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The Weather Outside May Be Frightful, But The FLSA Doesn’t Have To Be

If your organization or employees are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), keep these tips in mind the next time inclement weather disrupts your operations.

Non-Exempt Employees

If an employer remains open during inclement weather and non-exempt employees perform work, they must be paid for the time spent working.  However, if non-exempt employees elect to stay home or an employer closes for the day, they generally need not be paid.  Non-exempt employees are typically only paid for time spent working.

Exempt Employees

The payment of exempt employees can be a bit more complicated, but the rules are fairly well-settled.  If an employer remains open and exempt employees perform work, they must be paid.  However, if an employer remains open but exempt employees elect to stay home for the day, they are generally not required to be paid for that day (because they removed themselves from the workplace for personal reasons).  Employers may, of course, permit employees to utilize paid time off to supplement pay for such absences, but are not required to do so under the FLSA.

If an employer closes due to inclement weather, however, exempt employees generally must be paid as if they worked a full workweek.  And, when it comes to exempt employees arriving late or leaving early due to inclement weather, be particularly careful – reducing pay under these circumstances often violates the FLSA’s prohibition against deductions.

Always be mindful of whether the state or local government in which your business operates has established additional statutory and regulatory requirements with which you must comply, as well as the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

If you have questions regarding the impact of inclement weather and business closure on your wage and hour practices or compliance efforts generally, please contact labor and employment law attorney Josh Gessling at (812) 423-3183 or jgessling@KDDK.com, or contact any member of the KDDK Labor and Employment Law Practice Team.

About the Author

Joshua B. Gessling, Indiana and Florida Attorney

Josh Gessling

Joshua B. Gessling, a labor and employment law attorney at Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn, LLP, in Evansville, Indiana, assists employers in a broad range of labor and employment law matters, and provides litigation and trial services for KDDK clients. Josh also utilizes his background in international law to assist businesses with operations abroad in corporate compliance and workforce management issues.

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