What are the conditions under which exempt employees are paid during weather clsoures?

My fiancee recently started a new job and is in the probationary period at the start of employment. Her employer told non-essential employees to stay home one day after winter weather made streets dangerous and the governor asked people to stay off the streets. The following days, she was told by a supervisor that the office was opening delayed and closing early. The following week, she received directions from the company that all employees had to use paid time off PTO or leave without pay for the days they did not come into work. She has not accumulated any PTO yet as that doesn’t start until after the probationary period. It’s not clear whether she is being told something against the law. 1 Did the day in which she was told not to come in count as a closure? 2 As an exempt employee without PTO, isn’t she supposed to get paid full days for the partial days she worked? Right now, I’m telling her to ask HR for clarification or just follow the directions in the email, even if it seems to violate her rights, as she is a new employee and the risk to her job is too great to make a fuss.

Asked on January 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The issue is not exempt or not (which refers to qualifying for overtime) but whether she is salaried or not. Presumably she is salaried (while not all salaried employees are exempt from overtime, all exempt employees are salaried, so if she was exempt, she should be salaried); if so, then she should be paid for any day she worked at all, even partially (e.g. late opening or early closing). Salaried employees *only* are not paid if they do not work an *entire* day; e.g. if her normal workweek is M-F (5 days per week), but the office was closed Tuesday due to a weather emergency, she would lose 1/5th of that weeks' salary, unless she had PTO to use to cover the missing day. But say that instead she had worked two hours (out of a normal eight-hour day) Tuesday before being sent home: she must in this case be paid for all of Tuesday. So when she misses a whole day for any reason, they don't have to pay her that day, if she is salaried; but she gets  full day's salary for even partial work days.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.