The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to teleworkers in the same way as it applies to employees who work in a physical workplace. The FLSA establishes minimum wage and overtime pay requirements, as well as regulations around child labor, recordkeeping, and other labor standards. These requirements apply to all covered employers and employees, regardless of whether the employee is working in a physical workplace or teleworking from home.
In addition, teleworkers must be compensated for all hours worked, just like employees who work in a physical workplace. This includes any time spent performing work-related activities, such as responding to emails, taking work-related phone calls, or attending virtual meetings.
Employers must also comply with FLSA regulations around breaks, including the compensability of breaks. However, teleworkers may have different break requirements than employees who work in a physical workplace, depending on the nature of their work and the applicable state laws.
Overall, employers should ensure that they are complying with all FLSA requirements, regardless of whether their employees are teleworking or working in a physical workplace. Employers should consult with legal counsel to ensure they are in compliance with both federal and state laws.
Under the FLSA, breaks are generally considered compensable work time if they are 20 minutes or less and primarily for the benefit of the employer. This means that employers must pay employees for short breaks during the workday. However, breaks of 30 minutes or more are not considered work time under the FLSA and are not compensable. During these longer breaks, employees are generally completely relieved from their job duties and can use the time for their own purposes.
There are some exceptions to this general rule. For example, if an employee is required to remain on duty during a break, then the break is considered compensable work time, even if it is longer than 30 minutes. Similarly, if an employee is required to take a break at a certain time or in a certain location, then the break may be compensable.
Under the FLSA, whether teleworkers’ breaks are compensable also depends on the length and nature of the break. Generally, short breaks of 20 minutes or less are considered primarily for the benefit of the employer and are compensable work time under the FLSA. This means that employers must pay teleworkers for short breaks during the workday. On the other hand, longer breaks, such as meal breaks lasting 30 minutes or more, are not considered work time under the FLSA and are not compensable.
It’s worth noting that state laws may differ from federal law on this issue, and some states may require employers to provide additional break time or compensate employees for certain types of breaks. Employers should consult with legal counsel to ensure they comply with federal and state laws. Employers should consult with legal counsel to ensure they comply with both federal and state laws.