As the workforce continues to evolve, working remotely is only increasing in popularity. Employees are even seeking remote only positions as they look to change the pre-pandemic work standards. However, from both the employee and employer standpoint, working remotely can bring additional compliance challenges. What happens if the employee works in a different state than the one in which the company operates? Even more, what happens when that employee moves to another state during the year? Should they notify their employer when moving?
What should a remote employee do when they move?
As an employee, changes in life are bound to occur. Moving happens. But, if you are moving to a different state, you should notify your employer as soon as possible. In some instances, employers may have a requirement in place that workers must live within a certain distance of an office location. This maybe rare, but employers are within their rights to require this and moving out of this zone could ultimately lead to termination.
Working in another state could also have an affect on your paycheck. When moving, all local laws of the state in which you will live in take precedent. Minimum wage may be higher in the new state or tax requirements may be different. In the end, make sure you know the affect moving to another state will have on your pay.
Additionally, your benefits may be affected. Health insurance plans may not have in-network providers in the new state. If so, talk with your HR department about changing to a plan with coverage. Your paid leave benefits may change too. Many states have their own laws regulating paid time off. For example, while the Family and Medical Leave Act, FMLA, is a federal requirement, many states are beginning to implement Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML). PFML requires employers to offer a certain percentage of an employee’s pay for qualified leave that is longer than employer’s regular policies. In another example, Maine has recently required that employers payout any unused, accrued vacation time upon employment separation.
Can employers require employees to notify them when moving?
As an employer, you are allowed to require your remote employees to notify you when moving. In fact, not only are you allowed to, but you should require this. This is especially important when the employee is moving to a different state. There are many new compliance and payroll tax obligations when dealing with a new state. Affected areas include:
- Minimum wage requirements
- Local labor laws
- Tax withholdings
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- State unemployment insurance
- Benefit offerings
There are many steps to take to how to handle out-of-state remote workers. Being prepared and having a company policy in your employee handbook is key to remaining compliant.