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Can we dock exempts for snow-day absences?

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Q. Due to recent snowstorms, some exempt employees have not been able to get to work. Can we dock the pay or accrued leave of employees who do not come to work? Can we do so even if the office is closed?

A. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you must pay exempt employees their regular salaries every week if they are ready, willing and able to work but do not perform work for reasons related to their employer’s operations.

If an office closes due to weather, you must pay your exempt employees their regular salaries.

If an employee has accrued leave available, you can deduct the period of absence due to bad weather from the employee’s remaining leave time, but only to the extent that the employee has leave time available and the deduction won’t create a negative balance. Nonexempt employees have to be paid only for time actually worked.

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