Winter Weather & the Workplace

Winter is coming and although snow days are a happy occasion for schoolchildren, they create a new level of confusion for employers who may need to close their office due to bad weather. Businesses are left questioning whether to pay employees, and, if so, which employees and how much. What are the rules for paying employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)? How are the rules different for exempt vs. nonexempt employees?

You must consider some important factors when creating your Inclement Weather policy to remain compliant with the FLSA. For example, you always have the option of closing your doors during inclement weather; however, if you do close your doors due to bad weather for less than a full workweek, you must pay your exempt employee’s full salary. You can require exempt employees to use their available paid time off, but if they do not have accrued time off, you must still pay them. You are only required to pay nonexempt employees for the hours they work.

HR Knowledge highly recommends that you establish an inclement Weather Policy for your organization. It’s better to be prepared and plan ahead so both employers and employees know what to expect during inclement weather. Here is a resourceful tool to help you plan in the event of severe weather conditions: BLR Winter Weather Infographic.