Q: During the last storm, several nonexempts didn’t have any paid time off available and we didn’t pay them for the days not worked. They’ve since claimed that they worked at home catching up on paperwork, even though this wasn’t directed by. Most of them work on a manufacturing line, so we’re dubious that they “worked” at home. Could this get us in trouble if we’re audited?
A: This is a common question. Yes, it could be a problem for a DOL investigator. Employers must keep accurate records of employees’ working time. If you know they worked, or are in doubt about whether they worked, pay them. But you can impose nonmonetary discipline on them for working at home.
For the future, have a system that will avoid similar issues—employees could be required to seek their supervisor’s approval before working at home.