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Remote Work,Where To Begin...

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

If you're a small business that is considering allowing employees to work remote, here are five things you should consider:

1.What Roles Can Be Remote

Reviewing your organization's roles will help determine which tasks can be done remotely. For example, you may find that some jobs demand direct customer contact, such as a medical professional or bank teller. You will also need to consider if you will allow both exempt and non-exempt employees to work from home; if you do allow both, you need to consider time tracking and how you will manage it for non-exempt employees.

2.Compensation Model & Pay Equity

Salary ranges can be location-based or value-based; typically, most companies base compensation on physical location, but with the development of remote work, companies are beginning to adjust their compensation structures. As you build your pay strategy, consider the advantages of a location-based approach (in which you correlate compensation to the location of your employees) vs. a value-based approach (where you pay employees based on the value they bring your organization).

Pay Equity is another critical factor; many employers want to pay their on-site workers more because they are commuting and collaborating in person. However, before paying remote employees less than those who come into the office, be mindful that you can be causing disparate impact and may lead to a discriminatory case on your hands.

3.Wage & Hour Laws

Minimum wage and overtime standards for non-exempt employees vary by state, as do salary threshold and job duty tests for exempt employees. Some states and even cities have their own requirements for paid leave, reimbursement, meal and rest breaks, and other benefits. For all of your employees, whether on-site or remote, it's essential to review your pay procedures/policies to ensure they comply with federal and state wage and hour requirements.

4.Local Tax & Insurance Compliance

Many states have family leave and disability insurance plans requiring companies to deduct or pay a state-run fund from employee earnings. Make sure you're registered in the state unemployment insurance programs and that your workers' compensation insurance is up to date. You should also check to see if you need to register in the states where you have one or more remote employees.

5.Written Policy

Always, always, always, make sure you have a written policy. Having a written policy ensures that your company (managers included) follows and maintains consistent pay practices and potentially protects your company from an employee claim.

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