Ask The Lawyer, WINDSTORM SHUT THE OFFICE DOWN; DO WE STILL HAVE TO PAY SALARIED WORKERS?
WINDSTORM SHUT THE OFFICE DOWN; DO WE STILL HAVE TO PAY SALARIED WORKERS?
QUESTION: Overnight, a violent windstorm took out the power to our building, shutting down all our PCs. When employees arrived, we told them to go home and offered to pay them for one hour – even though they did no work. A couple of salaried workers insisted they should be paid for the whole day. Do we have to pay them when they didn’t do any work at all?
ANSWER: If the salaried workers showed up ready, willing and able to work – you‘re on the hook to pay them for the whole day. You’re not required to pay hourly workers anything, but paying them for at least an hour for their time and trouble in getting to work is a nice gesture.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), salaried employees, also known as “exempt employees,” are exempt from overtime and other requirements that apply to hourly workers. However, salaried workers must be paid a salary of at least $455 per week, and they are entitled to that salary for any week in which they perform any work, regardless of the quality or quantity of the work or the number of days or hours worked, if they able to work, available to work, and ready to work.
A salaried worker who shows up on-site and is told to go home because the power went out meets those criteria, and must be paid in full.
Understanding the rights of your workers, both salaried and hourly, is important. Improper pay docking or other violations of the FLSA can result in substantial fines.
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ASK THE LAWYER
By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
GWINN TAURIAINEN PLLC
901 Wilshire Drive, Suite 550
Troy, MI 48084
(248) 247-3310 facsimile