California Homeworkers/ Telecommuting laws & HR compliance analysis

California Homeworkers/ Telecommuting: What you need to know

The state encourages the use of telecommuting as a work option at agencies and in job positions where it is practicable. Employees apply for telecommuting through their direct supervisor. The Department of General Services develops policies and procedures and oversees telecommuting arrangements and evaluations for state employees. Go to for specific information.
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California has no specific statutes directly regulating telecommuting. Private employers should have written agreements with all employees who telecommute, as well as signed safety self-certifications for the home office.
Taxation. A telecommuter residing in another state could inadvertently establish a physical presence for the company in that state with regard to registration and tax issues, especially if sales were made. If you have employees telecommuting from another state, contact the California Tax Service Center at or at 800-829-1040, or an employment lawyer for clarification on reciprocity agreements with that specific state.
The California Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace, even if the workplace is in the employee's home, although an agency inspection is unlikely. A telecommuting employee injured in the home office may file a workers' compensation claim.
California employers must reimburse employees for business expenses that are "the direct consequence" of discharging work duties. Therefore, consult with an employment attorney regarding requests for reimbursement for home office equipment and services from telecommuting employees before rejecting them; employees who successfully sue are entitled to attorney's fees ...

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