Snowy trees and brick wall

The winter of 2016-2017 will be one for the record books for many areas of the western United States. And it's not over yet.

Our Portland, Salem, Eugene and Boise locations have been impacted by multiple snow and/or ice storms the past few months, and Oregon got another round of freezing rain this morning. So we thought this would be a perfect time to revisit inclement weather policies, especially if you don't yet have one in place.

You can find plenty of great examples of inclement weather policies online, such as this one from the Society for Human Resource Management, and we have some suggestions to consider when developing your own.

Communication
How will you communicate your policy to employees during inclement weather? Consider whether they have access to company email or intranet remotely, or whether you have a phone number they can call for updates. And make sure to communicate the policy before the weather gets bad.

Safety
The safety of your employees should be of the utmost importance when considering inclement weather. Include a statement indicating how much you value employees’ safety when weather conditions are rough, and laying out a clear policy for expectations.  

Timeliness
Storms can happen at any time of the day or night. The morning commute is typically subject to a lot of attention during a storm, but you also must consider storms that hit during the day, and how your employees can safely get home.

Remote Work
Are your employees able to work remotely? Working from home may be a good option for employees who can do so. Be sure to let them know if this is acceptable and how they should alert their manager of their plans.

Pay
Lay out the pay policy for both exempt and nonexempt employees in various scenarios, such as if your workplace is completely closed or if they are unable to make it to work (or arrive late) when the office is open. And check to ensure that your policy complies with all local, regional and national laws.