Thinking about Ditching the Office? What Remote Workers Should Consider

fighting for employee rights

The option of working remotely is becoming increasingly popular among employees. Our technological advances make it easier than ever to work from home and stay connected with your team. But before you make the switch, you should consider a few things. Our employment law team at Gaines & Gaines, APLC looks at how employment laws are affected by remote work and what rules still apply when working from home.

Non-Compete Rules Can Get Tricky

The contract is one of the most important things workers should read when joining a new company. Employers often try to sneak non-compete clauses into their contracts. If you sign a contract with a non-compete clause, you could agree not to work for a competitor for a certain period of time or in a close geographical area. Consequently, if you are considering leaving your current job for one that offers remote work, ensure that a non-compete clause will not prevent you from doing so.

You might need to consult a lawyer or check the fine print for non-compete clauses or legal statements, as local and state laws may differ.

Rules Will Still Apply

It is generally the case that rules and benefits apply regardless of location unless a workplace policy specifically states otherwise. In that case, workers who are paid hourly must keep track

of their working hours and report them to their employer. Work hours and forms of communication should be understood by them, as well as the time zones set by the company. No matter where they are, they must adhere to official rules.

For example, remote employees should still be required to give two weeks' notice for vacation days. The same goes for other office policies, such as dress code.

Tax Compliance

As workers move around for remote work, what could be one of the most significant changes? The amount they ultimately earn. Employees must pay taxes depending on where they work. That means if employees move from their office in Los Angeles to their hometown in another state, they'll have to start paying the new state and local income taxes.

Of course, this only applies if you're working in a different state than where your company is headquartered. But it's something to keep in mind if you're considering relocating for remote work.

Expense Reimbursement

Some employees expect to be reimbursed for expenses associated with maintaining a home office as they utilize their homes for work. Expense reimbursement laws vary from state to state, but none were created specifically for remote work. Employers may be uncertain about which expenses are reimbursable and how much they are responsible for reimbursing.

Some companies offer Internet service or office furniture stipends. Others provide full or partial reimbursement for home office expenses. Whatever your company's policy is, ensure you understand it before you incur costs for your home office.

Need Guidance with Your Transition?

Despite some challenges, remote work can be an excellent option for employees. Make sure you take into account all the factors before making a decision. If you're considering switching to remote work, our team at Gaines & Gaines, APLC can help you through the process. We can help answer any questions about employment law and how it applies to remote work.

Contact us today by calling (866) 400-4450 or filling out our website contact form.