Publication | BRG
Wage and Hour Compliance for Remote Workers during COVID
Elizabeth Arnold and Chester Hanvey
Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, the nature of the workplace has changed for many employees working in the US. Many workers experienced a swift and unanticipated transition to a remote work environment. Among the many challenges associated with this transition has been employers’ ability to remain compliant with wage and hour legal obligations. Ensuring precise and accurate time reporting for nonexempt hourly employees, for example, is challenging for employees who are not performing work on company premises and cannot be overseen closely by management. Organizations that cannot address these challenges properly are left with legal vulnerabilities that have the potential to become extremely costly.
Experts in BRG’s Labor and Employment practice recently conducted an empirical study to examine hourly employees’ compliance with applicable wage and hour laws in a remote work environment. A survey of nearly eight hundred hourly employees across the US who have worked remotely at some point since March 2020 provides insight into the degree of employees’ compliance with specific time-clock practices; and the organizational and individual employee attributes that contribute to wage and hour compliance.
The study findings provide detail regarding a range of work characteristics and organizational practices that previously may not have been available to external parties, such as the positive nature of communication between remote employees and their supervisors, and the fact that most organizations appear to be aware of the importance of remote timekeeping policies and are working to communicate them to employees. In addition, the study identified meaningful relationships between company policy clarity and employee general compliance as being highly correlated with remote employee timekeeping compliance.