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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My wife works in a health care clinic. She received a memo

Customer Question

My wife works in a health care clinic. She received a memo that stated after 16 hours of total closings, the employees would not get paid, or they would have to take vacation days. The 16 hours was specific to ice/snow. Is this legal? And why wouldn't this apply to other acts of God/mother nature?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

When you say "total closings," what do you mean exactly? Also, is your wife paid a salary or hourly? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
During the ice/snow season, After 16 hours total, consecutive or non consecutive hours of closure, employees will not receive pay or will have to take vacation days. What if it ices in march? Or what if a rain storm makes it close in early January?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. I don't think you responded to my question about whether your wife is salary or hourly. That will be determinative to the answer of your question. This is because if your wife is hourly, she is only entitled to be paid for the hours she actually works. If she does not work--for whatever reason--her employer is under no legal obligation to pay her for that time.

If your wife is a salaried employee, on the other hand, there are certain rules which limit when an employer can pay anything less than the employee's full salary. This is because, if an employer could deduct from an employee's salary whenever they missed work, they salary would essentially become a function of the number of hours they spent working, which would mean they were hourly. Basically, a flat and unchanging salary is inherent to the idea of what it means to be a "salaried" employee. Therefore, the legislature has determined that a salaried employee can only have their pay reduced when the employer closes down for one full week or more, or when the employee misses one or more FULL workdays due to illness or for personal reasons. This means that if your wife is salary, her employer could not deduct from her pay for the short duration closings you are describing. Not unless the closure was for one week or longer.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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