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Closed due to Inclement Weather? What Businesses Need to Know.

It’s that time of year, especially this week as the “polar vortex” crosses the United States, where employers may be forced to close their doors due to inclement weather. First and foremost, employers must keep both employees and clients safe. Beyond this, business owners and managers must be aware of the rules on employee pay in the case of a closure.

Q: If you need to close your worksite due to inclement weather, do you have to pay employees? The answer is different for exempt and non-exempt employees.

Exempt employees must be paid when the employer closes due to inclement weather, whether they do any work or not. You may require exempt employees to use accrued vacation or paid time off for the day if that is your regular practice when the workspace closes. However, exempt employees without enough paid time off to cover the absence must still be provided with their regular salary during the closure.

Non-exempt employees, on the other hand, need to be paid only for actual hours worked plus any reporting time pay that may be required by the state (this sometimes applies when employees show up for work but are sent home early).

Inclement weather is something that in many areas of the country, almost annually, is an issue that employers must face. This is why many companies have an inclement weather or emergency closure policy for these sorts of situations. These policies typically address communication in the event of worksite closures and options for employees. You might, for example, allow employees to work from home.

If you don’t currently have a policy like this in place, now might be the time to implement one. If you’re already a QBS client, you can find an inclement weather policy in the HR Support Center Policy Library. If you are not a client or don’t currently utilize this service, please contact us today — the QBS Human Resources team is here to help!

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