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What US Employers Need To Know About Remote Workers

There are now more remote employees in the United States than ever before, a trend that won’t stop anytime soon. Some businesses have gone fully remote with no physical presence. People enjoy working from home and employers like the idea of not having overhead expenses for an office. It’s a win-win for everyone, but it’s also a complication.

If you run a business and allow some of your employees to work from home, you’ve probably had to figure out how to handle certain details related to their employment. For example, when remote workers are employees and not contractors, you’re still responsible for ensuring a safe work environment, just as you would for people who work in your office. That can be tough. You also might have run into issues if they live in a different state while working for your company.

There’s no doubt that having a team of remote employees can bring many benefits to your business, but there are things you need to know about this type of arrangement.

Your remote workers are still employees

Unless you’ve hired legitimate independent contractors, your remote workers need to be treated the same as any other employee. This means paying them at least minimum wage, covering half of their payroll taxes, providing sick time, vacation pay, and any other benefits you offer to your employees. Just because they don’t come into the office doesn’t mean they aren’t entitled to the same benefits and rights as other employees.

You need to provide them with work tools

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As an employer, you are responsible for providing your employees with the tools they need to do their job. This includes everything from office furniture to devices. For instance, you might need to buy your remote workers a laptop or iPad if they don’t have one already. These are devices you can reissue to other employees as needed, so it’s important to have company rules about how devices are to be handled and protected.

At a minimum, provide employees with a durable case for their work-issued smartphones and tablets. SUPCASE happens to make some of the best iPad cases on the market, which includes their most durable model – the Unicorn Beetle PRO. Rigorous testing has proven these cases can withstand drops, shocks, and even extreme situations like being run over by a car or being tossed out the window of a moving vehicle.

Hopefully, your employees won’t find themselves in extreme situations, but with a case that can withstand intensity, your devices will be protected under normal situations, like accidental drops.

Your contractors might be employees

One of the biggest things to remember is that what makes someone an employee isn’t up to you or the person you’ve hired. Even when hiring independent contractors, it’s possible they could be considered employees under the law.

Make sure you talk to a labor law attorney before hiring a team of remote workers or independent contractors to sort out their legal employment status. The last thing you want is to hire a contractor to perform duties that make them an employee and have that come crashing down if they decide to file a lawsuit against you later. It’s just not worth the risk.

Out-of-state employees are subject to their state’s employment laws

The best thing about hiring a team of remote employees is that you have access to a wide range of talent based all over the world. However, when you hire people who live in a different state, they are subject to their state’s employment laws. That’s where things can get complicated.

Other states and local jurisdictions have different minimum wage laws, but that’s a minor issue compared to the tax implications that may arise. For example, if you don’t have a legal business presence in a certain state but you hire just one employee from that state, it can make you liable for business registration and state taxes, licenses, and permits.

Remote employees can make your business complicated

While the benefits of having remote employees are vast, the downside is the complications that can arise. The best course of action is to hire an attorney to help you set up your business and make the right decisions. For instance, a lawyer can advise if you should avoid hiring people from certain states and help you stay within the bounds of employment law.

Every business has different needs. These are just some things to consider before hiring remote employees.

© Scoop Media

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