Professional Service Agreement

Employers with Remote Workers Should Consider State Leave Laws and Handbook Policies

February 03, 2021

Many employers now have employees residing and working in states other than where the employer may have its corporate headquarters or other brick and mortal locations. Remote employees pose unique challenges for employers. For example, a remote employee may be entitled to receive paid sick leave under a state or municipality’s laws. For instance, in California, an employee who has resided in the state for at least 30 days is covered by California’s paid sick leave law. Various state-specific requirements exist in other employment law areas as well, such as obligations regarding sexual harassment compliance. An employee residing and working in New York, for example, must be provided additional information and training regarding the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. In addition to the issues discussed above, states also differ regarding several other human resources-related issues. In some states, like Michigan, an employee has the right to review his/her employment personnel file at any time during or after employment. Likewise, there could be state law differences regarding overtime and pay issues, noncompete laws, and possession of firearms. While employers do not need to have a separate employee handbook for all states where their employees reside and work, employers are advised to consider policies or supplements that may be specific to a particular state.