Preparing Your Business for Storm Season

Storm season is here! Businesses need plans in place, not only for taking shelter during inclement weather but also for running business as usual. We’re sharing a few procedures and precautions to consider when storm season rolls around. 

Shelter

Your employees should know how to respond when emergencies happen during the workday. Learn more from ready.gov about Workplace Emergency Response Plans. Give your employees the option to leave early and find shelter at home if you know dangerous weather won’t arrive for a while. If there isn’t much time, communicate where the shelter areas are in your building. Be sure to include procedures for assisting employees with disabilities. Have an alternative way to notify employees who may not hear alarms or assign helpers if someone needs assistance using stairs. 

Operations

After confirming everyone is safe, up next is making sure your people are set up to continue day-to-day operations. Prioritize your company’s essential functions and inform employees about how you’ll continue them off-site if possible. With more employees working from home, many people have resources that make it easy to keep business running normally. Having a partner like Nextep makes it even easier to manage payroll, health benefits, and workers’ compensation no matter where you are. 

Pay During Inclement Weather 

Payroll can be tricky if the weather causes your business to close or employees have to leave and can’t work from home. Below are some basic rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for employees that are not working due to inclement weather:

  • For salaried employees, if the business is open, you can dock the employee’s pay or use PTO in full-day increments only. However, if the employee works at all that day, you must pay them for the entire day.
  • For salaried employees, if the business is closed, you can use the employee’s PTO for full-day absences.
  • If the employee is paid hourly, you are only required to pay for hours worked.

Emergency action plans can look different across industries and locations. If your business needs help creating procedures when inclement weather occurs, please contact your Nextep HR business partner. 

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