Plant closed for Weather ... do we pay for the time off???

On Monday the decision was made to shut down the plant due to the snow. Now we are trying to figure out if we should pay the employees for the day off.

I thought I read that exempt employees had to be paid but hourly did not. Can someone please enlighten me on this subject. We'd like to make a decision today if possible. Thanks!


  • 20 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • We do not pay our hourly employees for the time off. We do, however, consider the time missed as hours worked for purposes of accumulating 40 hours in a week. Therefore, if the employees work on Saturday they will receive 1 1/2 times because they would already have been considered to have worked 40 hours (this assumes that they worked there hours Tuesday through Friday).
  • We also closed early on Monday and we will pay all employees who were here for their full shift. Employees who called in because of the snow are required to use either vacation or personal time.

    If we open with a skelton staff because of weather everyone gets paid thier regular hours and those who work get comp time in addition to thier pay.
  • But we do have to pay exempt employees? Correct?
  • Yes you have to pay your exempt employees, they were able to work, you closed. You cannot dock them partial week pay.
    My $0.02 worth.
    DJ The Balloonman
  • now I am being asked if we can require everyone to take a vacation day for yesturday? Then, give a paid extra day for the day after Christmas in return????
  • Why do that and extend the confusion? Why not just pay for yesterday and be done with it? We have sick and vacation time. Our P&P allows for sick time to be used for emergency purposes as approved by HR. Employees seem to be way more amenable to using their sick than "throwing away" their vacation.
  • well ... I agree it is more ocnfusing ... but the question being posed to me from Management is can it be done????
  • Since you have no policy governing the situation, I imagine you can develop this in any manner you like. There are no federal guidelines that govern vacation, sick, personal time. You don't have to give them any if you don't want to!

    Just beware what you do - precendence and all that. What happens if it happens again? Are you going to pay again? And give another paid day off around the holidays?
  • So let me make sure I have this really clear ...

    I have an exempt employee who was unable to work Monday because the plant was closed. I can now force this exempt to take a vacation or sick pay to cover the day off and not have any violations of Federal laws in doing so???? And say this is true, what do I do with the exempt employee who has no acrued sick or vacation time or not enough to cover the 8 hours for Monday???
  • I would love to see management try and force me to take a sick or vacation day to cover the plant being closed. As an exempt employee who has been considered a good employee and a member of the management team, I would not stand for it regardless of where I was working.
    You are fighting a losing battle. You management team thought process would concern me if I were you Irenoll.
    If it is not already written in policy you will lose.
    My $0.02 worth.
    DJ The Balloonman
  • If it's a situation where you require exempt personnel to use sick or vacation time, you may dock the exempt employee with no available paid leave time for the entire day. However, you have no policy in place and anything you do right now is going to be viewed as very arbitrary.

    Take heed of Balloonman.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 02-19-03 AT 12:46PM (CST)[/font][p]If you close down for a day because of operational reasons, even a "snow day" if that was the cause, and the exempt emplyee was ready, willing and able to work that day (but didn't because of the closure) and the exempt emplyee worked any other part of that week, then you have to pay the exempt emplyee's salary for that week including the snow day. You may only dock salary as permitted by FLSA. It doesn't permit docking salary for closure due to the needs of the company.

    Yes, you can charge the accrued time benefits of an exempt employee for that day. Whether you want ot or not is nanother matter. If the exempt employee has no accrued time on the books that may be docked, then you still have to pay the exempt emplyee. And that's where you wind up with some morale issues.

    If the exempt employee has had good attendance then probalby there will be accrued time on the books to charge. But if the exempt emplOyee has been absent a lot, e.g., under FMLA, then probably you won't have time on the books to charge. Thus, you "penalize" the good employee and not the poor attendance employee. And that's where your morale problem arises.

    I assume the entire day the company was closed and that is what you'll be charging. If you plan to charge for a partial day's closure, you may be prevented from doing so by your state's laws and regualtions, if any, on accrued time banks, such as paid vacation and PTO.
  • Even though it could jeopardize the exempt status of the EE's involved, isn't this kind of scenario rather standard in heavy manufacturing plants?
  • Hi

    I think you need to be very careful with exempt employees. I'd pay them as I would their normal salaries. I don't think you can dock them for the day, at least in Massachusetts.

  • I just had this researched by a law firm.
    You must pay exempt employees if the company is closed due to an emergency.
    You CAN require those employees to use vacation time or paid time off.
    If an employee does not have enough vacation or paid time off to cover the time, you still must pay them BUT you can charge future accrued leave to this deficit.
  • We are a medical facility, so we are probably a little different in mindset than manufacturing. Our hazardous weather policy states that if the practice is officially closed, then everyone gets paid, hourly or salaried. If it is a partial day closing,either closing early or opening later, then hourly gets paid for hours they work and salaried, of course, get paid regardless. If the practice is open, then it is up to the individual - if they feel they can get to work safely, then come in. If the practice is open for business and employees don't come in, then they must take a PTO day. If exempts do not have any PTO, we do not dock them, but they may borrow from future PTO (this is the only case that we allow this).

    If personnel are essential, we have sent four wheel drives for them if they can't get out of their driveways or up to the interstates to come into work. We try to assess these things where people don't feel like they have to try to come to work if they feel unsafe. But, at the same time, we all know there are employees that will use any excuse to stay home, especially if they know they will get paid for it regardless.

  • Let me throw one more wrench into the thought process. Whenever there is a chance of severe weather shutting things down. When I leave the night before a storm, I take work home with me. I have also done this with a sick child when it was my turn to stay home. I take work home as I actually intend to and do get work done. As I see it my job only builds up when it is not done so missing work days due to weather is not in my schedule or plans. Last year in KC we had a horrible ice storm and my office was closed for 3 days as we had no power/heat. I called my scheduled interviews, and had them meet me at a nearby restaurant and interviewed them there. Worked maybe 3 hours each day plus travel, but got quite a bit done.
    By law if they worked at all you have to pay them. You are going to have major problems if you have good dedicated employees who took some or any work home with them.
    My $0.02 worth.
    DJ The Balloonman
  • At our company we are paying all staff members. That includes exempt and non-exempt. We are not paying our full or part time hourly people.

  • Just as a point of interest (and because I can't slap employees and tell them to grow up) - We closed Tuesday for the storm (Mass.) We have decided to pay non-exempt employees (exempt would be paid anyway) whatever hours they were scheduled to work. But because of the holiday weekend, some employees scheduled Tuesday off for a very long holiday weekend. Well, since we are paying employees who were scheduled, these employees who were not scheduled to work, don't want their scheduled "personal, vacation, etc. day" held against them since we weren't open anyway. My theory is to "make the employees whole" so no one loses pay because of the closing. But as we all know, you can't make everyone happy.
  • Deidre, I fully expected to get folks asking me about this as well, but so far so good. Like you, we paid everyone scheduled to work on the day we closed (Tuesday). Anyone who had a planned vacation day off will not get to charge it to the company.

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