Paying Employees During Inclement Weather
Winter Weather is on it’s way to Georgia, and much of our area is expecting snow this afternoon into this evening. Our clients often ask what they should do about about closing the office and paying their employees for inclement weather. Here’s a great excerpt from another HR Blog on what the legal requirements are for an inclement weather closing:
“How do you handle FMLA and FLSA for a snow day office closure?”
Family and Medical Leave Act
If the employee would have otherwise taken the entire week off on FMLA leave, then the snow day would likely be treated like a holiday and can be charged as an FMLA day just the same. If, however, your employee is using FMLA leave in increments of less than one week, the snow day will not count against the employee’s FMLA entitlement, unless you expect that employee to come to work. 29 C.F.R. Section 825.200(h).
“Fair Labor Standards Act
Non-exempt employees only get paid for hours worked. Therefore, if the office is closed for a snow day and the non-exempt employee does not work, the employee does not get paid. Easy peasy. However, if that employee works remotely, then the employee should get paid for that time. So, ensure that you either: (a) instruct your non-exempt employees not to work remotely; or (b) remind your non-exempt employees who work remotely to accurately track their time. [Note: if a non-exempt in the first category ignores your instruction not to work remotely, you still have to pay that employee. However, you can also discipline that employee too]. Additionally, if a non-exempt employee is required to remain “on-call,” you must pay that non-exempt employee (unless the employee can use that time for their own personal benefit).
Exempt employees who performed any work during the week in which the office is closed for a snow day get paid their full wages for the week. If the exempt employee has accrued some paid time off, you may require the exempt employee to use PTO for the snow day. However, if the exempt employee has no accrued PTO, you cannot dock pay. Deducting an exempt employee’s wages may convert that employee’s status to non-exempt, and expose you to liability for overtime.”
This excerpt was originally part of a blog post by Eric B. Meyer. You can read the entire post at http://www.theemployerhandbook.com/2016/01/handle-fmla-flsa-snow-day.html