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FLSA advice about uncommonly bad weather

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in Payroll Today

Summer means hurricanes, tropical storms and flooding. So you don’t become tropically depressed this summer, it pays to review some of the rules of the workplace wage and hour road.  

•    Nonexempts who can’t make it into work for any reason—they just can’t or the office is closed—don’t have to be paid for the time they’re not working. They may use their accrued time off, if they have any, or they may borrow time, if you allow that.

•    Nonexempts who work from home or anywhere (a hotel room, for example) must be paid. And beware of smartphones—nonexempts who make work-related calls, texts, or use their phones in other ways for business are working, unless the time spent is de minimis—short and not easy to track. And it doesn’t matter much if you don’t have an exact record of this time. All employees need to present is a plausible record of their working time.

•    Exempts who take full days off must be paid for the week, but you don’t have to pay them for the time they took off, because it’s personal time. Exempts who take partial days off may have their accrued leave time charged for those partial-day absences. Catch: You must continue to pay them their full salaries. Upshot: Exempts who take partial days off, and who don’t have enough time in their banks against which those absences may be charged, must still receive their full pay for the week.  

•    If the office is closed for a day or two, you may require exempts to use their accrued time off. Again, if they don’t have any time left, you must pay them their full salary for the week. If the office is closed for an entire workweek, and exempts and nonexempts aren’t working from home, you don’t have to pay them.

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