Friday, February 8, 2013

To Hell with "Nemo."  Winter Storm Warnings.

Back in my post from January 26, 2011 which you can re-read here, I outlined the requirements for paying employees who miss time due to inclement weather.  Because there is a nameless storm beating down upon the Northeast and especially New England, this information bears repeating.

1.  If you close your office for inclement weather, you may deduct the hours not worked from hourly employees, but not salaried employees.

2.  If you are staying open, you may deduct the hours not worked from hourly employees who fail to report for duty, but obviously there is no change in the pay of salaried workers.  If as a result of staying open, an hourly employee works more than forty hours, you must pay overtime.

3.  If you close early or open late, you may reduced the wages of hourly employees for time not worked, but not salaried employees.

4.  It stands to reason that if an hourly employee was scheduled for more than forty hours, but works less than that because of inclement weather, that employee is not entitled to overtime.  Overtime is based upon time worked, not time scheduled.

So, to recap, salaried employees' wages are unaffected by winter storms, whereas hourly employees may well be affected.

That having been said, I have always espoused the philosophy that most employment disputes can be avoided by employers' liberal use of the "Golden Rule."  Treat your employees with the same dignity and respect with which you would want to be treated.  Or, to put it another way, don't be penny wise and pound foolish.  As I've also said repeatedly here, turnover costs money.

My original post had some references to Department of Labor guidelines; if you are looking for something to read by the light of the fireplace when your power goes out, be my guest.  Then again, if your power has gone out, you may not be reading this.

While we're on the subject, I simply refuse to call winter storms by the names bestowed upon them by commercial services seeking to use such nomenclature as a marketing technique.   During my first year of law school in Boston, I survived what they're still calling "The Great White Hurricane of 1978."  I feel for you New England.  Took me a week to dig my FIAT out of a snow drift (not that doing so was worthwhile, but that's a topic for another post.)


  1. So what are you doing for your employees?

  2. All of our employees are salaried, so we don't typically dock anyone's pay for snow days. When I was solo and had hourly employees, I didn't either. I felt to do otherwise was to be "cheap." It's a bigger problem with larger employers.