Exempt and non-exempt employees are treated differently under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when an employer closes for weather-related reasons. Under those circumstances, non-exempt employees are not entitled to pay, although they may use any accrued paid time off (PTO) to cover the absence. An employer may also have a policy that provides a certain number of paid days for inclement weather closings.
For exempt employees, the rules are different. If an employer is open for business during a snowstorm, for example, but an exempt employee chooses to stay home, the employee is not entitled to pay for that day unless he/she uses a day of accrued PTO. If, however, the employer closes for the day because of weather, the exempt employee’s full salary must be paid for that workweek, because the employee is available for work but it is the employer who has made the work unavailable to the employee.