By Kate Kriner, PHRca

Wow, here we are at the end of 2022 and we have all sorts of new work words in our lexicon: quiet quitting, hybrid work, digital exhaustion, career cushioning. Today, we want to discuss remote work (FKA: telework), specifically work performed outside California. Maybe your favorite employee has just informed you they are moving to Wisconsin but would like to keep working for you. Or you have had a position open for the last 6 months and are ready to hire someone even if they live in New Hampshire. Just get the position filled already!! Or maybe your non-exempt account coordinator has just requested to work remotely from Oregon for two months to be closer to their sibling going through medical treatments. How do you even begin to manage those requests as a CA company?

Most of us want to be accommodating, and will immediately say,  “Yes.”  These days, what does it matter where they’re working? But you may need to pause and contemplate the impact. Some of the requests may be very manageable depending on your business, the position or your industry. Here are some common issues to consider:

  1. Taxes—so many taxes! You may have to address withholding state income tax, unemployment, disability, and/or corporate income tax. Do you need to register the business in the state in order to pay into those programs?
  2. Licensing/certification requirements—is the employee and/or and is your company licensed to do business in the other state? Do you practice law, sell insurance, or does your business require you to hold a license with that state?
  3. Reimbursements—how or who will cover the costs of working remotely? Are you responsible for paying for an entire work from home set-up?
  4. Wage and hour—overtime, double time, meal periods, rest breaks—you will need to research to find out if there is daily overtime (like in CA) and are there meal period and rest break requirements? Are there any special leave requirements (FMLA eligibility may be determined differently depending on where the employee reports)?
  5. Exempt/non-exempt status—the rules around this in California are very specific and can be tricky to understand. In fact, this may be something we put in the “pro” column of a pro/con chart.
  6. Workers’ Compensation—this may be an easy one, but at least call your carrier and see if they provide or offer coverage outside California.
  7. Workplace safety—how do you evaluate the remote worker’s space? Are there hazards? Does the employee have a safe working environment?
  8. Payroll–does the state have rules regarding paystub or payday requirements? Find out if there are timing issues on payroll or final pay.
  9. Health Insurance—is the employee on your health plan and would the plan cover them outside CA?
  10. Travel to CA for meetings, etc.—who will pay for the costs of traveling to your work site in CA if you need (or want) the employee to attend an in-person meeting? This may not be an issue depending on the position or your business, but certainly if there is client interaction.
  11. New hire onboarding—many companies are processing new hire paperwork through an on-line portal anyway, but how will you legally comply with the requirements around Form I9 verifications that require in person inspection?

Although we can’t provide advice on out of state employment and tax laws and requirements, we are happy to think out loud with you on any of these many issues listed above (or not). We have several remote work resources available on our HR library for Silvers HR clients.

We can talk about proximity bias, productivity paranoia, crying kids and barking dogs another time.