Texas employers should have a policy to give employees advance warning of what to expect on a snow day, particularly in the Texas Panhandle, where we often have a couple of inclement weather days per year.
The easiest way to determine whether to keep your facility open or not is to follow your local school district’s decisions and let your staff find out through the media. That relieves you of having to communicate the decision to every employee. It is also helpful to your employees to be able to stay home with school-aged children who have no other place to go that day.
Texas and federal law do not specifically dictate when an employer must be open or closed during inclement weather, but they do dictate how compensation must be determined during those times.
Hourly employees do not have to be paid when they perform no work. Exempt employees, however, have to be paid their normal salaries when your facility is closed for weather reasons. On days when the company is open, but a salaried employee chooses not to travel because of road conditions near their house and therefore performs no work all day long, the exempt employee can be docked for that day or be required to use available paid time off.
The other pitfall with inclement weather days occurs when employees work at home on a snow day. If you give your employees the ability to remotely access their computers, if you allow them to take work home, or if you expect them to check emails and return phone calls on a snow day, you will need to pay them for those work hours (non-exempt employees) or that whole day (exempt employees).
I suggest that every employer adopt some kind of inclement weather policy similar to this one: Continue reading Texas Employers Need Snow Day Policy