Paying Exempt Employee for work at home while on STD

Our company has less than 50 Employees.  We have an Exempt employee that had surgery and is recovering from home. She is collecting disability at this time. She will be able to do some of her duties from home soon and would like to do so while she is collecting her disability. Can we convert her to an Non Exempt employee and pay her an hourly wage for the work that she does while at home? I understand that she will have to report her income to the insurance company that is providing her disability payments so that they can deduct it from her payment. I just don't want to get into any hot water over not paying her for a full day since she is Exempt right now.

I also read that if the amount of work is "de minimus" that we don't have to pay her for the work that she's doing. How much would be considered more than "de miminmus" before we would need to pay her? Thank you.


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  • Employers may have to pay for the time taken by nonexempt employees to read and send e-mails after work hours. Under the de minimis rule, employers may disregard insubstantial or insignificant periods of time beyond the scheduled working hours, if, as a practical administrative matter, such time cannot be precisely recorded. If employees are checking e-mails for 2 or 3 minutes, employers will likely not have to pay for this time. But if employees are spending 10 to 15 minutes after work hours, employers will have to pay employees for this work time. Many employers provide PDAs only to exempt employees and limit after-hours e-mail checking to exempt employees. If a business needs to provide nonexempt employees with PDAs, have a company policy prohibiting after-hours use, monitor employee use of the PDAs, and discipline employees for violating the policy. Remember that even if employees violate a company policy by reading and writing e-mails after work hours, you may discipline the employees, but you still have to pay them for this time.
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