New York was snowed in again yesterday. The Long Island Railroad operated at about half schedule. Schools were closed, as were many businesses in the metropolitan area. Children rejoiced, but what about workers? That, it seems, upon who they worked for.
Children cheer when school is closed because they are free to play without penalty. But for many workers, there is a penalty for not showing up, even if the place of employment is shut for the day because of bad weather.
A recent survey found that a little over half of the companies pay full-time employees if the business closes due to bad weather. Twenty-three per cent said they don’t pay full-time employees but they allow them to count the day off as a vacation day or a personal day. This means that about 25% of the employers don’t pay their workers or count the day as a sick or personal day even though the doors to the company closed its doors on them.
I can only imagine how part-time workers are treated.
This approach isn’t fair. It seems to me like a school penalizing a student for being absent even though classes were canceled.
There is a difference between a school and a business. A business’s profitability is affected when not open. But it is the employer’s decision to not shut down for the day. That is no reason to burden those who may well have wanted to work but were locked out.
Those companies that provide snow-day pay deserve credit for doing the right thing. Shame on those that don’t.