Am I entitled to pay if my office closes unexpectedly?

If your employer closes the office unexpectedly – such as when bad weather, threatens, there’s a power outage, or your server is down – are you entitled to be paid? This depends in part on how you are classified – as exempt vs. non-exempt. If you are non-exempt, then your employer does not need to compensate you – even if you were trying to get to work but couldn’t do so because of the weather. However, in some situations employers may have agreements that require them to pay non-exempt employees for a minimum number of hours if they show up for work, only to be sent home.

On the other hand, if you are considered exempt, then your employer may not deduct pay if you were sent home early or not able to come in due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.  Under federal law, if you are classified as exempt and you are ready, willing and able to work, but you are sent home, your employer may not take deductions where work is not available. This includes paying exempt employees their entire salary even if the office is closed due to weather. However, if your employer provides you with PTO time, in some circumstances they may count a “weather day” as part of your PTO.

Further complicating matters, if you are a remote worker, whether exempt or non-exempt, you may be entitled to pay and expected to work, even if your brick and mortar office is closed. Because the FLSA may be confusing and nuanced, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable Atlanta wage and hour attorney for an immediate case evaluation if you have questions concerning your pay.

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