Crashing through the snow in a two-ton SUV: The payroll headaches caused by winter weather — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Crashing through the snow in a two-ton SUV: The payroll headaches caused by winter weather

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

Winter presents unique challenges to the non-SUV-owning public, who become absolutely mortified when a glance in the rear view mirror reveals one of those behemoths staring down their bumpers. It’s equally challenging for Payroll to construct viable pay policies when employees leave early, arrive late or just bag it due to snow or other weather emergencies.

Policy pointers for nonexempts. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), nonexempts need only be paid for the time worked. So employees who come in late or leave early when the weather is bad don’t need to be paid for the time they don’t work. Ditto if they decide to stay home or you decide to not open the business due to the weather.

If you allow nonexempts to use their accrued time to make up any difference, don’t include the value of the time in their regular rates when figuring their overtime rates.

Reason: It’s idle time pay, which is excluded from the regular rate calculation.

PAYROLL PRACTICE TIP: Make sure that nonexempts who are home don’t work at home, or if they do, they’re working with their managers’ permission.

Examples: returning emails or texting colleagues or clients.

Policy pointers for exempts. Figuring out the FLSA’s requirements for exempts is a little trickier, since they must be paid their full salary in any week they do any work. But there have always been exceptions to that rule. Under one exception, exempts who take a full day off don’t need to be paid for that time.

Under another exception, if you use leave banks, exempts who come in late or leave early may have their banks debited for the time not worked. You can debit the banks of those who don’t have enough accrued time, provided you allow them to borrow from the next year’s allotment.

Flip side: You must pay exempts their full salaries if you don’t allow them to borrow from the next year’s allotment.

Finally, if you decide to not open the business, and you have a bona fide benefits plan, you may require that exempts use their accrued time.

Same rule: If you don’t allow exempts to borrow time, those who would run out of time due to current debiting, and those who have already run out of accrued time, must receive their full salary.

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