Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful
Harsh winter weather is often unpredictable and can have a profound impact on the day-to-day operations of a business. Operating two offices in the Chicago area, we know snow will fall regularly over the next few months – with a potential blizzard thrown in here or there for good measure. While it’s important to maintain business as usual, take note that employee safety and well-being should always be your first priority.
It’s crucial to have company policies and procedures in place before extreme weather hits to ensure your company and your employees are as prepared as possible. Here a few key tips to take into consideration:
Driving on Company Time
Employees who drive as part of their workday pose a major concern regarding winter weather. A few precautions to take include:
- Requiring vehicles safety checks by a licensed mechanic, before the bad weather hits
- Equipping vehicles with emergency materials such as a snow scraper, blanket, first aid kit and a flashlight
- Instructing employees to dress for the weather – that means wearing a hat, scarf and gloves, and even bringing an extra set of clothes in case of a breakdown or accident should occur
- Providing training for safe, cautious driving techniques as well as procedures on what employees should do in case of an accident
Navigating Employee Pay
Certain pay issues arise when weather forces your business to close for any length of time or prevents employees from making it to work when your business stays open. Here’s the lowdown on paying your employees should bad weather hit:
For non-exempt (typically hourly) employees:
- You’re only required to pay them for the hours they’ve worked.
- If your business opens late, closes early or closes for an entire day, you’re not required to pay them for any time missed.
For exempt (typically salaried employees):
- If the employees work any part of the day, you must pay them for a full day.
- If the business is closed for 1-4 days within a week you need to pay exempt employees their normal salary, if they work any part of that week.
Prepare Your Employees
Employees should be aware of company policies related to inclement weather. Establish a communication method to easily inform your employees if the office is closed or delayed.
When bad weather is coming, address all your policies again, remind employees of communication channels to address attendance and plan for the worst potential outcome to ensure your company is prepared for the weather.
Want to learn more about how your employees can stay safe driving on company time? Check out the related resources and pages below.
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