Inclement Weather and Payroll Obligations

In February 27, 2019

Stuff happens, including bad weather. Tornadoes, hurricanes, major storms, blizzards, floods and other inclement weather can cause weather-related closures. If your business closes, you still have to pay your employees on the next scheduled payday if they worked any time at all during the pay period. Below is some information on nonexempt and exempt employees and what federal and applicable state laws have to say.

Nonexempt Employees

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to pay nonexempt employees for all hours worked. This means these employees do not need to be paid for business closures, including weather-related closures. However, if a nonexempt employee works for an hour before your business closes due to weather, you must pay your employee for the full hour he worked that day.

You can require nonexempt employees to use their available paid time off to cover any missed work time as a result of inclement weather however, some states do not allow employers to make such mandates. Check your state’s stance on this matter.

Furthermore, some states have pay laws pertaining to “reporting time,” which means that employers must pay nonexempt employees for a minimum number of hours if they come to work as scheduled and are then sent home early due to inclement weather.

Exempt Employees

FLSA states that employers must pay exempt employees full salary for any work week if they perform any amount of work during that time period. Certain deductions are permitted to be made from these salaries but business closures are not one of these deductions. This means if your business closes for a few days out of a week, exempt employees must receive full salary for the week if they worked any amount of time.

Exempt employees do not need to be paid of the business is closed for the entire week and they do not perform any work during the week.

FLSA also allows you to require exempt employees to use accrued paid time off for closings due to inclement weather but you still need to check state law for exempt employees too. If an employee has exhausted his PTO, you must still pay him his full salary if he worked at all during the week.

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