Issues Caused by Inclement Weather – #1 Compensation

 


  By Anne-Marie L. Storey, Esq.

 

This is the first in what will be a short series of email blasts   addressing various issues caused by winter/inclement weather.  This   blast will focus on payment of wages when an employee misses time from work.

For nonexempt employees, an employer is only required to pay for   hours actually worked.  Therefore, if an employee chooses not to come in   to work or the business is closed due to bad weather, nonexempt employees do   not have to be paid for the time missed.  This general rule may be   different in the event an employer has agreed to a “report-in pay”   arrangement under which a nonexempt employee is provided with pay in the   event they come to work but are sent home. 

The rules are different for exempt employees.     Generally, exempt employees are paid on a salary basis which means they   receive the same set amount per week not subject to fluctuation or   deductions.  In applying this general rule to weather-related missed time,   the Department of Labor has generally enforced the following rules: 

1.           If the employer closes the business due to bad weather for any portion of a   week (but not an entire week), a salaried exempt employee must be paid their   regular salary for the entire week. 

2.           If the business is closed for the entire week due to weather, and the exempt   employee does no work that week, the employee does not have to be paid   for the week. 

3.           If the business is open but an exempt employee chooses not to work for a full   day due to bad weather, this is considered by the DOL to be an absence   for a personal reason and a deduction for a full missed day of work can be   made.

4.           If the business is open but an exempt employee works only a partial day   due to bad weather, the employee must be paid for the entire day.  So,   for instance, if an exempt employee is late to work or leaves work early   because of weather-related transportation problems or because school is   closed, she must be paid her regular full day’s pay. 

In   determining whether an exempt employee has worked any part of a day, keep in   mind that work does not just include what is done in the physical   workplace.  To the contrary, “work” will likely also include activity   performed from home  and/or  from any remote computer-related   device and that time has to be factored into the decision as to whether pay   is due.

Also remember that   although an employer is required to pay exempt employees in the circumstances   noted above, the employer is permitted to require such employees to use any   accrued time to cover those absences.  If the exempt employee does not   have enough accrued leave to cover the absence, though, the employer is not   permitted to deduct the difference from the exempt employee’s salary.

The next   blast will address workers’ compensation issues raised by injuries incurred   in inclement weather.

These materials have been prepared by Rudman   Winchell for educational purposes only.  They should not be considered   legal advice. The transmission of this information to you is not intended to   create a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this   information without seeking professional counsel.  You should not send   any confidential or private information to Rudman Winchell until a formal   attorney-client relationship has been established, in writing.

 

         

   

Anne-Marie     Storey |     Attorney

   

The     Graham Building | 84 Harlow Street

   

P.O.     Box 1401 | Bangor, Maine 04402-1401

   

tel:     207.947.4501 | fax: 207.941.9715

   

astorey@rudmanwinchell.com