The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides many protections to the majority of workers in America, including minimum wage and overtime pay for non-exempt workers who put in more than 40 hours in any one work week. However, many workers who telecommute wonder how these rules apply to them and whether they are entitled to wage protections.
According to statistics, roughly 37% of US workers have telecommuted. Telecommuting creates challenges including how to keep track of time – what if workers work through breaks and meal periods? What about time spent on required travel to meetings, taking calls “after-hours” and responding to meals?
If you telecommute, you should take a few simple steps to ensure you receive all the compensation you are entitled to. First, before you enter into an arrangement, discuss wage and hour issues with your employer so that you both have a clear understanding of expectations. This includes discussing hour requirements. Your employer should to make additional demands on your time that aren’t required of other workers. In order to ensure you are not taken advantage of, its important to keep a strict record of your hours. It may also be a good idea to have a written agreement or terms of employment to refer to should your employer request work outside of your normal scope.