Does an employer in North Carolina have to have an adverse weather policy?
No. It is up to each individual employer to determine and communicate its own adverse weather policy. There are no labor laws requiring an employer to have an adverse weather policy in effect. CAI recommends you have such a policy in place and have it in writing. It is important to communicate the policy or plan in advance of any inclement weather. You will also want to consider these...
- What is your plan regarding closing once employees are at work?
- How will employees’ pay be affected if you are open and they do not feel safe driving?
- If your company is closed but employees can work from home or cannot work from home, how will employees be paid?
Employees will need to know how weather-related absences will affect their attendance. There are several scenarios to consider (i.e., company is open and employee does not feel safe driving; company is closed but employee can work from home; company opens late or closes early; etc.).
Employees must know how their pay will be affected. Exempt employees are paid on a salaried basis. If the company is closed, the exempt must be paid for the day(s) to maintain the exemption status. It is the company’s decision as to whether exempts are required to take a vacation day. Keep in mind that if the exempt does not have vacation or PTO to cover the absence, the exempt must be paid.
If the office is open and the exempt decides not to report to work, the day can be charged to vacation or PTO. If in this situation the exempt does not have vacation or PTO, the company is allowed to dock for the day due to personal reasons. This is one of the allowed deductions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) without destroying the exemption status. Be reminded, however, that if the exempt works any part of the day, the exempt must be paid for the entire day. This often comes in to play when the exempt does not come into work but works a partial day from a laptop or other electronic device.
Non-exempt employees' pay will be determined by the company policy, whether they are paid for a full day’s work if the company closes, for part of the day, or for no hours at all. Your policy should address the use of vacation or any other paid time off for use during closing for inclement weather.
For more information, register for the Advice and Resolution Corner Plus members-only webcast scheduled for Wednesday, January 14, 2015 from 8:30am until 9:00am. You can self-register for this webinar at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/114066143.
We will dive deeper into this topic to ensure you are prepared for any storm. If you have additional questions, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution team at 919‑878‑9222 or 336‑668‑7746.