Has the recent disaster caught you unprepared to help your employees deal with personal loss, productivity issues, work schedules, compensation challenges, and grief support?
Knowing how to help your staff and what is required from an employment perspective can be essential to reducing stress and employer liability, making it faster and easier to get life back on track.
Here are a few suggestions.
- Implement an Inclement Weather Policy
- Develop a Communications plan
- Create a Crisis Management Plan
- Offer an Employee Assistance Program
- Offer a Pre-Paid Legal Program with a Recovery Assistance Benefit
Exempt Employees: If you have to close your business during a workweek due to a natural disaster, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that you pay an entire weekly salary to exempt employees who are paid on salary. This is required only if they worked any portion of the workweek.
Nonexempt Employees: Employees on hourly wages are only required to be paid for any actual time worked, according to the FLSA.
Actual Work: In the event that a natural disaster causes you to need employees to perform tasks that are outside of their normal job description, keep in mind that they must be paid for all time worked.
Working Remotely: You may find yourself in a position where you need to allow your employees to work remotely. While this is ok, it is important to implement a mechanism to capture time worked at home to prevent exposure to liability.
Increased Time Off Requests
During times of natural disasters it is common for employers to see in an increase in requests for time off. Because of the high stress that comes hand in hand with a natural disaster, employees can experience anxiety, depression, or metal illness, which can make them eligible for the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). While it is not required to grant employees time off after a natural disasters, it is important to be mindful of employees’ need to take legally-protected leave.
When creating an Inclement Weather Policy it is important for employers to consider a number of things to avoid any legal issues. Working with a PEO can help remove some of the liability for you and your business. If you have any questions about what to do now, or in the future, please don’t hesitate to call me!