COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are encouraging and permitting employees to work remotely. All work performed away from the worksite, including working from home, is treated the same as work performed at the primary worksite under the FLSA. All employers are required to compensate employees for all hours of remote or telework. However, employers are not required to compensate employees for unreported hours of telework they have no reason to believe have been performed.

Due to the current circumstances, employers may be providing flexible works schedules so employees can take care of personal and family obligations, such as caring for sick relatives or children whose schools have closed. Employers are only required to compensate their employees for work performed, so if employees take several hours out of the workday for personal obligations, this time is not compensable. For example, if an employee works from 7-9 am, 12-3pm, and 6-9pm on weekdays, the employer must compensate the employee for all hours actually worked (8 hours) that day. Additional information on COVID-19 and the FLSA can be found at on the USDOL’s website.