Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Mary Leigh Pirtle authored an article for the Nashville Business Journal discussing strategies to overcome risks for employers opting to continue to operate with a remote or hybrid workforce.

Telework introduces an increased risk of noncompliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act’s requirement that all non-exempt employees be paid for all hours worked, including any overtime hours, which is more difficult to monitor with dispersed employees. “Employers with remote workforces should clearly outline a timekeeping policy regarding the accurate recording of all time worked, and train employees on those expectations, including a requirement that remote workers obtain advance approval from their supervisor before working any overtime,” Mary Leigh said.

Another threat to monitor includes increased risk of network privacy and security loss. Employers should update security protocols, including employee training on remote access security and password protection to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. Investment in company-issued equipment with preferred antivirus software is also a crucial protective measure.

Finally, employers should address physical safety to mitigate workers’ compensation liability. This includes defining working hours and job duties to help determine whether injuries are work related. Establish standards for a home office and provide training on workstation setup and safety measures to reduce chances of injury.

The full article, “Avoiding Legal Risks in the Remote Work Model,” was published by the Nashville Business Journal on June 4 in the print edition and June 7 online.