GREENSBORO, N.C. — The winter storm prompted the NC Governor to issue the State of Emergency. He recommended getting prepared for power outages and staying safe, including staying off the roads unless necessary.
This brings many folks to this question:
If the Governor calls a state of emergency due to the snow can my employer still make me come to work?
We get this question every time we're in a severe weather situation.
The answer in short is, yes. Your employer can require you to come to work.
The North Carolina Department of Labor website has an entire page dedicated to adverse weather policies in the private sector.
There are even frequently asked questions.
Does my employer have the right to make me come to work during adverse weather conditions?
Yes. Since an employer does not have to have an adverse weather policy at all, the employer can simply inform its employees that they must report to work whenever the business is open regardless of the weather conditions or road conditions. With very few employment law exceptions (discussed below), an employer can make staying at work or reporting to work during adverse weather a condition of employment.
Next, What if the Governor declares a state of emergency and asks everyone to stay off the roads?
It does not matter if state officials have declared a state of emergency and are advising people to stay off of the roads. The decision to stay open or to close, for its employees to remain at work or leave early, or for its employees to report to work or not during adverse weather conditions, is entirely up to each individual employer to make on its own.