Diviney Speaks to Newsday on New DOL Guidance

October 8, 2020 | Employment & Labor

John Diviney was quoted in the Newsday article, “DOL releases guidance on tracking remote employee hours.”

The article discusses how tracking normal workday hours can become more complicated for some employers as COVID-19 has increased the number of people working from home. The U.S. Department of Labor recently released guidance that highlights employers’ responsibility to compensate hours worked.

“The lines between work and home were blurry before, but now it’s just nonexistent,” Diviney says. “This has in turn created time-tracking difficulties.” The guidance serves as a “reminder of the basic obligation and guidance employers have with respect to recording work time in the context of remote work” and it makes clear that an employer is required to pay its employees for all hours worked, “including work not requested but suffered or permitted,” he says.

Diviney states that time must be counted as hours worked if the employer knows or has reason to believe that work is being performed. The guidance stresses the importance of having a reasonable reporting procedure in place.

It is critical to have a system where time can be tracked accurately. If a non-exempt employee works over 40 hours in any week, the employer must pay that employee overtime. However, the guidance does state, “if an employee fails to report unscheduled hours worked through such a procedure, the employer is not required to undergo impractical efforts to investigate further to uncover unreported hours of work and provide compensation for those hours.”

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