Employers with fully remote or hybrid remote work environments should be prepared for additional HR risk and compliance concerns, particularly if they have employees in different states. When employees work remotely in a new state, they create a new “work location.” This work location will be subject to HR and compliance laws in the state and city it’s located. Employers may work with HR compliance services, such as MP, to conduct an HR compliance audit and ensure they’re in HR compliance in all required states. These are the five areas a workplace should consider ensuring they’re in compliance with every work location.
5 Areas of Compliance to Check for Remote Employers
1. Local and state leave laws:
If employers have a remote worker, they must permit that worker access to leave policies in their city and state. These may include maternity leave, jury leave, voting leave, sick leave, or other state-mandated leave programs. Employers must update their employee handbooks to include employment policies surrounding relevant leaves. These programs frequently include stringent protections for retaliation, discrimination, and jobs. For example, an employee may construe receiving a new, less desirable schedule upon returning from maternity leave as a form of retaliation. Non-compliance with city and state leave laws could lead to painful consequences for employers, including increased legal exposure, penalties and fines, or the possibility of lawsuits.
2. Reimbursable expenses:
Employers in some states may be required to reimburse workers for equipment, internet, cell phone, and other expenses. Again, even if the employer’s state doesn’t require reimbursement for such charges, employers must reimburse expenses for employees who work in states that do require it.
3. Anti-harassment training:
Many states, and even some cities, require employers to provide certain training. Their laws may specify the frequency of the training and what content trainers must include. An HR services provider such as MP will identify required training, then provide them to employees either in-person or remotely. For remote employees, a learning management system, such as MP’s Learn and Grow, is a simple way to deliver training, track employees’ progress, and remind employees of required trainings or assign new ones.
4. Employment posters:
Every state requires employers to share a variety of posters with their employees. These posters can vary drastically in content and number from state to state. Even if employees are remote, their workplace must still share required posters. Some best practices to share posters with remote employees include:
- Posting on company intranets
- Mail hard copies to the employee
- A combination of methods
5. Required notices:
Similarly to employment posters, many states have their own list of notices employers must share with workers. Employers may deliver notices via:
- mailing hard copies
- sharing notices on company intranets
- sharing notices on an external website
- sharing notices on a shared network drive or file
Note that if employers share notices electronically, it’s a best practice to share how to access these notices. It’s also a best practice not to use an electronic format for delivery that employees rarely use. This may make accessing it more challenging for employees.
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