Paying Hourly Employees for Non-Regular Circumstances (Snow Days, Travel, Overnights, etc)

As promised at the Business Manager Formation day last month, we wanted to give you guidance on when you are required to pay non-exempt, hourly employees for work scenarios outside of the normal day to day, and how you can determine it. At the link below, you will find detailed guidelines from the Employers Council on pay for travel, overnights, and other atypical circumstances. But to give a few highlights from questions we received at the Formation Day, here are three main takeaways:

  1. Snow Days: You are NOT required to pay non-exempt employees for snow days. Non-exempt, hourly employees are only entitled to pay for the hours they work. Your parish may choose to make a policy more generous than this, but be sure it applies consistently to all employees in all circumstances.
  2. Travel: If someone is traveling for work (not a normal commute), that is considered compensable time, if traveling during normally scheduled work hours. This applies even if they are traveling on a Saturday or Sunday during their normal workday hours. But they’re also not compensated for travel outside of their normal work hours. So, if I normally work  M-F from 9:00am – 1:00pm,  and I have to fly to California on Saturday for an event that starts at 7:00pm, but I don’t leave until 2:00pm, I wouldn’t be compensated because my work schedule is 9am-1pm. Of course, depending on the nature of the event, the hours spent at the event could be compensable.
  3. Overnights: If someone is on a retreat mandated for work that lasts over 24 hours, only 8 hours of the 24 hours can be excluded from working time as long as the employee will get 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. If the work event is less than 24 hours, all hours are compensable as long as the employee is on duty and required to work as needed. In addition to this,  if the employee works over 12 hours in a Day (24 hour period), overtime is automatically considered time and a half, even if they only work 32.0 hours in that week.

Please read the below documents for more detail and how to apply the appropriate rules to each scenario to determine compensable hours.

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