More people are working from home today than ever before. They often assume that the protections they receive under California labor laws do not apply unless they are physically at their employer’s place of business. This is often not true. Keep reading to learn what protections you have and then contact PLBSH at (800) 435-7542 to speak to an experienced employment law attorney.
You are entitled to overtime if you work from home
Many of California’s labor rules apply to work from home circumstances just as they do to working on your employer’s premises. For example, if you work more than 40 hours in a week, you are entitled to overtime compensation of one-and-a-half times your regular rate of pay for each hour worked beyond that. Even if you work from home, you are entitled to overtime compensation for the hours you work.
You are entitled to breaks
Employees who are not exempt (usually hourly workers) are entitled to food and rest breaks. Working from home gives employees more freedom, but companies may need employees to digitally check in to verify that they are working a particular number of hours in some cases. You may and should take food and rest breaks throughout this period, just as you would if you were at work. If you are expected to work through a meal, you should be compensated for it.
Your employer might be required to pay for your work-from-home costs
How to handle business costs is one of the most difficult parts of working from home during this period. Businesses may not have had the time or capacity to set up employees with the tools needed to work remotely, such as WiFi equipment, a computer, a dedicated phone line, or even extra monitors, especially in this scenario, when work from home arrangements had to be arranged on short notice.
Companies are generally obligated to repay workers for business costs incurred on the company’s behalf. Consult a California labor and employment attorney if you’re unsure if you’re entitled to compensation.
There should be specific rules in place
Despite the pandemic’s emergency nature, businesses should develop procedures for working from home to guide staff throughout this period. These regulations should spell out how to calculate attendance, correctly record time spent, how many hours workers should work and whether or not the schedule is flexible, and how to utilize technologies (such as computers and phones) and safeguard the information transferred via these devices.
If you have been injured while working from home and want to know if workers’ compensation applies, or you have questions about the issues discussed above, contact PLBSH at (800) 435-7542.