Payroll Briefs

Employers: What to Know About Overtime While Working Remote

May 7, 2020

As millions of Americans are forced to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, it may continue to be our new normal. With over a third of previously commuting workers now working remotely, many new and unexpected challenges are created for small business owners. One of the larger ones is monitoring employees’ work hours and calculating overtime as needed. As an employer, you must be familiar with the overtime rules and understand how they play a role in this new frontier of working remote.

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees

If your employees are normally exempt, there are no new changes to the rules. If an employee was exempt within the office, they’ll still be exempt at home, so you won’t need to calculate the hours they have worked. While hours still won’t need to be monitored, it’s important for you to set expectations for employees working remotely so they understand that although their work environment has changed, their roles haven’t.

In regard to non-exempt employees, overtime rules for working remote also remain the same. The Department of Labor (DOL) insists non-exempt employees be paid an overtime rate of at least 1.5 times their normal rate for any hours exceeding 40 per week, no matter where they’re working. It’s also important to note any state-specific overtime regulations for your organization.

How to Monitor Non-Exempt Employees

Working out of the office presents the distinct challenge of not being able to oversee your employees as they complete their work. Two strategies to monitor employees remotely include:

  • Working the Same Schedule
    If employees continue to work their regular hours, work will remain consistent. As an employer, it’s important to be explicit about whether employees can work overtime or not, as well as how much more they are allowed to work. Encourage your team to create a work-life balance within their homes, focusing on their work during the day and stepping away from their computers outside of working hours.
  • Time Tracking
    Using a time-tracking software, such as those offered through DM Payroll Solutions, empowers employees to manage their hours worked. They can clock in and out for breaks, allowing you to see where they’re spending their time working. Time tracking also allows you to notice trends in overtime and create accurate timesheets for your payroll.

As the country adjusts to working remotely for the foreseeable future, ensure your business is set up for success when it comes to monitoring overtime and hours worked. To learn how DM Payroll Solutions’ time tracking capabilities can help you during this uncertain time, contact us today.