More Challenges From Hurricane Sandy: Wage-Hour Issues And Related Matters


[author: John E. Thompson]

In thinking-through and implementing their recovery plans in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, employers will want to review our August post summarizing a number of federal Fair Labor Standards Act issues that typically arise following a natural disaster.

Readers will recall our typical reminder that the requirements and limitations of other laws must also be taken into account. This is especially important where Sandy's impact is concerned, because the laws and regulations of some jurisdictions in the hardest-hit areas are often different and/or much tougher on employers than the FLSA is.

As just one example, New Jersey law provides, "No employer shall terminate, dismiss or suspend an employee who fails to report for work at his or her place of employment because he or she is serving as a volunteer emergency responder during a state of emergency declared by the President of the United States or the Governor of this state or is actively engaged in responding to an emergency alarm . . .," subject to certain notices and verifications. This law does not require an employer to pay for the time missed (although treating some such time as unpaid might create problems under other requirements, such as the "salary basis" principles applying to certain exemptions under the FLSA), but it does say that "a volunteer emergency responder may charge his or her absence as a vacation day or a sick day, if the volunteer has such days available." N.J. Stat. Ann. § 40A:14-214 (link to reproduction below).

The important take-away is that employers should be sure to consider all of the relevant directives and prohibitions as they decide how to proceed. Haste and conventional wisdom could lead to trouble down the road.

 N.J. Volunteer Responder Statute.pdf (17.01 kb)


Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Fisher & Phillips LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.