If you were unable to go to work during a hurricane or any other disaster, you might be wondering about lost wages. In some cases, your employer will indeed have to pay for lost time. In others, they may not.

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Salaried Employees

Salaried workers are far more likely to have their lost wages covered. In New York, for example, and your workplace was closed because of a hurricane, generally, your employer will have to pay.

Keep in mind that you may be asked to take personal leave and that your own employment contract and your business’s own internal rules may take precedent. Ask your employer what their policy is. If you feel they should be paying or you have a dispute, contact a lawyer to see if everything’s on the up and up.

Hourly Employees

Unfortunately, if you’re an hourly employee, your employer does not have to pay you for lost time. There are, however, certain benefits available to you to recover lost wages, which we’ll cover below.

Self-Employed Persons

While there are many perks to being self-employed, you’re likely aware that recovering lost wages from your employer isn’t one. That said, you can quality for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Whether you’re hourly, salaried, or self-employed, your state government likely offers what’s known as DUA or Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Once a disaster is declared, you can file an unemployment claim with your state agency. If your claim is accepted, you’re guaranteed at least 50% of the average benefit in your state. DUA can last up to one half year.

The US Department of Labor has more information about DUA, including qualifications and links to your state agency. 

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