Wage & Hour Disputes
With more employees working from home, some workers report that they are busier than ever before participating in zoom calls by day and following up on emails well into the evening hours. When work and home boundaries blur and the amount of hours put in at work start to add up, it is important for hourly workers to keep track as they may be eligible for overtime pay if they exceed a 40 hour work week.
Although employers may require employees to be on call more often, it is not permissible for employers to take advantage of remote workers by not paying them for their time. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a nonexempt employee must be paid time and a half for every hour worked in excess of forty hours per week.
Workplace Discrimination While Working Remotely
Another area of concern for employees working for home is the lack of transparency which may result in discriminatory practices in the workplace. Employees working remotely may not be privy to the fact that a promotion opportunity exists only to discover a less deserving coworker received the job. Or, an employee may be subject to an adverse employment action, such as termination, that seems to come out of left field. Because employees are no longer gathering around the proverbial water cooler when working from home, there are fewer checks on employment discrimination which is prohibited on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, age, religion, national origin or disability.
Home Workers Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Finally, an employee that is injured while performing their job, even from a home setting, is eligible for workers’ compensation to cover medical bills and wage replacement. Employees who work remotely might be in for an uphill battle if they need long term disability because an employer cannot see a remote worker’s limitations and therefore may challenge their claim. If you are injured while working remotely, it is a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you get the benefits you need and deserve.
Contact Our Des Moines Employment Law Attorneys for Help Today
The trend toward working from home may continue for some time, but it is important to remember that employers must still follow wage and hour laws, avoid discriminatory practices, and provide workers’ compensation benefits to employees injured on the job. When your employer has engaged in unethical or illegal practices because you are working from home it is important to talk with an employment law attorney. Contact the Des Moines employment law & workers’ compensation attorneys of Stoltze & Stoltze Law PLC for immediate assistance today at 515-244-1473.