Q: Are NJ and NY Employers Required to Pay Exempt Employees for Periods of Closure Caused by Hurricane Sandy?

A:  Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers that withhold pay to exempt employees for periods of closure due to natural disasters or inclement weather risk undermining the employee's exempt status.  If an employer does not pay an exempt employee his salary for that period, the employee might be considered non-exempt, thereby entitling him/her to overtime pay after the closure period ends, if he/she works more than 40 hours in a week.  Instead, employers can require an employee that has accrued vacation or personal time to use that time during the closure period.  If your Employee Handbook is not clear on this point, you should consider updating it.

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