Although it might seem you are not responsible for your remote workforce’s safety, your organization still has to comply with health and safety legislation. You have a new, more difficult obligation to ensure your workers are not exposed to potential hazards at home. You still have to mitigate risk by reviewing potential risks and hazards at home offices.
Also, should someone suffer an injury or illness that keeps them from working you must have a strong support system in place to ensure you are Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant. Healthcare-compliant software allows you to avoid costly compliance penalties while also providing a complete view of your benefits and where you might have holes in your compliance regulations.
Labor Law Postings
Although you might be keeping people up to date on the latest labor posters for remote employees, your new remote set-up requires electronic up-to-date labor law postings to remain compliant with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recommendations. You also have to consider both your organization’s state laws and the various state laws based on an employee’s remote office location. Covering both updates is your safest bet to remain compliant.
Introduce New Policies
To ensure you are covering all your bases, introducing new policies that help keep your company and workers compliant with labor laws is a good idea. This will reduce potential liabilities for your organization and should include:
- Remote HR policies
- A remote employee handbook
- A remote hiring processes
- A new online onboarding process
- A review of your organizational structure to support the remote team
- Health and Safety procedures including ACA compliance
- Additional organizational policies specific to your location and nature of your operation
By introducing new policies you can help ensure you are adhering to labor laws and that you and your employees remain compliant.
About The Author
Ingrid is the Content Marketing Manager at Paypro, managing both inbound and outbound marketing initiatives for the company. She has 15+ years’ of extensive marketing communications experience, leveraging brand awareness and strategic partnerships to increase sales revenue for a diverse group of B2B brands.