Obligations of employers when employees work at home
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Obligations of employers when employees work at home

| Jul 27, 2020 | Firm News

Telework or working from home is something becoming more popular. It can help to reduce traffic congestion, allows employers to reduce overhead and can be important in fighting the spread of contagious illnesses. 

If an employer has an employee work from home, the chances are high that employees will incur some expenses as a result. According to CNBC, employers in California must reimburse employees for some expenses they incur. Federal law requires employers of minimum wage workers to reimburse them for all expenses related to their job when telecommuting. 

Employer choices

Some employers may also offer funding for setting up a home office or they may pay employees’ internet bills. This is up to each individual employer, and it may depend on how large the telework staff is as to whether the company would offer such benefits. Just because a company offers telecommuting options does not mean it will offer additional benefits such as reimbursement. 

The law

According to California Legislative Information, the law states that if the employer decides the employee must work at home, then it becomes responsible for paying for all associated expenses. At the same time, the law does only cover necessary expenses, which may be an area where an employee and employer may disagree. Typically, if something is necessary to complete the job in a safe and healthy way, then it becomes a necessary expense. 

This does not mean an employee could redecorate his or her home office. While a home office is probably a necessity under the law, the law also only requires reimbursement for reasonable expenses. So, the employer could set a spending limit and only reimburse up to that amount.