Allowing employees to work remotely has its benefits. It allows you to hire employees that live far away from your business, without having to worry about commute. For some employees, it can increase motivation and productivity. However, paying overtime for non-exempt remote workers can get tricky. It’s nearly impossible for you to know exactly when employees are working and whether they choose to work outside of normal hours. These are some ways to help you know how to pay overtime for remote employees:
Know If Employees Are On-Duty or Off–Duty
If an employee is on-duty, then they must be paid for the time they’re working. With remote employees, it can be difficult to know when they are or aren’t on-duty. An easy way to figure out if a remote employee is on or off-duty is to evaluate if they were relieved from ALL their duties. If they were, then you don’t need to pay overtime.
The “De Minimis” Doctrine
Anything declared as de minimis is considered too insignificant to be paid for. If activities take a short amount of time (minutes or seconds), for example, they would be considered de minimis activities. Other things to consider are whether it would be practical to record the additional time, if the employee is doing a significant amount of remote work, and if the employee does a lot of overtime work. If all these things are true, then it is not de minimis work and you should be paying overtime.
Limit Remote Work
In your company, you can choose to limit remote work options to certain employees. With exempt employees, you don’t have to worry about keeping track of extra hours worked, and mistakes are less likely to occur. Trying to limit remote work to employees who are exempt from overtime pay will help you to stay in compliance easier.
Use these ideas to help you stay in compliance when creating a procedure for paying overtime to non-exempt remote employees.