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Compliant Compensation Based on Locality of Remote or Hybrid Work

July 28, 2022 | Employment Law

Are you working from home? Have you worked from a locality that is not the one you resided in when you started your job? Has your employer addressed remote and hybrid work arrangements?

If your employer has allowed you to work remotely from an address other than the one they have on file as your official home address they need to be compliant with the laws of the locality where you are working. According to Brenda Kasper, speaking at the 2022 Society for Human Resources Management Annual Conference, many states and localities have statutes that go beyond the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the law deemed most favorable to employees will generally apply.

In some cases, your employer has the right to be geographically restrictive. What is important is that there is a conversation and the expectations are documented.

In many states and localities, the local/state exempt-pay threshold for crossing from overtime-nonexempt to overtime-exempt is higher than the federal threshold, meaning more workers qualify for mandatory overtime pay.

State and local statutes can also be more generous to workers on issues including minimum wages, mandatory paid and unpaid leave, vested-vacation payouts and employment taxes.

Employees can find themselves undercompensated when their employer is not in compliance with the laws and statutes of various localities.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has begun an aggressive campaign to collect on overtime claims and compensate employees for lost wages and damages. The department has announced that it will be hiring 100 new wage-hour investigators,” said Joseph Harris, an attorney with A.Y. Strauss in New York City. “Although the federal Department of Labor is important to watch, employers would be well-advised to consider the enforcement priorities of their state departments of labor as well.”

There is a shift toward enforcement of wage and hour violations. Harris said, “One of the earliest indications of that shift was the termination of the Department of Labor’s PAID [Payroll Audit Independent Determination] program. The PAID program allowed businesses to self-report federal minimum wage and overtime violations in an effort to avoid litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The DOL recently recovered $202K in back wages for electricians in Newark, NJ, $268K in pay for engineering contractors at Virginia Tech, and $290K for food truck workers in Maui denied their full wages.

If you feel your employer isn’t compensating you appropriately based on the locality where you perform your tasks, don’t wait for the DOL to decide to investigate your employer, contact our experienced attorneys today to receive the compensation and damages you deserve.