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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Issues with remote work and employment discrimination

One of the neatest benefits of modern technology is that more and more employees in California are able to do some or even all of their work from the comfort of their own homes. While it is certainly not something that all employers in Northern California offer or that all employees would even want to accept, many find the option both convenient and enjoyable. However, employees who are interested in this option need to be aware of some important rights that they have with respect to remote working arrangements.

For one, California's wage and hour rules still apply when a person is working at home. A person who is not exempt from California's overtime laws has to be paid the appropriate overtime rate if he works over eight hours in a given day or otherwise qualifies for these benefits. Other wage and hour laws also apply to arrangements involving remote work.

Another item to remember is that laws prohibiting employment discrimination would apply to remote working arrangements. An employer need not offer the option to work remotely at all, but if it does, which employees get to avail themselves of the option must be based on objective, non-discriminatory criteria. To give an example, it would likely be illegal for a California employer to deny a pregnant employee the option to work remotely if her colleagues in similar situations would have the option to do so.

Getting to work remotely is a wonderful benefit for many employees, and all California workers should expect fair treatment when they request the ability to do so. Wage and hour claims or employment discrimination claims can be discussed with professionals.


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