Inclement Weather: Employee Safety, Business Closings, Employee Pay, and FLSA

As the HBO hit series Game of Thrones has warned for many years: Winter is Coming. Businesses need to be prepared for the possibility of inclement weather interrupting the workday.

Employee safety is always the top consideration during inclement weather and is often the basis for closing a business for a day or two. However, a close second consideration is employee pay during the time a business is closed due to inclement weather. Employers subject to the Fair Standard Labor Act have different pay obligations for exempt and nonexempt employees. For exempt employees, if the employee works any portion of the week, he or she must be paid their full, normal salary. To the contrary, employers are only required to pay nonexempt/hourly employees for the hours that they have worked. If an employer closes the business for a day due to inclement weather, the employer is not required to pay nonexempt employees that were scheduled to work that day. Georgia state employment laws do not require more than the minimum compensations obligations provided by the Fair Standard Labor Act.

An Inclement Weather Policy is a vital component to keeping a business running during the inclement weather months. A proficient Inclement Weather Policy will inform employees of what constitutes an inclement weather day, how business closing will affect work responsibilities, how employees will be contacted, and how or if the employee will be compensated during the business closure. Employers should take into consideration the ability of employees to work from home to decrease the effects of inclement weather closures.

Contact Chandra Davis at [email protected] for help regarding inclement weather office closings and employer responsibilities.