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A Guide for Employers to Navigate Remote Work in California

Posted on August 23, 2023

A Guide for Employers to Navigate Remote Work in California

The shift to remote work has opened up a Pandora’s box of complexities for employers, especially those based in California— this is where many businesses find it essential to turn to HR consulting firms to outsource HR in California.

While remote work offers numerous advantages, it also brings unique challenges and employee relations concerns. One such issue that has been cropping up is remote workers moving out of state without notifying their employer. This article will delve into this topic, providing an overview of the relevant laws, potential legal risks, and practical advice for employers.

California Remote Work Rules

California has specific rules for remote workers, which employers must adhere to. These include ensuring employees can complete their work processes independently[1], complying with state employment laws[2], and providing necessary breaks[3]. Additionally, employers are required to reimburse workers for necessary expenses associated with remote working, including Wi-Fi and internet costs[8].

Contact one of the top HR consulting firms in the state for more information about remote work rules, or to learn more about how to effectively outsource HR in California.

The Advantages and Challenges of Remote Work

Remote work offers benefits like increased flexibility, reduced commuting time, and the possibility of a better work-life balance. However, it also poses challenges, such as maintaining productivity, managing communication, and adhering to labor laws. A significant concern is the potential for employees to move out of state without informing their employer, which brings us to our main topic of discussion.

Remote Workers Moving Out of State Without Notification

When a remote worker moves out of state without notifying their employer, several legal issues could arise. Generally, remote employees are subject to the employment laws of the state and locality where they are physically present and working[3]. This means that if an employee moves to a new state, the laws of that state now apply, potentially complicating matters for the employer.

Applicable Laws

Both state and federal laws come into play in this scenario. If an employee moves to a different state, the employer must comply with the employment laws of that state. At the federal level, laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) still apply.

Dependence on Residence or Work Location

This situation largely depends on where the work is performed. If an employee moves out of state and performs work there, the laws of that state generally apply[3].

Ordering a Remote Employee to Return to Office

An employer can order a remote employee to return to the office, depending on the terms of their employment agreement. However, the employer must provide reasonable notice and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

Failure to comply with the labor laws of the state where the employee is working could lead to legal penalties. Additionally, if an employer unknowingly fails to reimburse necessary expenses incurred in the new state, they may be in violation of reimbursement laws[8].

To ensure you’re remaining in compliance with state and federal regulations, contact eqHR Solutions, one of the top HR consulting firms in California.

Remote Work Agreement

If a remote work agreement is in place, relevant clauses could include location of work, notification requirements for changes in work location, and terms about returning to the office. It’s essential for employers to have clear agreements that outline these terms.

Practical Advice for Employers From Expert HR Consulting Firms

Employers should maintain open lines of communication with remote employees, encouraging them to report any changes in their work location. They should also regularly review and update their remote work policies to ensure they are comprehensive and comply with all relevant laws. In case an employee moves without notification, consult with a legal expert to understand the implications and necessary actions.

Navigating the complexities of remote work can be challenging, but with a clear understanding of the rules and proactive management, employers can effectively handle these situations. Ensure you stay informed about the latest developments in remote work laws to provide a supportive and compliant work environment for your employees.

Getting Started with One of the Top HR Consulting Firms in California

eqHR Solutions excels in aiding businesses in skillfully navigating the intricate landscape of remote work. Leveraging decades of collective expertise, we provide tailored strategies that address the unique challenges posed by remote work arrangements, offering insights on maintaining productivity, fostering team cohesion, and adhering to California’s specific labor regulations.

Contact us to learn more about how we can optimize your business functions when you choose us to outsource HR in California.


  1. Employee guidelines – California State Telework Guide – CA.gov
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  3. Managing a California Remote Work Policy: Determining …
  4. California Labor Laws for Remote Workers
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  6. Working From Home Laws in California
  7. California Must Fix Labor Laws to Reflect Shift to Remote and …
  8. California Remote Employee Laws 2023 – Working From …