Los Angeles Office Location
Hennig Ruiz & Singh
Not sure if you have a legal case? Call us to talk to a lawyer:
Free Consultations
One Of The Most Successful Workers' Rights Trial Law Firms In California

California Telecommuting Law: What Employees Need To Know

california-telecommuting-law-employees.pngAccording to the Society for Human Resource Management, employee telecommuting is at an all-time high. Their research indicates that from 1996 to 2016, the percentage of employees who work one or more days per week from home has increased about 20%. The industries where most of this increase has occurred are software and marketing firms. There is also a higher concentration of telecommuting at firms in big cities that suffer from consistently heavy rush hour traffic. In cities like Los Angeles, the option to avoid the morning commute is a valuable improvement in quality of life for workers. Businesses also stand to benefit as they can save money by offering telecommuting to skilled employees which drastically reduces overhead costs.

But if you're a telecommuting employee in California, are you offered the same employee protections under federal and California labor and employment laws? This article will help you understand California telecommuting laws and how they can protect you from illegal employer behaviors.

The Disadvantages of Telecommuting in California

So telecommuting is a win-win situation for businesses and employees, right? Well, that depends on your organization. As Science Daily reports, researchers at Brigham Young University believe that employee telecommuting can cause leadership problems for businesses. Physical presence at the work site may be an indispensable condition for an effective manager, and employees who aren't at the office often suffer from negative bias on the part of other employees and managers.

Some California Employers Treat Telecommuting Employees Unfairly

Receiving fair compensation and break time can also be an issue for telecommuting workers. Although most employees in high-telecommuting industries like software development are salaried, telecommuting can also be an option for hourly positions. If you are an hourly employee who telecommutes, you are entitled to similar hourly compensation, breaks and overtime as other employees. But employers can sometimes treat telecommuting employees unfairly. Some employers might have a tendency to think of their telecommuters as contractors. Others might ask telecommuting employees to work breaks or fail to pay them for time they spend on certain work tasks, like driving to meetings.

California Labor and Employment Laws Protect Telecommuting Employees

If you're a telecommuting employee in California, you need to know your employee rights under California's labor laws. It's important to understand that telecommuting does not make you exempt from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or California wage and hour laws. If you get paid on an hourly basis, you are probably nonexempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act and California law, whether you are working in the office or not.

Some employers may be tempted to reclassify you as exempt just because you choose to work outside of the office, but this is not the standard. Also, an employer may try to reclassify you as an independent contractor just because you are telecommuting. If you have a permanent work relationship with your employer to perform tasks that are integral to their business and you don't invest your own money in the company, you are probably not an independent contractor and receive protection under the FLSA and California's labor laws.

This means that you benefit from all of the wage and hour protections of the FLSA and the California Department of Industrial Relations. You have a right to all of the breaks and meal periods that these regulations provide you, including two ten-minute breaks and one thirty-minute break for a full eight-hour work day. If you work more than eight hours per day or forty hours per week, you should receive overtime. Remember, working from home does not mean you lose your rights.

Do you think your employer is violating California telecommuting laws? If you are an employee who telecommutes and feel you are being treated unfairly when it comes to pay, rest and break periods or other California labor and employment laws, contact the passionate California employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz today for a free consultation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Super lawyers
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles

What Our Clients Say About Us

  1. I needed great attorneys in a short period of time, it was an emergency situation. Some research led me to the Hennig, Ruiz & Singh. We spoke on the phone and they had me come into the office and started on my case immediately. They got me exactly what I wanted and did it in the shortest amount of time possible. They were caring, fair and extremely good at what they do. I definitely would recommend them to anyone. -Scott Rooney

  2. If you are looking for legal representation I would suggest for you to consider Hennig, Ruiz & Singh. Put succinctly, their legal team was intelligent, hard working, responsive, and very knowledgeable throughout our time working together. While I of course cannot divulge details about the assistance that the firm provided for me, I can and will say that their representation was pivotal and changed my life for the better beyond words... -Shane Guglielmo

  3. I went to this firm to have a separation letter reviewed and met a young lawyer named Janet Hong. She was extremely friendly, professional, thorough and quick. She reviewed the documentation promptly and gave me actionable advice. I was able to resolve everything quickly. I would not hesitate to recommend Janet to anyone seeking legal services. -Brendan Hagerty

Schedule a Free Consultation

Ready To Start Protecting Your Rights? Call 213-985-1305

Not Sure Whether You Need Lawyer?

Answer a few questions to see whether you have a case.
Get Started Here

Office Location

Hennig Ruiz & Singh
3600 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 1908
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Toll Free: 800-260-6542
Fax: (213) 310-8302
Map & Directions

Free Consultations

Contact Us