As more and more companies hire remote workers, they’re adjusting to changes in workplace culture and best practices for accommodating these workers.
New technology, access to talent without geographical limits, reduced expenses and an improved work-life balance are some of the reasons for the shift from traditional desk jobs to remote work. According to 2005-2015 U.S. Census Bureau data by Global Workplace Analytics, the number of employees who work from home at least half the time has grown from 1.8 million in 2005 to 3.7 million in 2015 – a 115 percent increase.
Employers with remote workers must consider how to address this new trend and ensure compliance with employment laws. Labor law postings, for example, require careful attention. By law, employers must provide mandatory labor law posters to ALL employees, including those who work off-site or at home.
Because the required format for communicating these notices isn’t clear-cut, employers must evaluate their circumstances and use their best judgment. Here is some guidance on labor law posting compliance for remote workers.
Do Your Remote Workers Visit the Office Often?
How frequently your remote workers visit the office plays a big part in how you share labor law postings with them. If they report to your physical location at least three to four times a month _ and you prominently display up-to-date labor law postings – you’re most likely in compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recommendations.
If your remote workers visit the office less frequently or not at all, however, traditional postings at the office won’t be sufficient. In this case, you should consider providing the postings electronically through email, the company intranet or the Internet in an easily accessible format.
Complying with posting requirements can be particularly tricky if your remote employees work in different states, as it’s not always clear which state laws apply. The laws where an employee works, not lives, typically govern basic employment rights, such as minimum wage, overtime, and safety issues.
The structure of your company can further complicate the situation. Your out-of-state employees may be covered by the laws at the location of your headquarters AND the laws of the state where they work. Because of the many factors with different business relationships, your safest option is to provide both sets of state-specific postings to remote staffers.
Ensuring Compliance with Paper or Electronic Postings
While the law is clear about your responsibility to share labor law posting information with all employees, regardless of where they work, it isn’t so precise on the delivery method for remote workers. Recent court cases and government publications, however, suggest that transmitting the information electronically is a sensible, convenient and compliant method.
This alternative gives workers the opportunity to download, view and acknowledge receipt of required postings. It also fulfills your obligation as an employer to communicate necessary labor law information to all employees, as covered in mandatory federal and state notices.
Remember, too, that if your company has consultants at multiple client sites, you’re still legally responsible for communicating their employment rights to them. If your clients properly display the most current posters, this compliance extends to your consultants. But if the posters aren’t up-to-date or correctly displayed, it’s in your best interest to work with your clients to fix the problem. You also have the option of providing the appropriate postings to your consultants electronically.
As previously mentioned, your obligation to employees who work at home but occasionally visit the office is open to question. Guidance from government sources suggests that physical postings at the office are acceptable if an employee stops by three or four times a month.
Year-Round Compliance Without the Hassle
Staying up-to-date with labor law posting requirements is a challenging task, but expert assistance is available. Get the support you need with Poster Guard® Compliance Protection Service for Remote Workers, which offers electronic and binder solutions.
With Poster Guard’s Electronic Service, remote workers can easily access federal, state and local posters online. They will also be automatically notified via email whenever there are mandatory posting updates.
If you have remote employees at non-traditional worksites like kiosks, valet stations food trucks, and other work locations with little or no wall space, Poster Guard’s Binder Service is the perfect solution. Convenient and fully compliant, it features large-format, full-color labor law posters in a durable binder for easy viewing.
Our strong legal team monitors hundreds of federal, state, local and industry-specific changes, and there are automatic poster replacements every time a mandatory change occurs. With our Poster Guard services, you’ll enjoy year-round compliance without the hassle.