Wage and Hour Claims in Telecommuting and Alternative Work Arrangements

Avoiding, Defending and Settling FLSA and State Law Disputes

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will provide guidance for employment counsel on leveraging the benefits of flexible work arrangements while minimizing potentially costly legal risks. The panel will offer best practices for avoiding, defending and settling FLSA and state claims arising from alternative work schedules.


Employers have responded positively to workers’ requests for telecommuting and alternative work schedules but are seeing related wage and hour class action lawsuits soar. While flexible work schedules can provide benefits to employers and employees, they create unique legal challenges.

Non-exempt employees have filed individual, collective and class action lawsuits alleging failure to pay for all hours worked. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not address telecommuting and other flexible arrangements, creating grey areas regarding compensable work time.

The wage and hour risks associated with alternative work arrangements demand that employers and their counsel re-examine all policies, procedures and practices regarding these arrangements.

Listen as our panel of employment attorneys reviews how to leverage the benefits of telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements while managing the potentially costly legal risks—and strategies for avoiding, defending and settling FLSA and state claims that can arise from alternative work schedules.


  1. Wage and hour risks of alternative work arrangements
    1. FLSA’s wage and hour requirement
    2. DOL homeworker exception
  2. Avoiding FLSA claims
    1. Enter formal agreement with employees about work hours
    2. Utilize time sheets to record the actual hours worked
    3. Develop a written policy banning overtime without prior approval
    4. Create strategies for monitoring employees work-related activities
    5. Properly compensate employees for all hours worked, including overtime
    6. Reduce time employee spends waiting for work or instructions
    7. Develop policy addressing pay for travel time to and from the office
    8. Avoid transforming exempt telecommuter’s position into non-exempt clerical or ministerial position
  3. Defending and settling FLSA and state claims
    1. Implementing steps to defeat class certification
    2. Thoroughly preparing supervisory witnesses
    3. Analyzing settlement offers
    4. Minimizing interest, penalties and attorney fees


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What wage and hour issues arise under the FLSA and state wage laws when managing employees working flexible schedules?
  • What are the best practices for avoiding FLSA and state violations with workers allowed an alternative work arrangement?
  • What strategies have been effective in defending FLSA and state lawsuits?


Daniel J. McCoy, Partner
Fenwick & West, Mountain View, Calif.

His practice emphasizes employment litigation and counseling for employers. He defends employers in wage and hour class actions, trade secret disputes, employee mobility disputes, claims for sexual harassment, discrimination, breach of contract, union disputes, and many other causes of action in both state and federal courts.

Wayne E. Pinkstone, Partner
Fox Rothschild, Lawrenceville, N.J.

He focuses his practice in labor and employment matters with significant experience in assisting in-house counsel, human resources executives and company officials in identifying and solving workplace legal issues. His clients include employers in the health care, manufacturing, service, retail, technology and financial industries. He also defends employers in wage and hour collective actions.

Linda B. Hollinshead, Partner
Duane Morris, Philadelphia

She provides training and counseling to employers on a variety of subjects, including monitoring employee attendance, FMLA compliance, medical and religious accommodations, leaves of absence policies, harassment and discrimination prevention and response strategies, business diversity, termination of employees, hiring practices, performance appraisals and performance management.


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