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Lights out! Now what?

June 23, 2017

By Jason Rowe, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Summer is here, the sun is out, the wind is blowing and there is not a lot to worry about. That is until the next summer thunderstorm rolls in and the office loses power. Do you know what your next steps would be or how other businesses react in a similar situation? ASE’s 2017 Business Disruption and Disaster Planning Survey reveals how local companies handle business disruptions like the power outage event this past March or more recently the boil water event in Livonia.

If you are unsure of how to react with a business disruption, rest assured you are not alone. About one third (34%) of Michigan employers don’t have an established procedure or policy. However the other two-thirds of Michigan survey participants have either a written procedure or policy (53%) or an unwritten procedure or policy. Those with written policies or procedures primarily communicate the procedure or policy via the employee handbook (49%) and/or an announcement (51%).  Four out of five times when decisions related to severe weather, power outages or other disruption instances need to be communicated to employees they are going to be contacted via phone, email or text.

In an event of an early dismissal 44% of Michigan employers will fully pay their non-exempt employees for the remainder of the day, whereas 16% of employers will not pay their non-exempt employees for the remainder of the day. If the workday is cancelled 34% of Michigan employers will provide non-exempt employees their regular pay for the day.  Conversely 19% of employers will not provide any pay to their non-exempt employees. If the severe weather, power outages or other business disruption instances last more than one day 31% of Michigan employers will continue to pay their non-exempt employees their regular pay for the day, while only 16% of employers will not provide any pay to their non-exempt employees. If work is not cancelled; however, an employee is absent due to severe weather, power outages or other disruptions approximately two-thirds of Michigan employers require the employee to use their vacation or personal absence time if they want to be to paid.

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