Do employers need to pay employees when bad weather forces the office to close? Other feasibility questions/issues might arise, too, especially around public transportation closures and working from home.
Do employers need to pay employees if the office is open, but public transportation is closed?
Under the FLSA rules, employers do not need to pay nonexempt employees if they perform no work. For exempt employees, if the business remains open but an employee cannot get to work because of the weather, an employer can deduct a full day from an exempt employee’s salary for personal reasons. Employers cannot, however, deduct an exempt employee’s salary for less than a full-day absence. The best advice is to have a policy in your employee handbook that employees can easily access and understand.
What about working from home?
Policy is everything. Employers are not forced to allow employee to work from home, regardless of their FLSA status. The employer can decide if working from home is feasible and reasonable, but should have clearly communicated policies and expectations regarding working from home during office closures prior to any such closure.