In remote work arrangements, the employer’s obligation to track hours worked but not scheduled can present more questions than answers.
In response to the unprecedented rise in the number of employees working remotely, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor recently issued Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2020-5. The guidance is primarily meant to reduce confusion over when employers “have reason to believe that work is being performed” as it relates to nonexempt employees in remote work situations.
The bulletin expands on:
- An employer’s obligation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to track the number of compensable hours worked by remote employees
- Whether or not employers have actual or constructive knowledge of additional unscheduled hours worked and courts deciding whether they should have acquired knowledge of such hours
- Employers not being required to undergo impractical efforts to uncover unreported hours if reasonable reporting procedures are in place
- An employer’s time reporting process not constituting reasonable diligence if the employer prevents or discourages an employee from accurately reporting the time worked
- The fact that the employer’s obligation to make efforts to prevent the remote performance of unwanted worked is not without limits
Telework resources from TASB HR Services
Additional telework articles and resources are available in the HRX and the HR Library (myTASB login required), including:
Keith McLemore is an HR and compensation consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Keith an email at email@example.com.
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