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Snow Days and Exempt Employees

May 1, 2015 | Written by: Deborah B. Rosenthal, Esq. |

Spring is finally here…your company has made it through the harsh winter of 2015! Did your employees who are exempt from overtime miss any work due to the weather? Did you deduct their salary or paid time off for missing work? Before the next winter begins, you should know the Department of Labor’s rules regarding deducting an exempt employee’s salary and paid time off.

If your workplace remains open and an employee who is exempt from overtime misses a full day of work due to the weather or another (non-illness) reason, you can deduct a full day’s pay from the person's salary. Alternatively, you can require the employee to use his/her paid time to cover the absence. If the employee doesn’t have any paid time off remaining, the employer can, if it chooses, grant the leave and let the employee make it up later, or deduct a day’s pay.

Bear in mind that you can only deduct an exempt employee’s salary for a full day’s absence. An exempt employee who shows up for part of the day should be paid for a full day, regardless of how long he or she is there. Depending on your company’s policy, you may deduct a half day from the employee’s paid time off bank for an absence of less than a full day for a non-illness reason.

If you close your workplace, you can require exempt employees to take vacation time or use leave, but you can't insist on leave without pay.

It is important to note that these rules only pertain to companies where there is a leave policy in place. If there is no leave policy in place, different rules apply.

Gebhardt & Kiefer can help you review and modify your leave policies to ensure your company is following the Department of Labor’s requirements regarding leave for snow days and other issues. For a consultation, contact Deborah B. Rosenthal, Esq. at 908-735-5161 or via email.