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Employment Law/Snow - early closing - hourly employees


If we send employees home, and close the workplace early for safety due to snow, what are the laws regarding payment to hourly employees for the hours that we dismissed them early?


In the case of non-exempt hourly employees, an employer is typically able to dictate the work schedule as it sees fit and is only obligated to pay for hours actually worked.  So, if employees are sent home due to any early closure of the business, the employer would not be legally required to pay for the hours not actually worked because of the closure - just the hours that were worked up until closing.   

A couple of notes:

> An employer may allow the hourly nonexempt workers to use accrued vacation / PTO time to replace the lost wages.  Since the hours replaced by the use of vacation/PTO are not hours actually worked, such would not be included in calculating any overtime pay due for the week.

> Some state laws provide for "reporting pay" and require an employer to pay employees for a minimum number of hours once they have reported for work.  I do not believe that Pennsylvania labor law contains such a requirement, however, you may want to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Bureau of Labor Law Compliance for confirmation and some additional guidance on PA state specific wage payment laws.  Here is a link -  and email address

I hope this information is helpful.

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Michael Lore


I will take questions regarding employment law, with a focus on wage and hour issues involving overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and applicable state laws (eg. California).


I am an attorney with 15+ years experience in the area of labor and employment law, with a practice that concentrates heavily in the area of wage and hour litigation - involving unpaid overtime wages, commissions, work related expenses and vacation pay.

American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, National Employment Lawyers Association

BBA in Finance, J.D.

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