Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Jan 18, 2012

Icy roads, office closures and the FLSA…oh my!

Leave Laws 

When winter weather forces your facility to close or employees to stay home, do you know your obligation to pay for that time?

When winter weather forces your facility to close or employees to stay home, do you know your obligation to pay for that time? The rules depend on whether the employee is exempt from overtime. Under federal law, nonexempt employees do not have to be paid for any time they don’t work, unless you have a collective bargaining agreement or company policy that says otherwise. Exempt employees, however, are subject to strict rules on when you can reduce their weekly salary for time not worked. If an exempt employee works any part of a workday, he or she must be paid for the whole day, even if you close early due to weather. If your facility is open and the employee can’t make it to work, you may be able to deduct that time from their paycheck (assuming the employee also doesn’t perform any work from home). If you choose to close your facility, you must pay exempt employees their full salaries if they perform any work during that workweek. In any case, if nonexempt or exempt employees have any available accrued paid leave, you can require them to use that during weather-related absences or closures. 

Tips: When buying spare batteries and candles in preparation for winter weather, add development of an inclement weather policy to your to-do list. There are lots of scenarios involved with winter weather and office closures, so it pays to know the rules before the snow hits the fan. Have a policy, such as our “Inclement Weather Policy” (1519) in place to handle weather-related disruptions.
 

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