Does your company have an inclement weather policy? Many employers choose to deal with individual situations as they arise, but planning ahead of time can ensure peace of mind for both employer and employees.
You may wish to consider how to address these top three matters:
Will you maintain regular hours of operation or close?
Some employers may choose to close their business when the weather reaches a certain threshold.
Others may stay open and encourage employees to exercise caution when reporting to work. Some employers, such as hospitals or emergency workers, may not have the luxury of choosing to stop operations due to bad weather.
In any case, make sure your employees know your policy and how any changes and decisions will be communicated to them.
How will you handle pay issues?
Whether the company closes or an employee is unable to report to work, non-exempt (hourly) employees are not required to be paid for this time. However, if the employee is entitled to paid time off (PTO) or vacation time, your policy should indicate whether that would be applied.
Employers are not required to pay exempt (salary) employees if they do not report to work, although PTO or vacation time may be applied to cover this time.
However, in today’s age of technology when many exempt employees are “connected” to the office by email, voice mail and other means, if an exempt employee works any part of a day – regardless of whether they are physically at work – they should be paid a full day’s wage and vacation or PTO time should not be applied.
Can employees work from home or make up their time?
As stated above, you may want to consider whether to let exempt employees work from home. That may not be possible with some positions, but making up the time off may be an option to consider.
Having an inclement weather policy that stands on its own, or as part of an Emergency Action Plan, can reduce confusion and ensure that your employees know how to respond accordingly.
The BCN Services Human Resources Department can assist you in customizing a plan that’s right for your business. Give us a call.
Sue Kester, Human Resource Manager