Q: Do we have to pay employees when we are closed due to inclement weather?

A: The short answer—it depends on your situation and what type of employees you have. 

In Connecticut, an employer must pay hourly, non-exempt workers for the hours they actually work. 

If an employer has hourly employees who punch in and out of their shift, and are not exempt from overtime laws, they do not have to pay those workers if the business closes for weather-related reasons. 

There are rules, however, that require employers in the restaurant or retail industry to pay workers if they work for some time and are sent home early.

In that case, rules require an employer to pay the employees for a certain number of hours.

Paying exempt employees who get the same weekly salary depends on when the employer decides to close, and for how long. 

If an exempt employee works during the week at all, an employer must pay them their weekly paycheck, even if the employer shuts down. 

CBIA's Diane Mokriski addresses the inclement weather question and other employer concerns in the latest CBIA BizCast.

For example, if an employee works both Monday and Tuesday, but a blizzard arrives that forces the employer to close for the rest of the week, an employee should still get paid their weekly salary.

If an employee did not work on Monday, and the employer closes for the rest of the week, the employee does not have to get paid.

And what if the employee chooses not to report to work?

If the business is staying open, but the employee chooses not to come to work because they do not feel safe, the employer can require the employee to use paid time off.

HR problems or issues? Email or call CBIA’s Diane Mokriski at the HR Hotline (860.244.1900) | @HRHotline. The HR Hotline is a free service for CBIA member companies.