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Monday, January 26, 2015

Snow!!! Shovel, Ice Melt & Paying Employees when the Office is Closed? Business Attorney Peter Lamont Explains When you Have to Pay an Employee for a Snow Day.

With a major snow storm barrelling down on the North East a snow day (or two) are defiantly in the forecast.  So, does an employer need to pay employees when the office is closed due to snow or inclement weather? Read on to find out. 

In order to answer that question we must first distinguish between exempt and non-exempt employees.  Many employers incorrectly believe that all salaried employees are exempt or that by paying an employee a salary, they automatically become exempt. This in not accurate. In fact, exempt and nonexempt status has little to do with job titles and whether an employee is salaried or receives an hourly wage (although in practice, hourly workers are never "exempt"). The legal definition of "exempt" and "nonexempt" has much more to do with an employee's level of responsibility or his or her status as a professional. In general, administrators, managers, directors, and supervisors are considered exempt employees. For a comprehensive explanation of exempt vs. non-exempt employees please click here.

Exempt Employees

According to the DOL, if an exempt employee performs any work during the work week, he or she must be paid their full, normal salary. So therefore, if an employer closes because of inclement weather such as rain, snow, or other emergencies, and the employee has worked that week, he or she must be paid his normal salary.  Additionally, if the employer decides to close part way through the day due to worsening and/or a state of emergency he must pay exempt employees their full salary.

If the exempt employee chooses to take the time off during a rain day, snow day, or other emergency, and the employer is open for business, the employer may require the use of vacation time, paid time off or other accrued paid leave. If the exempt employee is not yet eligible to use accrued paid leave, the employer may take a deduction from his or her salary for a whole day of work missed.

Nonexempt Employees 

The rules are different for nonexempt, or hourly paid, employees. Generally, if a nonexempt employee does not come to work for whatever reason, the employer does not need to pay him or her. If the employer closes the business for a day due to a rain day, snow day or other emergencies, the employer does not have to pay the nonexempt employees.

However, if an employer closes the company part way through a day, he does have to pay for hours worked. In some states, an employer must pay employees a minimum number of hours if they have reported for work.

If you would like more information about this topic or have general legal questions, please feel free to contact me at (973)949-3770 or via email at plamont@peterlamontesq.com Offices in: New Jersey New York, Colorado & Puerto Rico and affiliated offices throughout the country.

© 2010-2015, Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont & Associates. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between the firm and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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