In light of various emergencies and disasters throughout the state, the California Chamber of Commerce is educating employers about a few things they should know about paying employees, leaves of absences and planning ahead in emergencies. Paying Employees Even in an emergency, employers must be mindful of obligations under state employment laws and consider pay issues for exempt and nonexempt employees related to office closures. Employers must pay exempt employees a full weekly salary for any week in which any work is performed. If the business is closed for the whole week, however, employers don’t need to pay exempt employees. In emergencies, special pay rules apply for nonexempt employees. If your business shuts down for any of the following reasons, you must only pay nonexempt employees for the hours they worked prior to being sent home:
- Operations can’t start or continue due to threats to you or property or when recommended by civil authority;
- Public utilities such as water, gas, electricity or sewer fails
- Work is interrupted by an “Act of God” or other causes not within the employer’s control.