It’s mid-winter in Connecticut and we’re due for a few more snow storms before the season is out. Most companies have snowstorm policies but there are a few storm-related issues that sometimes get overlooked. Here are three more things to think about before the next storm hits.
1. Reporting Time or Minimum Daily Earnings Guaranteed: Connecticut has a “reporting time” obligation (as do several of our neighboring states). It is contained in various regulations and applies to certain industries like the “mercantile trade”. You should already be aware of this law, but it has particular application in storm situations where people may not work full shifts.
For example, in Conn. Regs. 31-62-D2(d) for stores, an employer who requests an employee to report to duty shall compensate that employee for a minimum of 4 hours regardless of whether any actual work ends up getting assigned. So if you bring your employees in today only to send them home 30 minutes later, you may be on the hook. For restaurant workers, it is typically a minimum of two hours (Conn. Regs. 31-62-E1)
Takeaway? For certain industries, be sure to know whether you will need to pay employees for a minimum amount of time if you send them home early from their shift.
2. Wage Agreements: Also be aware of any wage agreements (collective bargaining agreements mainly) that require you to provide employees with a guaranteed minimum number of work hours. Typically, these will need to be followed.
3. Hours Worked: Be aware of Connecticut’s “hours worked” regulation found in Conn. Regs. 31-60-11. That regulation says that “all time during which an employee is required to be on call for emergency service at a location designated by the employer shall be considered to be working time” regardless of whether the employee is called to work.
When an employee is on call, but is simply required to keep employer informed of whereabouts or until contacted by the employer, working time starts when the employee is notified of his assignment and ends when that employee is finished.
None of these issues should really be new for an employer in Connecticut. But it’s time to shovel out those policies to make you’re following the law.