When inclement weather hits, HR professionals and managers need to know what the Fair Labor Standards Act requires for paying employees who may or may not be able to make it in to work.
And the FLSA isn't the only relevant law. The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act and state and local statutes have requirements that also may have to be fulfilled, so HR should provide managers with a complete overview.
Most winter storm closures last only a few days. The Department of Labor (DOL) has stated that exempt employees must be paid their entire weekly salary for any week in which they work, regardless of how many days or hours they work in that week.
This general rule is subject to a few exceptions that allow limited deductions from exempt employees' pay. An employer may deduct a full day from an exempt employee's pay when that employee is absent for a personal reason other than sickness or disability, for example. If an employer remains open but an exempt employee chooses to stay home and not work for personal reasons, such as a fear of driving on bad roads, an employer could deduct a full day from the employee's pay.
"But you do so at your own peril," cautioned Laura Elkayam and Matthew Feery, attorneys with Much Shelist in Chicago. "Apart from risking an incorrect application of the law, employers risk ruining morale."
(Yakima, WA) – The South Central Workforce Council (Council) launched a new podcast series November 26 addressing topics important to employers and job seekers in South Central Washington.