Why Does it Matter Where I Do My Work?

by Anna Branson, Esq.

Compensation,  Compliance and Risk Management,  Hot Topics,  Payroll

The tangible challenges that have accompanied the widespread migration of employees into telework cannot be denied. However, a series of unique, largely unseen, circumstances are catching many employers by surprise. One such challenge involves the failure to monitor the location where employees choose to complete their work and the potential tax and other employment law implications that follow.

For better or worse, telework allows employees to work from anywhere. When allowed unchecked, an employee working outside the state where their employer operates can unwittingly subject that employer to state and local tax liability.  Out of state work can also create legal liability involving unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance, wage and hour, paid sick leave, harassment and discrimination protections, among others. For example, most states – and even some cities-  have unique minimum wages, overtime pay, and meal and break requirements for non-exempt employees.

Staying engaged with your remote employees is critical. Employers are encouraged to create a system of accountability and communication with employees. Employers should take the time to educate employees about how those choices have potential implications for them personally, and to the business at large. Employers Council can help. Please contact us with your questions.

About the author
Anna Branson, Esq.

Anna completed her legal studies at Whittier Law School and is a member of both the California and Arizona State Bars. She has an undergraduate degree in government from the University of Redlands. Her work experience is extensive and includes being a partner in the area of school/immigration law with the law firm of Udall Shumway where she represented and advised school district clients in special education matters, conducted employment investigations, and assisted with student discipline. She was also a staff attorney with Arizona Center for Disability Law, where she devoted her time to the Joint ASU/ACDL Special Education Project, monitored mental health facilities for abuse and neglect, and represented individuals with mental illness in administrative hearings.