Wage and hour questions related to the coronavirus were addressed in guidance released March 24 by the Vermont attorney general.
The wage-payment requirements that exist after employers temporarily close under an emergency order or because of health and safety concerns were addressed in the guidance, COVID-19 Pandemic Resources for Vermont Employers and Employees.
The guidance is available on the COVID-19 Information and Resources page of the attorney general’s website.
Vermont’s wage and hour laws were unchanged for employers, despite the temporary closing of businesses under an executive order issued by Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) to avoid the spread of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
“Suspending operation for COVID-19-related reasons generally would be treated the same way as any other temporary suspension or reduction in operations, such as seasonal changes in demand, inclement weather, remodeling, or relocation,” the guidance said, noting that out-of-work employees may be able to access available paid time off and benefits under the state’s earned sick-time law.
Vermont employers should discuss and consider flexible work arrangements that employees may request under Vermont’s flexible work arrangements law, the guidance said in addressing a question about options and obligations after a school closure prevents employees from working a regular schedule.
When employees cannot remotely perform any part-time or full-time work, wage payments are determined by factors that include whether the worker is paid on an hourly or salary basis, and whether a contract or workplace policy governs the terms of leave, the guidance said.
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