#1  
Unread 12-06-2002, 07:34 AM
bhoover
 
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Default office closed for inclement weather, pay or no pay

This isn't a "legal question" more of a "fairness issue". We left a message on our inclement weather hotline saying the office would be closed due to snow. Our employees feel they should be paid for the day since they had no choice but to stay home. Management wants to give 3 options:
1. make up the time, unfortunately today is the end of the pay period so that is not an option.
2. Use PTO
3. Take without pay.
What do most employers tend to do? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Our handbook says it is up to management discretion whether or not time will be paid so it's not a legal question s we're following the handbook.
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  #2  
Unread 12-06-2002, 07:47 AM
Hatchetman
 
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Default RE: office closed for inclement weather, pay or no pay

While you can dock your non-exempt wages for the closed day, you probably aren't going to be within FLSA to dock your exempt (salaried) for the closed day.

The decision to close the company was managment's. If the exempt employee was ready, willing and able to work on the day that the employer decided to close the company, then the exempt employee is entitled to pay for that day (i.e., the absences may not be docked as personal reason) if he or she worked any part of that week.
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  #3  
Unread 12-06-2002, 08:23 AM
kwelzel
 
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Default RE: office closed for inclement weather, pay or no pay

>While you can dock your non-exempt wages for the closed day, you
>probably aren't going to be within FLSA to dock your exempt (salaried)
>for the closed day.
>
>The decision to close the company was managment's. If the exempt
>employee was ready, willing and able to work on the day that the
>employer decided to close the company, then the exempt employee is
>entitled to pay for that day (i.e., the absences may not be docked as
>personal reason) if he or she worked any part of that week.


My husband works in MD also, and he was asking me the same quesiton. His company was open, then sent them home at 1:30. They are telling them now, that if they worked less than 4 hours they will be paid for 4 hours and the remainging time will be used from vac. time or taken without pay.

If they did not show up for work,they can use vacation time or LWOP.

If they showed up and worked over 4 hours, they will be paid 8 hours for the day, unless they phycially worked more than 8 hours.

The memo says it is for exempt and non-exempt employees.

I think they're violating FLSA on the exempt employees...am I right?

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  #4  
Unread 12-09-2002, 10:45 AM
mrgeraci
 
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Default RE: office closed for inclement weather, pay or no pay

We experienced this situation during a Hurricane in October. Our clinic was closed for 2 1/2 days. We closed at noon on WEdnesday in preparation for the Hurricane that hit on Thursday. We did not have power restored to the clinic until Sunday. The non-exempt employees had the option of taking PTO time or no pay. The exempt employees were paid for Wednesday (if they worked) and took PTO for Thursday and friday. It is my understanding that employers are not required to pay exempt employees just because the business closes. The owner decided to bonus back the lost PTO at his descretion. From a morale standpoint, this situation was not good.
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  #5  
Unread 12-09-2002, 11:43 AM
Hatchetman
 
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Default RE: office closed for inclement weather, pay or no pay

Mrgeraci, in defense of what I posted, I cite FLSA regulation 29CFR541.118(a)(1).

"An employee will be considered to be paid "on a salary basis" within the meaning of the regulations if under his employment agreement he regularly receives each pay period on a weekly, or less frequent basis, a predetermined amount constituting all or part of his compensation, which amount is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of the work performed. Subject to the exceptions provided below, the employee must receive his full salary for any week in which he performs any work without regard to the number of days or hours worked. This policy is also subject to the general rule that an employee need not be paid for any workweek in which he performs no work.

(1) An employee will not be considered to be "on a salary basis"
if deductions from his predetermined compensation are made for absences occasioned by the employer or by the operating requirements of the business. Accordingly, if the employee is ready, willing, and able to work, deductions may not be made for time when work is not available."

What this provision prohibits is the docking of the exempt employee's salary when the identified condition is met (the employer closes down for the day at its own volition but the exempt employee worked during the week and is ready, willing and able to work on the day the employer shuts down).

The United States Department of Labor does allow an employer to charge that absent day to the exempt employee's accrued time balance, such as PTO or vacation. But if the exempt employee doesn't have the time on the books, the employer still may NOT dock salary.

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  #6  
Unread 12-10-2002, 03:23 AM
Jessica
 
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Default RE: office closed for inclement weather, pay or no pay

Here's our weather-related closure policy:

It is at the discretion of management to close Union early or not open the at all due to bad weather conditions. If we close early, employees that have reported to work prior to closing will be paid for their scheduled hours. If we do not open due to weather conditions, employees will also be paid for their scheduled hours. Supervisors will attempt to notify their employees.

Good luck, these situations are always sticky!
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  #7  
Unread 12-10-2002, 08:15 AM
James Sokolowski
 
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Default RE: office closed for inclement weather, pay or no pay

kwelzel,

If your husband is exempt, I don't think they can dock his pay when he was ready, willing, and able to work, but they can take it out of his leave, as Hatchetman says.

Also see these discussions if you haven't already:

"Bad Weather"
http://www.hrhero.com/employersforum...D14/1840.html#

"Snow Days"
http://www.hrhero.com/employersforum...D14/1841.html#

James Sokolowski
Senior Editor
M. Lee Smith Publishers
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  #8  
Unread 12-11-2002, 01:01 AM
dlail
 
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Default RE: office closed for inclement weather, pay or no pay

We seldom close for inclement weather; we have generator and battery backup to support at minimum customer service for mail order company. Locally people freak when a snowflake threatens the area and will choose to leave work the second there are flurries. We do allow employees to choose vacation days. If employees want to leave and we're not closed and their safety is not an issue, it's treated as a recordable absence. Often, schools or daycares close and ee's must pick up children, even though the weather is not serious. If the company closes during inclement weather, hourly ee's are not paid but it's not a recordable absence. Those that are able to report and work are paid for hours worked. Exempts are not affected. Usually we pick up lunch for those who come in during bad weather days.
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  #9  
Unread 12-11-2002, 01:40 AM
LFernandes
 
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Default RE: office closed for inclement weather, pay or no pay

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 12-11-02 AT 07:43AM (CST)[/font][p]We recently closed early due to a bad snowstorm that hit Long Island, NY. Our exempt employees were paid their regular hours and our hourly employees were paid for 8 hours that day as well even though they only worked 5 hours.

However, if the office and manufacturing plant are open, we do allow employees to use their paid time off instead of coming in if they feel it is unsafe for them to travel (some of our employees commute long distances).

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