By Peter M. Langdon
Accurate compensation, ensuring exempt status and protecting trade secrets have become more challenging with the increase in working remotely. Following the steps below can help ensure that your business continues to run smoothly.

Managing non-exempt (hourly) employees
Tracking non-exempt employees’ time can be challenging in a remote world. Managing overtime can be especially difficult. Regardless of the challenge, the Department of Labor expects that employers will use reasonable diligence in tracking non-exempt remote workers’ time. Employers can do this by implementing a reasonable reporting procedure such as email correspondence. By implementing and following a reporting system, employees can be compensated fairly and accurately.

Managing exempt (salaried) employees
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, each exempt classification requires particular job duties that an employee within that exempt job classification must perform. To avoid jeopardizing an employee’s exempt status, an employer must monitor exempt employees to ensure they continue to perform the functions that correspond with their exempt job status.

Protecting confidential employer information
In order for information to be considered a trade secret, an employer must take reasonable measures to protect that information. Employing a workforce that is working remotely prompts a need to reevaluate current policies and practices and possibly implement new ones to protect information. A few practical tips to consider include:
• Revise and update company policies on confidentiality and security to include remote or work-from-home procedures;
• Train remote staff on securing confidential documents and set clear expectations and limits on what employees can and cannot do when working from a remote location;
• Instruct staff on what to do or who to contact if they are having technical issues, and discourage them from using an unsecured network or device;
• Install security software that requires multi-factor authentication in order to login into company networks; and
• When an employee leaves the company, make sure there are protocols in place to return company information and devices.

The Employment Law Attorneys at AKC Law can help you adapt, and assist with reviewing policies, practices, and procedures. To learn more, contact Peter Langdon at plangdon@akclaw.com.