When blizzards coat huge portions of the US and snow is forecast in South Georgia and Florida of all places, you know there is an extreme weather event taking place. So what’s an employer to do? The latest Polar Vortex is the perfect time for businesses to take a fresh look at their bad weather policies.
As is often the case, the answer is it depends.
Did the worker work remotely while away from the office? If so, then yes. They should get paid.
Is the worker an exempt employee? If so, then if it is an inclement weather day, they need to be paid if they would have worked if you had let them. If it turns into an inclement weather week, and they didn’t work during that time, then you probably don’t have to pay them.
Is the worker nonexempt? If so, you only have to pay them for hours worked. However, some states require nonexempt employees to be paid for showing up to work if the employees are not provided adequate notice of a workplace closure.
2. Contingency Plans
Many businesses, which are not prepared, end up never opening again after a major event causes a shut down.
To avoid this fate, it is important to have a contingency plan that will address exactly what is going to happen when Mother Nature strikes.
To make sure these questions are answered, take a moment to evaluate your contingency plan. Did it hold up to the icy weather?
3. Health and Safety
It is a good idea to have a backup generator. This not only helps with data retention, but it allows employees to work in the light and with heat even if the building loses power.
If some of the employees will be required to drive work vehicles such as trucks during this storm, make sure the vehicle is winterized, the employee knows how to drive in icy terrains, and a first aid and emergency kit is in the vehicle that the employee knows how to use.