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In the run-up to this fall’s H1N1 flu season, many employers have adopted contingency plans to make sure their businesses keep running even if large numbers of workers get sick.

Flexible work schedules, temporary shutdowns and telework are all viable strategies for minimizing the effects of flu on the workplace. But all those practices have wage-and-hour implications.

Here’s the official word on how to handle those issues, straight from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

How many hours is an employer obligated to pay an hourly-paid employee who works a partial week because the employer’s business closed?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally applies to hours actually worked. It does not require employers who are unable to provide work to nonexempt employees to pay them for hours the employees would have otherwise worked. http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-flsa.htm

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