We All Pay For Bad Weather

During the course of the winter snow season, different types of storms occur, often times disrupting our daily lives in various negative ways. When this inclement weather spawns, students & employees alike turn to the media to determine whether or not transportation is safe.

More often than not, when this weather surfaces schools end up shutting down, while businesses/organizations remain open. But what’s the procedure when this weather occurs? Who is responsible for notifying employees to stay home or come in? Are the employees responsible for contacting their employers? And what happens to parents that are required to be at work, but have no one to tend for their children?

Employees often expect Employers to cover all of the costs in the event of inclement weather (i.e. “I should still get paid because I would have been in today, but could not due to the weather”). This however is impossible. Business owners cannot afford to pay non-working employees, and still have a job available for those employees when the business reopens if paying customers aren’t also walking through the door; which is often the case with consumers during bad weather situations, as roads are typically unsafe for driving.

Employers need to consider in advance the possible emergency events that could affect their ability to open. They need to develop policies, specific to their company, detailing what employees can expect when inclement weather makes it impossible to get to work. More importantly however, employers need to ensure their employees clearly understand these policies and how to react when these situations arise. The policy needs to clearly spell out who is responsible for announcing any closures, and where they will be able to find that information.

Next, we discuss exempt vs. non-exempt employees, and how inclement weather impacts these groups.