Managing remote employees
We’re seven months into the pandemic and it’s very likely that you’ve made some permanent changes to how you hire and manage employees. Below are some of the highlights to focus on, it’s by no means everything but a good starting point. If you find yourself with questions feel free to contact us.
If your remote employees live in the state where your business is located, you must follow federal employment laws plus your state’s employment rules. But if your remote employees live in a different state from where you conduct business, you must comply with federal employment laws plus the labor laws for each state in which your employees reside. This applies to all areas of employment, including hiring, performance management, payroll and employee benefits.
Managing Hiring Policies
When hiring remote employees, you must consider all laws affecting the recruiting, interviewing and hiring processes. Among them are federal anti-discrimination laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
Note that many states have their own anti-discrimination laws, and some jurisdictions prohibit employers from requesting that applicants disclose their salary history.
In addition, employers must conduct employment eligibility verification via Form I-9 and perform new hire reporting with the state.
Managing a remote team is considerably different from managing an on-site team. With remote employees, you cannot walk over to their desks to chat or have in-person meetings with them.
Without proper support, your remote team can easily become disengaged. And if you’re not careful, you could find yourself forgetting essential duties, such as tracking their time worked and staying abreast of PTO requests.
Below are suggestions for avoiding these pitfalls and attaining an engaged remote team:
- Set clear expectations, upfront, with each team member.
- Let them know whom to contact if they have questions. Have a system in place that promptly addresses their concerns.
- Build a rapport with each team member. Encourage their input on matters affecting their work or the team.
- Offer regular feedback via one-on-one meetings using Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts or another video conferencing platform.
- Help them fulfill their career goals by fairly evaluating their performance, developing action plans for improvement and rewarding high performance.
- Utilize technology that simplifies timekeeping and leave of absence administration.
Managing Payroll and Benefits
Like on-site employees, remote employees are subject to federal and state payroll laws plus applicable employee benefits regulations. These laws relate to:
- Minimum wage
- Exempt employees
- Tax withholding
- Paycheck deductions
- Payday frequency
- Final wages
- Breaks and meal periods
- Workers’ compensation
- Unemployment insurance
- Paid and unpaid time off
- Voluntary benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans
- Record keeping
Overwhelmed with the idea of managing payroll and benefits during a pandemic or any other time. We can help when it comes to managing remote employees.
Health and Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has stated in the past that it does not perform inspections of employees’ home offices and that employers are generally not responsible for home-based safety issues. This is a gray area. Therefore, employers with remote employees should obtain legal advice regarding health and safety.
Other complex areas that may require legal counsel include when employees work both remotely and on-site, when employees work in a different country and when an employer terminates a remote employee. For more information about managing remote employees contact us or your trusted HR advisor.
Get to know Atlantic Payroll Partners
At Atlantic Payroll Partners we believe we are the best, local payroll provider to help you grow your business. Even more than that. We’re a Professional Employment Organization that offers an incredible suite of solutions for your business. In addition to offering payroll services we offer, full-service HR, workers’ compensation, accounting, and health care benefits. Our solution suite is back by over 100 years of combined experience in the PEO space.
We’re proud to say that we’ve helped businesses reduce employee turnover, increase revenue, make more money, and lighten their daily load by working with us. Our clients can offer their employees’ health care benefits, and access to the same 401k plans that the Fortune 500 companies use without breaking the bank.
We welcome you to continue exploring our website, to learn more about Atlantic Payroll Partners and how we can help improve your business.
"Work Less, Fish More"