People have been asking us whether they are entitled to be paid after a hurricane or other disaster closes their workplace.
Hourly, or nonexempt, employees are paid only for the hours they actually work. If the business is closed during a natural disaster, they do not receive any payment. There are a couple of exceptions. An employee who is on the premises waiting to work—if the power fails, for instance—should be paid. Employees who are on call at or near the business premises may be entitled to payment.
Salaried employees get the same pay no matter how many hours they work in a given week. They are entitled to their full salary for any week in which they perform any work—even if the office is closed for part of the time. However, the employer may require them to use allowed leave—such as vacation or personal days—for this time. If the office is open, but the employee decides not to come to work, this may be considered unpaid leave, or the employee may have to use vacation time. If the exempt employee is only out for part of a day, there should not be any deduction in pay.