Adverse Weather Leave in US – How it Works & Rights of Employees

Adverse Weather Leave in the US – How it Works & Rights of Employees: With our fast moving lives revolving around a 9 to 5 job, being punctual at our workplace is extremely crucial. So many external factors such as heavy rain, snowfall, and the thunderstorm can force you to be indoors or not reach office on time. No company would want their employees to risk their lives and come to an office.

Therefore every workplace has certain guidelines for employees who are stuck in this kind of situation. Adverse weather can be defined as any extremely hazardous weather conditions that make it difficult for the employees to reach their workplace. These weather conditions could be snow, ice, fog, rains, volcanic eruptions, floods. These conditions affect the public as well as private transportation drastically. In such situations, an employee can take an adverse weather leave.

How did Adverse Weather Leave in US work?

In case of any adverse weather condition, employee’s only priority should be their safety. However, an honest attempt to reach the office should be made by maybe changing routes, carpooling, taking public transport. A fair amount of effort must be there. It is extremely important for employees to contact their managers in the event of lateness or absence from work due to adverse weather conditions.

The management must be informed on time so that work doesn’t suffer. Efforts to contact the management should be made by all means possible in that situation. Any failure to convey the manager about your absence can result in salary deduction. The manager can provide the following options for the employees who are not able to attend office because of the weather condition:

  • Work from home
  • Take unpaid leave
  • Take annual leave
  • Opt for makeup time
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Adverse Weather Leave in US Eligibility: Adverse weather leave applies to all the employees of an organization. The policy is designed in such a way to give fair and equal treatment to all working employees. It doesn’t matter how many years you have worked in the organization, once you are a part of it you will be given a fair chance for something like a natural weather condition which nobody control over.

Can Annual Leave be Used to Cover a Bad Weather Day?

To be paid in full, providing employees have enough annual leave left, they can indeed take a ‘bad weather day’ as annual leave.

If you want to enforce that annual leave is taken to cover a ‘bad weather day’, then you’d need to give employees the correct amount of notice to take holiday – this is double the length of the holiday required. So, for example, if employees are required to take one day holiday, you’d need to give them two days’ notice. However, given the unpredictability of ‘bad weather days’, often this isn’t workable.

The format of Adverse Weather Leave Letter- In some organizations, the employees are given few days off due to bad weather and later they are asked to make up their lost time. The leave can be of maximum 60 to 90 days. They need to submit an official leave letter to the management for this. The format of the letter should be formal. It should be addressed to the subordinates. The leave must contain the proper reason of absence such as adverse weather of what kind, what are the problems faced by the employee to reach office and exact dates and number of days of absence. This letter should be submitted by the employee as soon as possible they realize they will not be able to attend office regularly.

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Sample Format/E-mail of Leave Application Due To Heavy Rain.
Subject: One Day Leave from Office Due to Heavy Rain

Respected Sir/Ma’am,

It is to request you that I (Full Name) of Department (your position) was not able to come to Office on (today’s date) due to heavy rain in my vicinity. The place I live at is still undergoing development, and the roads are not only uneven but also there is no concrete rainwater drainage system as yet. Furthermore, the sewers had overflown and unfortunately, the power supply line had broken too. Under such circumstances, it was highly risky and unsafe for me to leave home. I, therefore, request you to kindly sanction me one day leave.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours Sincerely,

(your name and signature)

Adverse Weather Leave Wages –When such situations occur the company is always in a dilemma whether to pay or not to pay the employees who could not make it to the workplace. The Department of Labor, U.S states that every employee should be paid their minimum wages per day. But if the employee hasn’t informed the management about their absence then the company can deduct their one day salary. Different companies follow different rules about such wages. The employee gets paid after they cover up their makeup time or they are regularly paid while they work from home.

What Company Should Do If an Employee Can’t Attend Work Because of the Adverse weather?

Unless there’s something in the Companies employee’s handbook, contract or collective agreement, or an established custom and practice that says otherwise, you’re not legally required to pay the employee. If you wish, at your discretion, you could decide to make a discretionary payment to the employee. However, if you do, there are several implications to consider beforehand:

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Companies may be setting a precedent that days off work due to bad weather are paid. This could result in employees pushing their luck and taking time off when it’s not actually necessary.
Companies should be consistent with your stance. If you decide to pay one employee and not another, you must be able to justify your decision. Employees who have managed to make their way into work may feel disgruntled if others are being paid to spend the day at home.

Lora Turner

Lora Turner is an Experienced HR professional worked with the large organizations and holding 15 years of experience dealing with employee benefits. She holds expertise in simplifying the leave for the employee benefits. Contact us at: [email protected]

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