Do California Employees Earn Overtime When Working from Home?

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At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was difficult to find a workplace that wasn’t experiencing big changes as an effect of the situation. The business landscape was effectively changed within only a 3-6 month span. One of the biggest changes implemented by a vast number of California employers was the implementation of temporary work-from-home accommodations for employees who could complete their job duties from home. Even employers who adamantly opposed telecommuting embraced it in order to avoid shutting down entirely.

Temporary Work-from-Hone Situations that Are Sticking Around

Initially, temporary work-from-home assignments were a matter of survival for most companies. Desperate employers had every intention of bringing their workforce back to the office full-time post-pandemic, but now that the lockdowns are no longer in force, and California workers have the freedom to work in the office again - many are choosing to stay home. And many of their employers are on board.

California Businesses Discovered they Could Thrive Amid a Virtual Workplace

Many California businesses discovered very quickly that they could thrive without having anyone step foot in the office. What does this mean for the California workforce? For many, it means that remote work is not actually a temporary situation, but a new situation.

Working from Home: an Adjustment that is Posing Legal Questions

If you are a non-exempt, hourly-paid employee, and you are used to working on the clock, adjusting to a remote office from your home can pose a few questions. First and foremost, how does working from home change your overtime pay rate, and how it’s calculated? The answer is simple - it changes nothing at all.

Working for Wages at Home vs. Working for Wages at the Office

There is essentially no difference between working for wages at home or working for wages at the office. When it comes to overtime hours, and overtime pay calculations, a worker’s relocation to a new job site is not a factor. As long as you are a non-exempt employee, working from home has no effect on your ability to earn overtime pay. However, working from home can sometimes blur the line between on the clock and off the clock. Pay attention to your work habits and make sure that you are keeping firm boundaries between your work life and your home life. Accurately track your hours, and avoid off-the-clock work. Be careful if you are handling calls, emails, or tasks on demand rather than during work hours. If you do handle work outside of your normal working hours, clock in or keep track of your hours carefully. There’s nothing wrong with working outside of normal business hours to get more work done - as long as your employer is willing to compensate you for the overtime.

If you are a non-exempt California employee and you aren’t being compensated for overtime hours because you work from home, get in touch with Moss Bollinger, Sherman Oaks, California employment law attorney. He's dedicated to protecting and asserting the rights of his clients. Call 866-942-7974 today for a free consultation or contact us online.

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