California Telecommuting laws & HR compliance analysis

California Telecommuting: What you need to know

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.
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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.
Notices. Cal. S.B. 657 (2021) allows employers a new way to inform remote employees about legal requirements in the workplace by sending emails and eliciting electronic signatures and confirmations of receipt. More information on required notices is available at the California notices section.
Expense reimbursement.California employers must reimburse employees for “all necessary” business expenses that are "the direct consequence" of discharging work duties, and this may include reimbursement for a percentage of phone, utilities, or Internet expenditures for remote workers (Cal. Lab. Code § 2802). Therefore, employers should 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 incurred in pursuing a claim.
Breaks. Employers must provide certain non-exempt employees with a thirty-minute lunch or meal break if they work more than five hours a day. More details and requirements are available at the California rest periods section.
Notifications. State law and some local ordinances require the posting of many state notices in addition ...

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