Managing the HR and Payroll of your Remote Employees

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.

Talent Management

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
  • Overtime
  • 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,

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"

Work from home pay, what should it be?

2020 has been a game changer and chances are you as a business owner have had to make some adjustments. One of the key adjustments that presented during the early stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic, remote work. More specifically, what is work from home pay? What should you be paying your employees?  Fun fact, since 2005, remote work has soared 173%, according to 2018 data from American Community Service. Whether you recently adopted this remote work model because of the pandemic or have been utilizing it for years, you should know your wage-and-hour responsibilities.

FLSA Rules for Remote Nonexempt Employees

Nonexempt means the employee is not exempt from overtime pay rules under the FLSA. You must pay remote nonexempt employees, whether hourly or salaried, no less than the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25. (Many states impose a higher minimum wage.) These employees must also receive overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for hours worked above 40 in a workweek.

The FLSA does not require you to provide short breaks, but if you choose to give them, the time must be paid. Meal periods are unpaid. The FLSA also mandates that you keep records of wages and hours for each remote nonexempt employee.

Challenges: It can be difficult to track hours and breaks for remote nonexempt employees because they’re working from home or elsewhere off-site. Depending on the type of work the employees do, you might not always know when they’re working. This can result in employees working overtime without your consent.

Solutions: Courts have ruled that remote nonexempt employees are responsible for tracking their own work hours, but their employer must give them the tools needed to track their time. For best results, adopt a timekeeping system, such as an online time clock, that simplifies tracking of remote employees’ work time. Also, develop policies regarding work hours, rest breaks, meals and overtime. Communicate the policies in writing to your remote team. Make sure each employee knows his or her work schedule, your expectations and the consequences of violating the policies.

FLSA Rules for Remote Exempt Employees

Employees who are excluded from the FLSA’s overtime pay provisions are “exempt,” meaning they do not need to be paid overtime for hours worked above 40 in a workweek (or other state-mandated rules). If you have remote exempt employees who are salaried, you must pay them their full salary for any week in which they do any work. Under the FLSA, exempt-salaried employees must receive no less than $684 per week, unless an allowable deduction applies.

You don’t have to track work hours for your exempt-salaried remote team because they’re paid based on a predetermined, fixed amount. But you can require that they work a certain number of hours per week. If you don’t track your remote exempt employees’ work hours, you should at least have some type of system for monitoring their day-to-day performance.

Other FLSA Implications

These include travel and on-call time for telecommuters. In both of these situations, determining how to pay telecommuters can be tricky, good thing Atlantic Payroll Partners can help.

Copyright 2020

About 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. We do our job, so that you can focus on yours.

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