Hurricanes, Blizzards and Other Extreme Weather Events
Author: Gloria Ju
Every workplace has the potential to be affected by extreme weather events or natural disasters, such as hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, earthquakes or flooding. An employer should always be prepared for unexpected occurrences. Having a response plan in place for dealing with extreme inclement weather will help protect both the employer and its employees.
There are many concerns an employer should prepare for when it comes to extreme weather. For example, if bad weather hits while employees are in the workplace, what is the evacuation plan or shelter-in-place procedure? If the workplace will be shut down, how will this be communicated to employees? What are the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements for paying employees when they do not come to work because of the weather? Are there any Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) concerns of which the employer needs to be aware? What should be done if an employee dies on- or off-site? If the workplace must close permanently, does the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act apply? These are just a few of the issues an employer should be prepared for before bad weather hits.
The following resources can help an employer handle various workplace issues that may arise due to an extreme weather event.
Policies and Documents
- Inclement Weather Policy
- Emergency Procedure Policy
- Business Continuity Policy
- Telecommuting Policy
- Selecting the Best Insurance to Minimize Risk - Checklist
- Exit Routes and Evacuation Plans
- Emergency Contact Form
- Salary Basis Policy
- Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) Policy
- Bereavement Leave Policy
Employee Handbook Statements
- Inclement Weather / Office Closing Handbook Statement
- Emergency Evacuation Handbook Statement
- Family and Medical Leave Handbook Statement: Federal
- Bereavement Leave Handbook Statement
- Employee Classifications Handbook Statement: Federal
- How to Create an Emergency Action Plan
- How to Communicate With Employees During an Emergency
- How to Keep a Business Running After an Emergency
- How to Handle a Request for FMLA Leave
- How to Curb FMLA Abuse
- How to Terminate for FMLA Fraud or Abuse
- How to Set Up a Corporate HR Communications Program
- During office closures due to inclement weather or other disasters, may a private employer direct exempt staff to take vacation or other PTO?
- May an employer count the time when the business is closed due to inclement weather against an employee's allotment of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave?
- Does an employer need to pay an employee who cannot report to work due to circumstances beyond his or her control, such as a natural disaster or other emergency?
Employment Law Manual
Workplace Safety and Security
- Risk Management - Health, Safety, Security > Organizational Risk > Ensuring Operations: Business Continuity
- Risk Management - Health, Safety, Security > Workplace Security > Emergency Plans and Emergency Closings
- Risk Management - Health, Safety, Security > Workplace Security > Tornadoes
- Risk Management - Health, Safety, Security > Workplace Security > Hurricanes
- Risk Management - Health, Safety, Security > Workplace Security > Floods
- Risk Management - Health, Safety, Security > Organizational Risk > Insurance
- Employee Classification > The Salary Basis Test
- Employee Classification > Emergencies and Occasional Tasks
- Employee Classification > State Requirements
- Employee Leaves > Other Leaves > Disaster Services Leave
- Employee Leaves > Other Leaves: State Requirements
Employee Assistance Programs
Employee Communications and Discipline
- Employee Management > Employee Communications
- Employee Management > Employee Discipline > Inclement Weather, Disasters and Business Interruptions