Weathering the Storm: Advice for Employers When Disaster Strikes September 8, 2017

As Texas begins the long process of recovering from Hurricane Harvey and the Southwest continues to weather Hurricane Irma, Goldberg Segalla’s Dove A.E. Burns, co-chair of the firm’s Employment and Labor Practice Group, examines some of the ways that extreme weather events can confront unprepared employers with a host of logistical and legal issues.

"Planning and preparedness are not only reserved for protection of life and property," Dove writes in an article for Connecticut Law Tribune. "[E]mployers should be ready to respond when emergencies strike and ready to tackle a host of legal and practical issues in the face of crisis."

Dove treats topics including wage and hour laws and how to calculate pay in the face of an emergency; the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and pay for "hours worked" during emergencies, including the requirement in certain industries to pay employees despite "early dismissal"; planned and unplanned worksite closures; remote work; guarantees of unpaid leave; disability and force majeure; and the modification of leave policies under the obligation to make reasonable accommodations.

"Inclement weather and natural disaster can expose gaps between company policy and legal obligation," Dove writes. "Understanding what the law requires and preparing for the unexpected will enable employers to successfully navigate the uncertainties of mother nature."

Read the article: