While the COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of employees to work remotely, this new work model has become a mainstay for many businesses – even after it was safe to return to our offices. This is because many employers realized there are numerous benefits to working from home. If you are an employer who plans to continue this remote work model indefinitely, there are many employment law issues to bear in mind. Here are some major points to consider.
Preventing Discrimination in a Work-from-Home Setting
The specific employers who can work from home depend upon who can carry out their job responsibilities outside of the office. Some jobs are not able to be completed remotely. When determining which employees can work remotely and which cannot, it’s imperative that you ensure that there are legitimate reasons and that you document them. If you do not accurately keep a record of these reasons, you could be accused of discrimination.
Establishing a Reliable Method for Keeping Time
When you have employees who are working from home, it’s not as easy to keep track of their hours. Timekeeping is an extremely important concern. Nonexempt employees should maintain detailed records of the hours that they work and these should be frequently input into the business’s timekeeping system. This is so important because, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers have a legal duty to keep track of their nonexempt employees’ work hours. If you fail to adequately maintain or update your employees’ hours worked, you may be accused of underpaying someone and may be forced to provide back pay.
Maintaining Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Your Remote Workers
In the state of Illinois, businesses with one or more employees are legally required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. Just because your employees work remotely, does not negate this requirement. Although you don’t have control over your employees’ home-work environment, you must still treat workers’ compensation claims the same as you would if an injury resulted in the office. It’s important to make sure that you have adequate insurance and understand what your obligations are should a situation arise.
The IL Employment Law Attorneys at ST Legal Group Can Help
If you or a loved one is dealing with discrimination, timekeeping, a workers’ compensation claim, or any other work-related issue, it’s imperative that you protect yourself and your legal rights. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a qualified lawyer. A knowledgeable and experienced Illinois employment law attorney can help you to fight for what you deserve. The qualified attorneys at ST Legal Group can help to protect your employment rights. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!