Two years after the sudden impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, remote work continues. This trend actually started even before coronavirus hit, but was dramatically accelerated once businesses moved into lockdown mode virtually overnight in March 2020.
Along with the myriad other pandemic-related issues employers have had to deal with are the implications and requirements associated with employees who work remotely from out of state. With the benefits of work-from-home options have come additional responsibilities for employers, along with potential legal risks unless due diligence is done.
Considerations to Keep in Mind
Keep careful track of the locations of all your remote team members. Have clear guidelines and policies and be sure everyone knows and understands them. And, stay up to speed on all employment, tax, and licensure requirements associated with your work-from-home employees – keeping in mind that they may change or evolve at any time.
- Having employees who work remotely from a different state could subject you to new sales, income, or local gross receipts taxes. Other areas that may be impacted include overtime, the enforceability of noncompete agreements, PTO, post-separation payments, family leave rights, 1099 classifications, and unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance.
- Among pandemic-related changes, many states and municipalities have created new leave obligations. Certain tax waivers may have expired, or they may not exempt companies from all potential obligations. Also pay particular attention to differences in paid leave and anti-discrimination laws.
Guidelines on Employment Policies
Wherever your employees are located, areas to consider when it comes to your policies and procedures include:
- Detailing normal work hours and responsibilities.
- Setting hours of availability to communicate regarding company business and job updates.
- Determining how to communicate not only assignments, but also personal needs including reporting absences.
- Setting parameters for the use of company equipment and materials.
- Ensuring that company information security is maintained and data is protected.
- Maintaining a safe work environment.
The countless details and legal complexities that come with effective risk management are a lot for any employer to handle. Unless your in-house HR team has the expertise and bandwidth to keep up with it all, outsourcing these responsibilities may be the best solution for your business.
Need Help Managing HR Risk?
Key HR is aligned with preferred provider companies who specialize in risk management, compliance, and other talent management areas. We can work with your leadership team and relieve you of the related worry and headaches, so you can focus on running your business. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.
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- On March 30, 2022
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