U.S Department of Labor Issues Guidance to Clarify Employers' Obligations to Track Teleworkers' Compensable Hours
Payroll Services is sharing the following news release from the Department of Labor as a reminder that all hours worked by our non-exempt employees must be tracked and paid regardless if the hours are worked outside of regularly scheduled hours. Please review our tips for recording time for remote employees.
WASHINGTON DC – With telework arrangements expanding in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) today issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-5 to clarify an employer’s obligation to track the number of hours of compensable work performed by employees who are teleworking or otherwise working away from premises controlled by their employers.
In a telework or remote work arrangement, the question of the employer’s obligation to track hours actually worked for which the employee was not scheduled may often arise. While the guidance issued today responds directly to needs created by new telework or remote work arrangements that arose in response to the coronavirus, it also applies to other telework or remote work arrangements.
“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more Americans are teleworking and working variable schedules than ever before to balance their jobs with a myriad of family obligations, such as remote learning for their children and many others. This has presented unique challenges to employers with regard to how to track work time accurately,” said Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl Stanton. “Today’s guidance is one more tool the Wage and Hour Division is putting forward to ensure that workers are paid all the wages they have earned, and that employers have all the tools they need as they navigate what may, for many, be uncharted waters of managing remote workers.”
Today’s guidance reaffirms that an employer is required to pay its employees for all hours worked, including work not requested but allowed and work performed at home. If the employer knows or has reason to believe that an employee is performing work, the time must be counted as hours worked. Confusion over when an employer “has reason to believe that work is being performed,” may be exacerbated by the increasing frequency of telework and remote work arrangements since the Department last issued interpretive rules in 1961.