Answer: The answer depends on whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt. Unless company policy or a union contract provides a more generous benefit, non-exempt employees are only required to be paid for hours actually worked. Whether an employer closes the office due to bad weather, or an employee elects not to come to work due to unsafe road conditions, the time away from work may be unpaid, unless paid time off such as vacation or PTO is available for use.
When an employer closes the office due to inclement weather, exempt employees must be paid for the time missed, unless the office is shut down for a full workweek and the exempt employee did not perform any work during the week. If the offices remain open during bad weather and an exempt employee does not report to work for any part of the day, the employee can be docked a full day’s pay as long as the employee did not perform any work during the day. Exempt employees must not receive a pay reduction for any partial day worked.
At times, severe weather (such as the recent snow across the Northwest), fires, power failures, or earthquakes can disrupt company operations. A written policy will assist you and your employees in making decisions when faced with these emergency situations. Sample policies are available to eligible members on the HR Toolkit or mobile app.
Source: Archbright HR Hotline
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