Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working has become all the more common among United States companies. So as a remote worker, you must understand that while your workplace may look different, your employee rights should not. That is, you may not have daily face-to-face interactions with your employer. But this does not mean that it is justifiable for your employer to neglect you or otherwise treat you differently than any of their on-site employees. Read on to discover the rights of remote workers under federal and state labor laws and how a seasoned New York employee rights lawyer at Bell Law Group can ensure your protection.
How are remote workers protected under federal and state employment laws?
Put in the simplest terms, remote workers are supported by the same federal and state employment laws as on-site workers. More specifically, regarding federal law, they are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This act establishes standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, etc. in the private sector and federal, state, and local governments. Below is a further explanation as to how the FLSA and New York State laws support remote workers:
- Minimum wage: the FLSA holds that remote workers are entitled to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. However, the New York State Minimum Wage Act enforces a higher minimum wage of $15.00 per hour in New York City, Nassau County, Westchester County, and Suffolk County, and $13.20 per hour throughout the rest of New York State.
- Overtime pay: the FLSA holds that non-exempt remote workers are entitled to overtime pay after working more than 40 hours in a workweek. Similarly, New York Labor Law requires non-exempt remote workers to be paid 1.5 times their regular pay rate for the hours worked after 40 hours in a workweek.
- Recordkeeping: the FLSA holds that remote workers should have basic records of their time and pay. Similarly, New York Labor Law has remote workers entitled to records of their name, address, hours worked, and gross wages earned each pay period for at least six years.
As a remote worker, am I allowed to pursue legal action?
With all things considered, if you believe that your employer is taking advantage of you as a remote worker, then you may consider pursuing a lawsuit against them. This is especially pertinent if you believe them to be violating minimum wage, overtime pay, or recordkeeping laws.
However, before you proceed any further, you must confirm that you are not considered an exempt employee by the FLSA and New York Labor Law. For example, you may be exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay laws if you are a salaried employee who is earning more than $1,125 per week in New York City, Nassau County, Westchester County, and Suffolk County, and $1,064.25 per week throughout the rest of New York State.
For these reasons alone, you must consult with a competent New York employee rights lawyer immediately. Our team at Bell Law Group is happy to advise you.