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Q: Are employees required to be paid when inclement weather forces the company to close?

Beth McGrane, NJBIA HR Generalist

When Mother Nature takes over and it is not feasible to open, or remain open due to inclement weather, this question often comes up: Do we have to pay our employees?

Many companies have an inclement weather policy in their employee handbook for this type of situation. It will usually outline the procedures and options in place for employees in the event of the workplace closing due to inclement weather. You might allow employees to work from home or use paid time off (PTO) if it is not feasible for them to work from home. If you do not have a policy like this in place, now might be the time to implement one. You can find an inclement weather policy using the NJBIA recently launched, HR Support Center platform in the policy library section.

Non-exempt employees are only required to be paid for actual hours worked, plus any reporting time pay that may be required by the state (this sometimes applies when employees show up for work but are sent home early). You may allow non-exempt employees to work from home if feasible or allow the use accrued vacation or paid time off.

Exempt employees are required to be paid when the workplace closes due to inclement weather, whether they do any work or not. You may require exempt employees to use accrued vacation or paid time off if that is your normal policy when the workspace closes. However, exempt employees without enough paid time off to cover the absence must still be provided with their regular salary during the closure.

To bring maximum benefit to its members, NJBIA recently launched a new, comprehensive HR Support Center platform that provides employers with a host of time-saving tools and resources, the most up-to-date HR information, and live professional consultations seven days a week.

NJBIA’s HR Support Center is included in NJBIA membership dues, while access to Support Center PLUS, with HR On-Demand services seven days a week, can be accessed for a nominal fee of $300 a year.

HR Support Center benefits include:

  • Policy library & law alerts
  • HR forms, documents, and templates
  • Employee handbook builder
  • Resources covering common employer laws including ACA, FLSA, and FMLA
  • Extensive COVID-19 content
  • HR webinars lead by HR professionals
  • Monthly HR newsletters and eAlerts from NJBIA
  • HR fitness test to assess HR compliance gaps
  • Guides on popular HR topics

Members who upgrade to the HR On-Demand feature receive:

  • Unlimited live advice via HR Concierge Live Chat
  • , telephone, or email
  • Question and answer history
  • Custom multi-state employee handbooks and consultation
  • Custom project requests
  • COVID-19 live help

Employers, both NJBIA members and non-NJBIA members, can learn more about NJBIA’s HR Support Center at or call 1-800-499-4419.

For a video about NJBIA’s HR Support Center, click here.