‘Tis the season for storms and inclement weather!
Your physical location may greatly affect the type of weather you receive, however, the threat of inclement weather of any kind is always there. When there is a storm it can be difficult to know the responsibilities of an employer. We would like to break it down for you so you can be prepared and feel confident in the face of anything from snow days to hurricanes.
How Do I Pay My Employees?
One of the biggest things to have clear in situations like the inclement weather is the compensation of employees. Whether they are required to be compensated or not on days like these is outlined by the Department of Labor – check it out!
There are two pay categories that employees will fall into Exempt Employees and Non-Exempt Employees.
In incidents of closure due to inclement weather, employers are required to pay the regular salary or full payment to exempt employees for the time of closure.
In cases where the business remains open, the employer must provide regular compensation to all exempt employees who work a whole or partial day. If the employee does not come in at all the employer is free to make deductions from the employee’s leave accruals. If the employee’s balance of leave accruals is not sufficient, the employer is able to deduct from the pay for the absence.
Employers are not required to compensate non-exempt, or hourly, employees for work time missed. If a non-exempt employee does not report to work, for any reason, the employer is not obligated to pay them for that time. This includes cases of business closure due to inclement weather.
Harsh Weather, Wise Business
There are ways to ensure the safety of your employees and the success of your business. Other options besides straight closure or requiring a full day’s attendance at the office are out there. Here are a few that we like.
Offer the opportunity for employees to work from home. This way your business doesn’t miss a beat, and neither do your employees! This option also allows the Non-exempt employees to work for their much-needed compensation.
Just like the school districts, you too can offer a late start. If travel or weather will allow for safe arrival a couple hours later in the day consider starting the work day a little later or ending a bit earlier.
Make sure that you consider employees who have to travel great distances for work. Look at possible arrangements for them closer to the job site to make sure that their safety is secured.
How Do I Communicate with My Employees?
Don’t let communication get lost in the snow flurry. You may have a plan for inclement weather days, but it is important that your employees know this plan as well. This may mean that your business closure follows a surrounding school district, so your employees know not to come in if that district has closed. Here are a few other ideas you may like!
Have each employee in the company responsible for contacting another co-worker. Or you could make sure that supervisors have the cell phone numbers for each person in their department to make sure they get they stay safe and are up to date!
Save a group email for all your employee’s home emails, this can be done at the click of a button in iSolved! If the inclement weather comes you can send out a mass email from the comfort of your home, no need to make the potentially dangerous trek to the office.
There is the possibility that cell service could be weak or even down due to the storm. In order to reach your employees effectively by phone, you may need an app. Find one that works best for your company’s contingency plan. The app Group Me can send group messages even if there is a cell weak signal. It works on any device, and better yet- it’s free!
Storms may stop everything around you, but don’t let it stall your business.