Widespread weather related closures are expected this week as an arctic blast envelopes much of the country, including portions of Georgia. In anticipation of the cold weather, many offices are closing and telling employees to stay home. While many workers relish a day off, whether due to cold, storms, or other inclement conditions, others wonder what this means in terms of pay. Will the day off be docked from their pay? Will they be paid if they "work at home"? Will the hours count towards overtime?
The answers to these important wage and hour questions depend on a number of factors, including whether you are considered an exempt vs. non-exempt worker and what additional rules/regulations your office sets forth in its employment manual.
In general, if you are considered non-exempt, you only receive pay for the actual time worked. Thus, if you do not work because your office is closed or you are unable to travel to work due to dangerous weather conditions, it is likely you are not entitled to pay. On the other hand, if you work from home, in most situations you must be compensated. Note that some companies have rules setting forth providing your employer notice and obtaining clearance before you can claim the right to pay. Further, in some situations, your employer may designate those hours they declare the office closed for weather as time worked. Thus, it is a good idea to check your employee handbook if you have any questions.
However, in the event you are an exempt salaried worker, your paycheck will most likely not be affected during an office closure. In general, you are entitled to pay regardless of the number of hours worked. One caveat to be aware of is if you elect to take the day off. This may count toward a PTO day.
Because work places may differ, it's a good idea to check with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour lawyer if you have any questions or concerns regarding your right to pay during a weather related closure. For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact the dedicated Georgia FLSA lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate case evaluation.