Remote Workers Are Entitled To Overtime Pay, Too
Don’t Let Your Employer Get Away With Not Paying You Overtime
Is your employer trying to cheat you out of overtime pay because you work from home?
As COVID-19 outbreaks intensify, employers throughout the country are mandating that their employees work from home.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees are entitled to pay and a half for hours worked over 40 per week. That’s true whether you’re working from home or at the office.
But employers are not required to pay you for hours you didn’t work. And when you work from home, you’re not under your employer’s direct supervision—so verifying the number of hours you worked can be a bit more complicated.
Conflicts arise when employers fail to communicate their hour-tracking policies, don’t set up standard methods for tracking time, and hold unrealistic expectations.
Here’s what the law says about tracking your hours, overtime pay, and your employer’s responsibilities toward work-from-home employees.
Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees
Not all workers are entitled to overtime pay, whether they’re working at the office or at home.
In Pennsylvania, new rules went into effect in October 2020 regarding who is eligible for overtime pay, minimum wage, and other protections. Factors that may make you exempt from receiving overtime pay include:
- How much money you make
- The nature of your job
- Whether you receive a yearly salary or hourly pay
Overtime Pay for Non-Exempt Employees
Non-exempt employees who work from home have to carefully track their hours to qualify for overtime pay.
Your employer is permitted to set limits on how many hours you can work, however. There should be clearly-stated expectations around that, as well as what hours you can and cannot count toward your time.
For instance, mealtimes are generally not included as paid hourly wages, but your employer can’t expect you to work through your meals if they aren’t paying you for it.
Employers should also implement standardized software or tools for tracking work hours, and train employees in the use of new software if necessary.
A Strict Boundary Between Work and Home Life
When you’re at the office, it’s simple to separate work and home life. But while working from home, you have to maintain those boundaries yourself.
Your employer will expect you not to include time spent doing non-work activities during work hours—such as helping a child with homework or cooking meals for your family.
Try to maintain work hours as close as possible to your previous office hours, and leave your work at the “office” when work is over for the day. This will make it much easier to track your time.
Employers Should Have Reasonable Expectations
Employers are within their rights to tell employees not to work overtime if they can help it, or to limit the overtime hours employees can work.
However, problems sometimes arise when the job normally takes more than 40 hours a week, and the employer tells its workforce that it may not work overtime while working from home.
This sets up a situation where employees will be likely to go over 40 hours a week and not be paid for it.
Are You Being Cheated Out of Overtime Pay?
If you’re a non-exempt employee and your employer is refusing to pay you the overtime it owes you, you should talk to a qualified employment lawyer.
Many employees are working from home for the first time during the pandemic, giving rise to misunderstandings and conflicts. A qualified employment lawyer can help you sort through it and seek restitution.
Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free, confidential consultation today.
The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.