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5 Musts for Workplace Hurricane Prep

by John Stebbins on Oct 1, 2019 11:12:23 AM

It’s hurricane season on the East Coast, and the storms can have a big impact on companies and workers, both in and outside of the office. To minimize disruptions to the workplace and ease storm-related challenges for employees while staying compliant with employment laws, here are five ways to prepare now for potential disasters.

  1. Create a Plan: If you don’t have one already, craft a policy that outlines topics like the emergency team, notification processes for both employees and customers, weather-related closures and required staff, and more.
  2. Plan for the Unexpected: If you’re operating during a storm, closely monitor warnings. If it’s unsafe to leave, be sure to have enough emergency supplies on hand and know how to reach local authorities and plan for evacuation if necessary. The FEMA site offers some planning tips.
  3. Pay Attention to Pay Considerations: If the workplace closes early or for a day or more, employees may have questions about wages so explain the details to minimize confusion. Remember that under the FLSA, nonexempt workers must only be paid for hours worked while exempt employees are entitled to their full salary if they worked at all during the work week.
  4. Address Leave Requests: If employees or a family member suffered a serious illness or injury during the storm, they may be entitled to leave under the FMLA (or state law), but the FMLA does not require employees to grant requests for time off to deal with personal issues like flooding.
  5. Care for Employees with An EAP: Your workers are your most valuable asset. Show you care about their wellbeing by offering an EAP so employees affected by a natural disaster can access emergency referrals for necessary services and support.
  6. Our map shows if you’re at risk of a hurricane so you can take these steps to weather the storm. For more guidance on preparation, contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 401.332.9325.

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