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Do I Have Worker Protection Even if I Work From Home in California?

Posted on September 22, 2023 in Employment Law

More Californians are transitioning to remote work at home each year, with that number continuing to grow. Whether working in the office or at home, employees benefit from the same labor laws. If you work from home or are considering this transition, what will this look like for you? 

Reimbursement for Expenses

As remote workers, California employers should reimburse employees for the expenses that result from working from home. Determining what these costs may be challenging. These expenses can include:

  • Internet
  • Wi-Fi
  • Phone service
  • Any additional equipment required by an employer to perform a job

Keep receipts for these expenses to ensure proper reimbursement. An employee pay stub summary should specify the reimbursement and amount. 

Equal Pay

As minimum wages have recently increased across California, employers must pay the same hourly wage to remote workers in California that office workers receive. Overtime and double-time should be paid at the same rate as on-site office employees. Any attempt to reimburse a remote employee less than employees who work in the office or to deny wages and overtime pay is against the law. 

Working from home in California requires an employee to be diligent with timekeeping. One of the more beneficial aspects of working in an office is that your employer is aware of your presence, but working from home is a barrier to those visual queues. Failure to pay employees the correct wage violates the California Labor Code.

Workplace Notification Awareness

Employers required to post public notifications applying to your rights as an employee can now transmit these notifications by email. These notifications are essential because they pertain to vital information such as:

  • Non-discrimination notices
  • Whistleblower rights
  • Payroll schedules
  • CDC safety protocol

Ensure you have a copy of your company’s workplace notifications if you work from home to ensure your rights and safety.

Policies Applying to Telecommuting

A telecommunications policy is required by employers that explains how work will be conducted remotely. This policy outlines what an employer constitutes as work and how it should be performed. It should also identify procedures such as keeping track of work hours, identifying work that should be completed, and how to appropriately store this information.

The Fate of Remote Work

While some companies have readily embraced remote work, others are considering a return to the office. A worker’s contract outlining where work will be performed should be in place.  But California is an at-will employment state, and an employer can amend a worker’s contract to change where work must be performed. 

Contracts can be amended, and employers and employees have the right to continue a business relationship. Employees who believe they have been terminated for an illegal firing reason, such as race, age, religion, or sexual orientation, should always speak with a San Diego employment lawyer immediately. 

San Diego Employment Lawyers Represent Your Work from Home Rights

The employment landscape continually changes as the world evolves to accommodate uncertain times and changes. While these processes can provide exciting opportunities, they can also leave employees with questions about their rights as work-from-home employees in California.

An employer is responsible for familiarizing employees with the guidelines that apply to their workplace, providing the appropriate pay for all employees, and informing employees of proper work procedures. Walker Law works from a vast knowledge of the law to represent you when unfair workplace practices are in place, costing you your employment and livelihood. A free consultation lets us evaluate your claim and determine how to serve you best.

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