As many employers have allowed remote work on a more permanent basis, they’ve also exposed themselves to some payroll and HR compliance risks. Employers can reduce risk and exposure with the right employee policies in their employee handbook. One of the best practices MP’s HR services team recommends is to add language to their staff handbook that protects the company from unexpected overtime work done by non-exempt employees.
In every state, employers are responsible for paying non-exempt employees for all hours worked. Since employers have allowed remote work on a more permanent basis, they’ve experienced unpleasant surprises: significant amounts of backpay due to their non-exempt workers. This situation is happening more frequently now for a few reasons:
- It can be more difficult for remote workers to unplug from their work.
- It’s challenging for employers to see how much their remote employees are working.
With these factors combined, many remote employees are working extra, usually unexpected, hours– hours for which they must be paid.
4 Essential Employee Handbook Tips for HR Compliance
Employers can avoid this payroll compliance issue by including specific language in their employee manual. They should include these four items in the employee handbook:
- A clear statement that non-exempt employees may not work overtime unless they receive advance permission from their managers.
- A description of the process that non-exempt employees should use to request permission for overtime.
- A statement that employees will be disciplined if they don’t follow these directives. This statement shouldn’t supply specific disciplinary actions, as this may be too restrictive. Language should allow for the flexibility for managers and HR to make the best disciplinary choices for individual situations.
- A policy with procedures for correcting employees’ pay if there was inaccurate payment.
HR professionals and employers could add the above language via its own policy for overtime work for non-exempt workers. They may also add the language to existing policies for work schedules.
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