Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many companies have their employees working from home, and many employers might plan to continue remote work indefinitely. After all, a remote workforce can lower overhead costs, as well as lead to more employee satisfaction and productivity in many situations.
However, as an employer, you need to make sure that your policies and practices regarding remote work comply with all applicable California employment laws. Never hesitate to discuss the matter with an employment lawyer in Walnut Creek.
California law requires companies to reimburse employees for reasonable business expenses, which include the costs of working from home. Expenses might include purchasing office equipment or paying for internet or other necessary utilities. What is a “reasonable” expense will depend on the situation – for example, an IT specialist might need to splurge for much faster broadband than other employees.
Employers must ensure that employees have a healthy and safe working environment, and this does not change with a remote workforce. You should have agreements in place with remote employees that state they will maintain a safe space for their work from home. In addition, you still must carry workers’ compensation insurance, as some at-home accidents and injuries might be covered by workers’ compensation.
Companies should maintain strict policies against unlawful discrimination and harassment for remote employees. People will still be in contact – whether by email, Slack, or Zoom – and there is always the possibility of offensive or discriminatory conduct. These policies should not change when your workforce goes remote.
If you have questions about remote employees and the law, consult with a Walnut Creek employment attorney at Yudien Law Firm, P.C. Call 925.472.0600 or contact us online to set up an appointment to discuss your legal concerns as an employer.