With cleanup efforts still going in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as the often treacherous New York winter ahead, it is important for employers and employees alike to know their rights and responsibilities when work is interrupted due to inclement weather. Anytime work is disrupted, wage and hour issues can arise, and knowing whether you have been paid what you deserve can be confusing. The following are some guidelines regarding payment of employees when a business is closed due to adverse weather conditions.
One major consideration when determining your right to wages is whether you are exempt from overtime pay. If you do qualify to receive overtime pay, your employer is not required to pay you for hours that you do not work. Therefore, even if you were ready to work and the business closed due to no fault of your own, your employer will not be required to pay you for that day. If you work from home, however, you will need to be paid your full hourly rate for all hours worked.
On the other hand, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay overtime exempt employees their full week's salary if they performed any work during that week. This means that if the business was open for three days and closed for two days because of an ice storm, exempt employees should receive their full salary for the week. However, if a business is closed the entire week and the employee performs no work, they do not have to be paid for that week.
The situation changes, however, if the employee is the one who cannot make it into work due to inclement weather. If the business is open, it does not have to pay employees for the day they did not work. Employees who work remotely, however, should receive full payment for their work.
In the event, the employer does not notify the employee of the closure and the employee reports to work to find the business closed, New York labor law may come into play for non-exempt employees. In this situation, state law may require that the employee is paid a certain amount of “call-in pay.” There are exemptions and exceptions to call-in pay requirements, however, so this issue should be examined based on an employee's specific situation. In addition, if an employee is part of a union, the collective bargaining agreement will likely have a provision regarding inclement weather closures, and such provisions should be followed.
Contact a New York City Wage and Hour Attorney to Discuss Your Situation
If you have concerns about any type of pay issues or believe your employer has violated your rights, please do not hesitate to consult with a New York wage and hour lawyer to discuss your rights and options. Call Braverman Law PC at (212) 206-8166 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation today.