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  • Working from your house

    Can your employer force you towork from your home? With no special compensation and using your own Internet connection?

  • #2
    California is the only state that requires employers to reimburse employees for job related expenses.

    Now if you had no computer, had no Internet connection and had to get them both in order to work for the employer, I would call those reimburseable expenses under California law (CA labor law experts, feel free to concur or disagree).

    However, since I have a computer and a broadband connection, the cost to me does not go up by using them for business instead of personal reasons and I would not expect any reimbursement. There may be some tax break you could claim from the IRS if you keep detailed records on the costs and the percentage of use for business purposes.

    There are no laws that I know of that prohibit an employer from requiring an employee to work from home.

    As an aside, by working from home, you are saving on the costs of commuting. Factor that in to how much you are losing by using your own equipment. My commute is only 2.5 miles per day (total), so that times, say 30 cents a mile means I would save 75 cents a day times 240 work days = $180 annually. Longer commutes = bigger costs (not to mention the aggravation).
    Last edited by ScottB; 07-16-2007, 11:01 AM.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    • #3
      This is not about cost, I just don't want to work at home. I don't think you can force someone to work athone during a disaster. During such tiimes my family should be my priority and not work. Company hasn't sent out any communications about this just my department. There's nothing inthe law that's say I must have an Internet connection at home yo accommodate my employer.

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      • #4
        And there is nothing in the law that says the employer can't require it, either.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          What kind of disaster are we talking about here?
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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          • #6
            Are saying i must have an internet connection at home in case?

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            • #7
              It's certainly not against the law for that to be required of you. Now, ElleMD is probably trying to find out if they expect you on the Internet during a violent thunderstorm/tornado warning, etc. That's not safe and any decent employer would not expect you to do that. But, if we're just talking about a snowstorm, for example, where getting to work would be unsafe, but being on the Internet at home is safe, that can certainly be reasonable expected.
              Last edited by Pattymd; 07-16-2007, 11:36 AM.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                Actually I was thinking more along the lines of whether this was a personal emergency that required you to be out of the office or whether we are talking about being required to work at home during inclement weather. I'm wondering why family concerns would preclude workking from home during bad weather.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                • #9
                  i'm in Florida and we get a lot of bad hurricanes here and tha's when they are expecting us to pack up and go home and work. Under those conditions, witch i think is unsafe and not only that no special compensation of whatsoever.

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                  • #10
                    They may require you to work from home and they are not required to provide you with any special compensation for doing so.
                    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                    • #11
                      How would it be any more unsafe to work from home than from anywhere else? If you are unable to do so because of a power failure or lack of resources that is a totally separate matter. There are some jobs and some positions where yes, being required to work from home is entirely reasonable. No, your employer never has to compensate you "extra" for this and in your state does not have to pay for the internet connection or computer or equipment. You don't get the time off automatically because of weather. I frequently work from home when the weather is bad due to snow. I actually consider it a perk that I can do this as opposed to taking a vacation day or day without pay. If you are unhappy with this, you can look for an employer with policies more to your liking.
                      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                      • #12
                        It will be best for me to seek legal advice here.
                        thank you

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                        • #13
                          Feel free. But you won't hear anything differently than you've been told here.
                          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                          • #14
                            bizarro world?


                            I still don't see the problem the OP has with this. It sounds like the company is saying:
                            "In the future if we have another big hurricane, you guys can all work from home rather than drive here, on potentially dangerous roads, in a state of emergency. You can be home with your family, in your house, and still do your work and get paid. You won't need to take PTO due to the hurricane; it'll be regular pay."

                            I'd say, "what a great company." I have to use PTO if I can't come in during a weather emergency.

                            Most of the world would see being able to work from home as a good thing.

                            It's like saying "my boss wants to give me a raise; I think I'll see a lawyer about this."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TSCompliance View Post


                              Most of the world would see being able to work from home as a good thing.
                              Ditto.

                              I am forever getting inquiries about opportunities to work from home.

                              Now if the OP is exempt (not sure) AND had no PTO left, then a company closure for an emergency such as a disaster would require him to be paid for the day, whether or not he worked.

                              I could see complaining in such a case.
                              Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

                              Comment

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