Telecommuting is definitely taking off as COVID-19 disrupts our traditional ways of doing business. For companies, it solves the problem of social distancing and keeping employees from getting sick. And studies show most employees love working at home at least part of the time.
Yet allowing employees to work at home can expose your company to risks that you don’t encounter when your workforce is physically located at your company’s facilities. At Accurate Protection, we specialize in working with companies to better manage ever-evolving risks. That’s why we wanted to share with you some great ways employers can better manage the liability risks of remote workers:
Create a telecommuting policy. Setting clear work-at-home guidelines and communicating them to employees can help prevent misunderstandings. Make it clear that you have the right to rescind their work-from-home privileges at any time and for any reason. Have all employees review and acknowledge your company’s telecommuting policy.
Re-evaluate your insurance coverage. Make sure your insurance program effectively addresses the unique risks of having some of your employees working remotely. (We can help with that.)
Make sure employees are using secure wi-fi. All of your employees should be using private and secured Wi-Fi networks while working remotely. Using an unsecured network — public wi-fi — can put your company’s private information at risk. Require anyone who uses public wi-fi to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which keeps their web browsing secure.
Make sure employees are using devices that are secure with up-to-date firewalls and anti-virus software. This applies to laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It’s your responsibility to keep your customer and client information safe.
Use secure virtual meeting rooms. Make sure that private conversations and presentations cannot be monitored by unauthorized third parties.
Make sure you’re complying with federal wage and hour rules. To avoid violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers should require non-exempt employees working from home to record the time they work each day and stick to the hours they should be working each day. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay whether they are working at your company’s facility or at home, so it’s important that employees know they must adhere to their normal working hours and that they are prohibited from working additional hours without your approval.
Make sure you’re classifying workers correctly for workers compensation insurance. When employees switch to working from home, some workers compensation insurers may want to change classification codes. As an employer, it’s important to know that you could be potentially be held liable if an employee is hurt on the job and employees may be eligible for workers’ compensation if they are hurt while working at home.
We’re here to help your company better manage its risks. Want to learn more? Visit our website: http://accurateprotection.com/.