Telecommuting laws & HR compliance analysis

Telecommuting: What you need to know

Telecommuting and telework allow employees to work part or all of their standard workweek from a remote location. The concept of a remote workforce has involvedevolved from a convenience to a business necessity.
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Proven advantages of telework for employers are reduce costs for work space, utilities, and other overhead; lower absenteeism; elimination of weather-based closures; increased productivity, morale, and retention; a competitive edge in hiring from larger geographic areas; possible accommodations for certain workers; and promoting employees’ work/-life balance. Governments also promote telework to reduce traffic congestion and benefit the environment.
Schedules. Telecommuting can be informal, such as during special, short-term projects; on a regular basis, such as 1 or 2 days a week; a formal arrangement for 100 percent of work time; or as part of emergency planning for storms, natural disasters, power outages, quarantines, etc.
Locations. While most telecommuters work from a home office, there are other options, including satellite offices, "hoteling" in leased space on an as-needed basis, or mobile offices.
There are no direct federal laws that regulate private-sector telecommuting. However, there are certain ancillary laws employers should consider.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers covered by FLSA must monitor hours of work by nonexempt employees and maintain records recording total hours worked each day and workweek (29 C.F.R. 516.2(a)(7)). Nonexempt employees are covered by the FLSA's restrictions on minimum wage and overtime regardless of where they perform their jobs, including home offices. ...

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