Source: Carolyn Ball, Mount Desert Island Maine, 1/4/2018
Would you go to work if you had to pass this storm surge. Would you pay an employee who didn't come in because of the storm surge above. Almost anywhere in the US and in Canada, you have had to close, partially close your nonprofit or government for a day or part of the day. You may have had essential employees who had to work. It used to be relatively simple how you were going to pay or not pay employees. You often paid employees whether salaried or hourly if they worked for part of the day. You might have paid only your salaried if you closed for the whole day. In the past few years, employers have become much more concerned about the safety of employees. Last year, one our hospitals closed during a snowstorm! Yes, the emergency room was open and nurses on the units had to come in, but most support personnel and clinics were closed. Safety seems to trump the need to control the payroll.
Now you have one more wage consideration. You have employees, both salaried and hourly, who work from home, all the time, some of the time, or when there is a blizzard. Your salaried employees will continue to be paid, but how do you manage your hourly employees? Do you pay those hourly employees who can work from home their regular pay and not pay those hourlies who do their work on site? You may have salaried employees who become hourly employees as they run snowplows. Particularly for public employers, fairness is a concern but so too is using the taxpayers’ funds wisely. How have you controlled your payroll during the snowstorms, blizzards, and extreme cold weather? I’d like to know what policies you have in place or did you make a specific decision related to a storm?