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Inclement Weather Policies

With winter just around the corner here in northern Nevada, many employers are reviewing their inclement weather policies. In writing an inclement weather policy, there are some factors to be considered.

Most important is how your policy will affect employees’ safety. In some states, employers can be held liable if they require employees to travel during state-of-emergencies.

Additionally, you will need to consider the safety of your worksite when deciding to require employees to report to work during inclement weather. As both federal and Nevada OSHA laws mandate a safe workplace for employees, you will need to ensure that employees can safely report to work. For example, employees who slip on ice in the company parking lot may be covered under workers compensation laws.

Under the Fair Labor and Standards Act, exempt employees must be paid their full salary for any time worked during a workweek. However, nonexempt workers are paid according to the hours worked. These employees may feel financial pressure to be at work despite unsafe road conditions.

You can require employees to use paid time off, but some employees may feel pressured to report to work for reasons such as needing to use PTO for another purpose or not having enough PTO saved or accrued to cover the severe weather event. Also, should your company decide in advance to close and the severe weather event not materialize, it could negatively affect the morale of employees who used PTO on that day.

There are many factors to consider when writing your inclement weather plan. If you need help creating a policy, contact the team at HRinDemand.

Bailey Cummins, PHR, is a member of the HRinDemand team, a human resources company in Reno, NV, offering expert guidance and easy-to-use tools to help small businesses with employment regulations, compliance, employee relations, and company growth.  

Sources:

Society for Human Resource Management. Do We Have to Pay Employees When We Close Our Business Due to Inclement Weather? https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/dockingpayinclementweather.aspx

Society for Human Resource Management. (2018, January 18).  Inclement Weather Policy Should Factor in Safety, Pay. https://shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/inclement-weather-safety-pay.aspx

Society for Human Resource Management. (2018, December 31).  Make Sure Managers Know What the Law Requires on Snow Days. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/managers-know-the-law-on-snow-days.aspx

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