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Stormy Weather: Pay and Absence Tips for Inclement Weather

Winter is just around the corner.

And with it comes incredibly unpredictable weather conditions. Icy roads. And even sleet or snow.

So here’s the big question for today’s post: When inclement weather hits, are your HR policies up to the challenge?

According to an ERC/smart Business Workplace Practice Survey, only 39% of employers have a policy for dealing with weather-related crises. Don’t be a part of the majority! Use these tips from our Nashville employment agency to create an inclement weather policy that keeps your business running smoothly, while ensuring the safety of your employees:

  • Determine who will decide if and when your company will shut down due to inclement weather.
  • List factors for making the decision (consider public transportation issues, amount of snowfall expected, community emergency declarations, etc.).
  • Plan communications. Kick-off the process by running a variety of scenarios and determining the communication needs for each. At a minimum:
    • Gather accurate, up-to-date contact information for each employee.
    • Choose your preferred means of communication.
    • Designate a “crisis communicator” to manage the process during an inclement weather incident.
  • Plan for remote work. Typically, you know ahead of time when bad weather is approaching. Encourage employees to plan in advance, taking notes, files or equipment to work from home the next day, if necessary.
  • Be practical. Allow employees with longer commutes more flexibility when inclement weather hits, and never endanger employees’ lives by pressuring them to drive to work on dangerous roads.
  • Develop pay policies. Make sure your policies are compliant with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Consider whether, if you send employees home due to adverse weather, you will pay non-exempt employees for that missed time. In addition, understand whether or not non-exempt employees must use vacation time (or other accrued time off) to get paid for the time they missed due to the bad weather.
  • Don’t forget contingent employees. As a “host employer,” you are responsible for communicating with your temporary and contract workers during a weather incident. A Nashville employment agency like Wood Personnel can help you create a “what to do” section in your inclement weather policy just for contingent workers, to ensure everyone is in-the-loop – and stays safe.