Michelle Marks Quoted in “Make Sure Managers Know What the Law Requires on Snow Days”


Michelle G. Marks, Associate in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Chicago office, was quoted in SHRM, in “Make Sure Managers Know What the Law Requires on Snow Days,” by Allen Smith.

Following is an excerpt:

When inclement weather hits, HR professionals and managers need to know what the Fair Labor Standards Act requires for paying employees who may or may not be able to make it in to work.

And the FLSA isn’t the only relevant law. The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act and state and local statutes have requirements that also may have to be fulfilled, so HR should provide managers with a complete overview. …

Most winter storm closures last only a few days. The Department of Labor (DOL) has stated that exempt employees must be paid their entire weekly salary for any week in which they work, regardless of how many days or hours they work in that week.

This general rule is subject to a few exceptions that allow limited deductions from exempt employees’ pay. An employer may deduct a full day from an exempt employee’s pay when that employee is absent for a personal reason other than sickness or disability, for example. If an employer remains open but an exempt employee chooses to stay home and not work for personal reasons, such as a fear of driving on bad roads, an employer could deduct a full day from the employee’s pay. …

But Michelle Marks, an attorney with Epstein Becker Green in Chicago, noted that while leave time may be deducted for missed time―so long as this is permitted by state law―such a policy would likely be unpopular among exempt employees who could telecommute rather than use vacation time.