Snow Day Policies

February 12, 2021

We all love the visions of snow; powdery crisp white fluff on top of the trees, kids in snowsuits, snowballs and so much more. But, are we thinking about what snow days mean for our businesses – specifically confused employees not knowing if they can take the day off or risk commuting to work?


If your office is open on a snow day and an employee claims that they cannot make it in, can you enforce or make the employee use their paid leave towards those day(s)?

If the office is open during a snow day and an employee indicates they cannot make it in, we (the employer) cannot make an hourly employee/ non-exempt use their paid leave. However, we can encourage hourly employees to use their paid leave.

Exempt/salaried employees may use paid leave, but if an exempt/salaried employee works any portion of that day, they must be paid for the full day (8 hours), and no paid leave should be used.

Employees may request to use paid leave or unpaid leave at any time, and it is at the employer’s discretion to approve and or deny the request.

Our opinion is to allow the employee to use all their paid leave before requesting any extra unpaid leave.

Bottom line, whatever you decide, make sure it is clearly stated in your employee manual and that this manual is available to all employees at all times for their reference.

Do you have questions about your snow day policy? Is your employee manual up to date with local, state and federal guidelines? Do you have any other HR questions?

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