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Computer Problems Caused Loss of Hours

Is it our responsibility as the employer to pay for lost hours due to computer problems the company is having if we sent them home due to the issue?

Whether employees must be paid for time not actually worked depends on their classification under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.

Under the FLSA, employees are either non-exempt or exempt. Non-exempt employees must be paid for all hours worked and are subject to overtime and minimum wage requirements prescribed by the FLSA. Conversely, exempt employees receive a fixed predetermined salary each workweek and are excluded from overtime pay provisions.

Non-exempt employees need not be paid for time not actually worked. Thus, if a non-exempt employee works half a workday then is sent home because the employer is having technical problems there is no legal requirement to compensate the employee for the lost time.

Exempt employees, on the other hand, must receive their full salary for any workweek during which work is performed. Deductions from an exempt employee’s salary for absences occasioned by the employer, i.e. early departure/closure for a technical issue, are not permissible, assuming the employee performed some work during the workweek.

It’s important to consider how employees, specifically non-exempt employees, will react to not being paid for the hours missed. Most employees rely on their paychecks and will be resentful. So, consider if you’re financially able to compensate the employees. Either way, make sure the decision is clearly communicated to employees.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 at 8:48 pm and is filed under
Compensation, Labor Laws.
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