In Case of Emergency: The Role of Employers

In Case of Emergency: The Role of Employers

Employers, beware – Are you prepared for a natural disaster; your employees expect that you are!

When a natural disaster hits, businesses are expected to keep their employees safe in the moment of the disaster, and afterwards deal with the legal effects of the event. Employers are advised to have a disaster relief plan in place which deals with how the disaster will be handled in its immediate aftermath, and also how it will deal with the long-term effects of the disaster. We learned a lot from Katrina; a failure to deal with these issues and deal proactively with the risks led to many lawsuits. The scope of issues business will need to deal with is substantial. Think both short and long term on this issue and be flexible.

Pay issues – You will have to continue to pay your exempt employees. You can consider allowing them to work remotely or use on call time.

Leaves – You must apply leave policies in a non-discriminatory manner. Treat everyone the same. If you want to change the policy – do so fairly.

Relocation – Consider contractual limitations is you want to ask employees to relocate.

Disability – Expect a surplus of claims, and be prepared to handle in compliance with the law.

Staffing – Plan how you will deal with staffing problems in the event of a disaster.

Disclaimer: This blog and website are public sources of general information concerning our firm and its lawyers, as well as the information presented. They are intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be correct, complete, and up-to-date as of the date posted. This blog and website are not intended to be, and are not, sources of legal opinion or advice. The materials, information, and communications on this blog and website do not apply to any particular person, entity, or situation, and do not apply to you or to your specific situation. You will need to consult with an attorney and/or other appropriate professional about your specific situation. Thank you.
Lisa Chapman

Lisa is an experienced employment attorney and litigator. In her employment law practice, she helps startup and mid-size companies navigate and comply with Federal and state employment laws and regulations. This includes laws related to wage and hour requirements, sexual harassment and retaliation, worker classification (independent contractor vs. employee status), and overtime laws, among others.
Read My Full Bio | Contact Me