Department of Labor Releases Bulletin Reminding Employers to Monitor Teleworking Employees' Hours

August 24, 2020


On August 24, 2020, the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (DOL) released a bulletin reminding employers of their obligation to monitor employees' hours under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), even if the employees are teleworking. 

Under FLSA, an employer is required to pay its employees for all hours worked by the employee, including time spent working from home. If the employer knows or has a reason to believe that an employee is performing work, even if unscheduled, the employer must count that time as hours worked. 

With employees teleworking from home, it may be difficult for an employer to determine how many hours an employee is working from home. However, an employer may limit unscheduled overtime hours by requiring its employees to follow a reasonable reporting procedure. If an employee fails to report their additional unscheduled hours using the employer's established reporting procedure, then the employer does not have knowledge of the overtime hours, and failure to pay for the unreported hours may not be an FLSA violation. 

The DOL's recent bulletin serves as a good reminder for employers to implement reasonable reporting measures for their teleworking employees; doing so may protect employers from liability for unintentional FLSA violations. 

If you have questions about how this recent DOL bulletin affects your organization, or about how to implement a reporting program for your teleworking employees, please contact a member of the Labor & Employment practice group. 

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