Tuesday, November 13, 2012

No Work, no pay? What the law says about compensating employees when the office is closed

According to New York State law, employees paid on an hourly basis generally do not have to be paid for time not worked, assuming the employer has informed the workers in advance that the office will be closed. Under state law, employers are required to pay a minimum level of ‘call-in pay’ if the employee shows up for work but the employer is closed and has no work for the employee to perform, unless the employer has attempted to notify the employee of the closure in advance. For most industries, the call-in pay rate equals four hours at the New York minimum wage rate.

Salaried employees usually must be paid for the entire week, without any deductions, if they worked a portion of the work week but then were unable to work the remainder of the week because of a company’s closure, the premise being that salaried workers may have performed duties, such as calling clients or prospects, from home.

One of our business counselors was told by the Department of Labor that businesses can have their staff file for DUA – Disaster Unemployment Assistance. If the employee was UNABLE to work for any reason they would NOT get compensated by unemployment but if they were ready and willing but the business was closed their claim will be considered. Self employed persons can also file for DUA.

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