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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 32815
Experience:  Employment Law Expert
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I would like to know the rights of an employee in SC in this

Customer Question

I would like to know the rights of an employee in SC in this situation. Working for a non-profit hospital, full-time, hourly employee. Due to mandatory evacuation - out-patient offices were all closed "for safety of patients and employees." We are now being told if you are hourly, you will need to use your PTO (paid time off) or take the days we were officially closed by the hospital - as vacation hours or take without pay. OR, work longer hours during the week to make-up for the hours when we were closed by govenor's mandatory evacuation. (Salary employees do not lose any PDO time, or any of their salary due to the evacuation).
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

Hi, My name is***** am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

Sorry...I am not sure I want to know if you can force them to pay you even though you did not work the hours?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I am a full-time employee. I did not choose to come to work due to the storm. It was a mandatory evacuation by the Govenor for our county. The hospital closed out-patient offices and part of the hospital. We were told we would not be open. So, there was not a choice to come to work or not. (This memo was published from the hospital the 2nd day our offices had closed. Employees are seeing this info now). When it is a government evacuation, I do not understand why we would use our accumulated vacation hours to make-up this time - OR - not be paid.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

Thank you
I am truly sorry to be the one to bear bad news. If you are an hourly employee and did not work (regardless of the reasons) the employer is not required, by law, to pay you ULESS your employment agreement provides otherwise.

So the employer can require you use comp or sick time (PTO) if you want to be paid

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you can demand to be paid and not have to use PTO, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you...I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Attorney Simmons,
I would never shoot the messenger! :) You were able to answer my question. I understand about not being paid for not working. I thought that due to a third party closing us down and you were not allowed to come to work, it would have been a different answer. I fee so bad for the employees who do not have enough time accumulated (possibly due to length of employment) that will have to go without week's pay. I guess the hospital could pay their support staff out of the goodness of their heart, so that all benefits would have been equal to salaried employees in management positions and the employees that "support them day-in-and day-out would be fair. Truly, thank you for your help. This is a wonderful service. :)
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 13 days ago.

Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to accept the answer, I truly appreciate that