Should Employees Get Paid For Missing Work In Bad Weather?

This week, all across the country freezing temperatures reaching as low as 16 below zero, ice storms, and blizzards are shutting down school districts and businesses. Thousands of employees are missing work. Employees and managers alike are wondering if they should be getting paid while they’re out building snowmen and drinking hot chocolate.The answer is, it depends.

For non-exempt employees – that’s your regular hourly employees – you only ever have to pay them when they work. So, no, you don’t have to pay them when they can’t get the car out of the driveway. Non-exempt employees are only paid when they clock in for work.

For exempt employees – that’s your salaried employees – you do have to pay them if your business shuts down. So, if no one comes in to open up shop, you’ll have to pay your employees anyway. And, it is the opinion of the Department of Labor, that under inclement weather situations, if the doors remain open and your employees don’t show up at all, you can doc them a whole day’s absence for “personal reasons.” This does not have to be paid as vacation or any kind of PTO. This is an unpaid day. If your employees do manage to show up, even just before closing, you can’t doc them at all, not even for the time they were late.

Here is the whole statement from the Department of Labor themselves.

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