In part 1, we discussed how everyone pays for bad weather. Today, we discuss exempt vs. non-exempt employees.

As an employer it is your responsibility to clearly outline what is expected of your employees in the case of inclement weather. As such, the inclement weather policy your business develops must set expectations, present a balanced approach to compensation, and minimize risks for both employers and employees.

Overseen by the Department of Labor (DOL), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay nonexempt (hourly) employees for actual hours worked. Thus, an employer is not required to pay a nonexempt employee, even if the employee was scheduled to work, or sent home early. Simply put, if a nonexempt employee only works for an hour before the decision is made to close, according to federal law that employee is only required to be paid for the single hour worked.

Exempt (salary) employees, on the other hand, are almost always paid for time off due to inclement weather, though employers can require employees to use paid-time-off for such situations. An employer cannot however penalize an employee who has exhausted all paid time off, for time taken during inclement weather. In any case, employees should reference their company handbook for company specific policies and regulations predesigned to guide each company through unforeseen situations like inclement weather.

Come back next week when we discuss decisions on whether or not it weather conditions are safe based on research.