The Equipment Dealers Assn.'s webinar "Coronavirus: Practical and Legal Responses to COVID-19" has now been posted online and you can download the slides as well. One of the topics addressed is how employee compensation will work during the outbreak. Here’s a response from EDA's Vice President of Industry Relations and General Counsel Natalie Higgins on the topic:
The answer to this question will depend on, among other things, whether employees are considered exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), applicable state or local laws, and employer policies or contracts (including collective bargaining agreement if any).
Nonexempt employees generally do not need to be paid for time not worked for Corona-virus-related or other absences.
Exempt employees generally must receive their full weekly pay for any week in which they perform more than a de minimis amount of work (although depending on the specific facts, state laws, and employment policies, it may be permissible to deduct paid time off for time not worked because of sickness).
As a general rule, if an exempt employee has exhausted their PTO days, that employee’s pay cannot be docked unless the employee is absent for a full day because of illness, disability, or personal reasons. Moreover, an exempt employee need not be paid for a full week absence.
If non-exempt employees are permitted to work from home, special care should be taken to ensure that they are
- Accurately tracking their hours worked
- Paid for all hours worked
- Complying with the employer’s policies including meal and rest break policies
- Understanding whether they need to seek authorization before working overtime.
Higgins also addressed this question: Are employees allowed to lay people off in response to COVID-19?
- Litigation for retaliation is possible if an employer decides to lay off employees.
- Despite the risk of litigation, it may be necessary to lay employees off to keep a dealership financially viable.
- Before making decisions regarding lay offs, your dealership should perform a business and risk analysis and make the decision based upon the completed analysis.
See plans dealers have in place to deal with the pandemic.