On August 24, 2020, the US Department of Labor issued guidance on the responsibilities of employers and employees on tracking non-exempt telecommuter work hours. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated in 2019 roughly 24% of working Americans performed some work at home on an average day.  Obviously, this number has gone up in response to COVID-19.  Since the Department of Labor had not reviewed these guidelines since 1961, it felt is was necessary to address this issue.

In a telecommuter or remote work arrangement, the question of the employer’s obligation to track hours actually worked for which the employee was not scheduled may often arise.  In complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), “An employer is required to pay its employees for all hours worked, including work not requested but suffered or permitted, including work performed at home.”  If the employer knows through ‘reasonable diligence’ or has reason to believe work is being performed, the time must be counted as hours worked.

The best way an employer may exercise such diligence is by providing a reasonable reporting procedure for nonscheduled time and then compensating employees for all reported hours of work, even hours not requested by the employer. If an employee fails to report unscheduled hours worked through such a system, the employer is not required to undergo impractical efforts to uncover unreported hours of work and provide compensation for those hours.  However, the employer cannot implicitly or overtly discourage or impede accurate reporting, and the employer must compensate employees for all reported hours of work.

Do you need a way to track time worked for remote employees?

Time Equipment Company offers several ways to track time using secure, cloud-based software.  This can include clocking into a virtual clock, tracking time worked on a task sheet or using an allocation sheet for specific tasks or departments.

For more information about track time for your remote work staff, contact Time Equipment Company at 800-997-8463 or sales@timeequipment.com.

*This document simplifies complex Acts as it is understood by Time Equipment Company. It is not to be taken as legal advice. The regulations for this program are changing. For further information about FLSA, please visit www.dol.gov/