Remote Employment 101: Hiring For Success 

If there is one thing that has changed in the past two years, it is that employers realize they can easily find talent anywhere, and they might now be willing to hire talent to work remotely.  Hiring remote workers across the country, however, brings different challenges that employers may not even think about.  Employers are typically subject to the employment laws of the state where the employee is working, so it is important that attention is paid to what each state and locality requires well in advance.  Given the specifics of each state, and perhaps locality, it is essential that companies become familiar with the laws in the states in which they plan to hire remote employees.

Pay Equity

A series of laws have been passed around the country aimed at combating pay inequity, and it doesn’t appear this type of legislation will be slowing down. While it may seem obvious to employers that they may not discriminate on the basis of race and gender, these laws are meant to prevent the continued widening of pay inequities resulting from historical pay gaps. 

An example of such a law would be the recent pay transparency law passed in New York City, as outlined in our earlier blog here, which requires employers to include salary ranges in its job postings.  New York City is only the latest jurisdiction to pass such legislation. Similar laws have been passed in other states, some of which require employers to provide pay information upon an applicant’s request or at some other point during the application process. 

Earlier efforts to achieve greater pay equity were made with laws passed in almost half the states, and some localities, which ban employers from inquiring about salary history during the application process, and many of which prohibit employers from considering compensation when making employment decisions.

Ban-the-Box Laws

Many jurisdictions have enacted laws to protect applicants who have been convicted of a crime from being automatically disqualified as a candidate. These types of laws restrict employers from considering a prospective employee’s criminal history during the application process. 

Background Checks

Companies that elect to run pre-employment background investigations should also be aware of expanded protections beyond those included in Ban-the Box laws.  Many states and localities have their own “fair chance laws” or “fair credit reporting laws” that prohibit certain information from being considered when making employment decisions.  These laws also may require specific procedural steps and jurisdiction-specific disclosures.  


Currently, E-Verify is required only for federal contractors and employers of students in a STEM OPT program.  However what companies may not realize is that certain states mandate its use, and that list is expected to grow.  

These considerations are only some of the areas that employers need to watch out for when planning to hire remote workers.  The bottom line is that employers need to carefully plan during all stages of the hiring process.

Not sure how your state is affected? Contact our experts for specifics.

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