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Jan12

Employees no show due to bad weather

How to legally minimize/null salary/wage payment to no-show employees due to bad weather?

There is no requirement that you pay hourly or exempt workers who do not show up for work due to inclement weather, when the business is open, in most states. The relevant statute is the FLSA, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. This applies to winter storms, hurricanes, blizzards, snow storms and other inclement weather, even when the governor declares a state of emergency.

An hourly or non-exempt employee is entitled only to payment for the hours he or she works. If the employee does not show up for a scheduled shift, there is no requirement that the employee be paid.

An exempt employee is entitled to payment when a) the employee has worked at least a few minutes during that payroll week and b) the exempt employee is available to work one day but does no work at all that day. An exempt employee who misses a full day of work when the business is open is not available to work. He is missing work due to personal business. Therefore, the exempt employee who misses a full day of work due to inclement weather when the business is open need not be paid.

If the business is closed due to inclement weather, different rules apply. Hourly or non-exempt employees can still be paid only for the hours that they actually work. However, an exempt employee who has worked any part of the week, and is available to work, must be paid even if the employer has no work for him on a particular day. So if an exempt employee calls to say that he cannot come in today due to snow, you need not pay him. However, if the exempt employee is ready, willing and able to come to work, but the business is closed, the exempt employee is entitled to payment for that day.

An exempt employee who does any work at all during the day, even from home, even taking phone calls or checking email, is entitled to payment of his or her usual salary for the day.

Some employers would allow the employees who miss work to use vacation time or sick leave to cover these absences, but there is no law that the employer must do so.

A recent Delaware law prohibits employers from terminating an employee who missses work when a travelers advisory has been issued. However, that law does not require you to pay the employees.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 at 3:47 pm and is filed under
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