California Wage and Hour Compliance for Remote Workers

Thousands of workers across California have been working remotely for their employers for a year or more during the coronavirus pandemic. However, despite the remote work, employers are still required to abide by wage and hour laws for their employees. If you are concerned that your employer is violating your wage and hour rights in California, an experienced employment law attorney may be able to help. Call or contact one in your area today to learn more about your legal options.

The Importance of Wage and Hour Compliance

Employees have certain rights under the state wage and hour laws, and if employers fail to comply with these laws while their employees work remotely, they can be held liable for violations in court. This includes claims of time-keeping violations, working off-the-clock, and violations regarding missed meal and rest breaks. Even when employees are working remotely, employers are required under rulings by the state Supreme Court that they must maintain accurate timekeeping about start and end times for work, lunch breaks, meetings, and pre- and post-shift work. For the purposes of wage and hour compliance, hours worked is defined as the time when an employee is subject to the control of their employer. This applies whether or not the employee was actually required to work.

Meal and Rest Break Compliance

Even while working remotely, employers must still provide adequate meal and rest breaks for their employees. Under California law, non-exempt workers are entitled to a 10-minute break every four hours that is worked. Every five hours worked, an employee is entitled to a meal break, even while telecommuting. It is important to note that a worker can waive a meal break, but an employer must keep accurate timekeeping of that waiver. A second meal break is also required after 10 hours of work, but can be waived if the first break was taken. Failure to provide meal and rest breaks during telecommuting can give rise to wage and hour claims by employees.

Business Expense Reimbursement

Workers must be compensated and reimbursed for business expenses, even while working remotely. This includes expenses incurred for work while at home as well as for any expenses incurred when employees are onsite during the pandemic. The California Labor Code requires that employers reimburse workers for any reasonable business expenses that are considered necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the worker when carrying out their job duties. Common examples of business expenses incurred at home during remote work may include internet, phone, office supplies, and office furniture. This also includes the purchase of any personal protective equipment needed to be onsite for work.

Call or Contact an Employment Lawyer

Do you have questions about wage and hour compliance at your job while working remotely? If so, an employment law attorney in California may be able to help. Call the office or contact a lawyer in your area today to learn more about your legal options for enforcing your wage and hour rights.