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Thread: Power Outage Pay for Hourly Non-Exempt Employees Minnesota

  1. #1
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    Default Power Outage Pay for Hourly Non-Exempt Employees Minnesota

    We recently had a power outage at work around 2:00pm. When we verified with the utility company that there was a 3% chance power would be restored before 11:00pm, we made the decision to send employees home. We also called 2nd shift employees and advised them that they did not need to report to work as a result of the power outage.

    My understanding is that in Minnesota, employers are not required to pay employees for hours lost as a result of a power outage outside of the employer's control. We did advise our employees that they could use vacation time if they desired to make up for the hours lost. In Minnesota, employers are only required to pay employees for actual hours worked. Am I correct?

    Also, my understanding is that Minnesota does not have a reporting time pay rule. Can anyone verify this?

  2. #2
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    You are correct. You are only obligated to pay your non-exempt employees who were at work when the power outage occurred up to the time when you sent them home. You do need to pay them for the time they were standing around doing nothing after the power outage happened, as they were still required to be there until you released them.

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    We did pay everyone up until they physically left the building to go home. One employee who works 2nd shift made the comment that he knew there was a law that required us to pay him for at least two hours in the event of a power outage. Although I was almost 100% sure such a law didn't exist, I wanted to get a second opinion.

    Thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnhrrep View Post
    One employee who works 2nd shift made the comment that he knew there was a law that required us to pay him for at least two hours in the event of a power outage. Although I was almost 100% sure such a law didn't exist, I wanted to get a second opinion.
    There is such a law. In California. And for some reason that CA law gets cited a lot by people in other states. And no, CA law does not apply to any other state. Could MN have such a law? Sure. Why not. But saying does not make it so, and this is considered to be an unusal rule.

    MN is not my state. If I was you, I would ask for a citation of the actual law in question. I am not certain that CA is the only state with such a law, but I am certain that the number of states with such a rule can be counted on one hand with some fingers left over.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    Per my reference Mn. is not one of those states that has such a law but OP can certainly verify further or ask for a copy of the law.

    I'm with Beth.
    Last edited by Betty3; 03-01-2012 at 03:20 PM.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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    In NO state, not even California, would you be required to pay the 2nd shift employees who were called and told not to come in. You have to actually report to get reporting pay.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    Agree, reporting time pay laws only apply if employees actually report to work. Mn. doesn't have such a law though per my reference.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    Agree that MN does not have such a law - just making a point.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    okey dokey....
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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