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Old 01-07-2011, 05:16 PM
 
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I was discussing this with my daughter and her co-workers today. We are expecting a big snow storm and ice on the roads this week. We live in a small town and there is no snow removal and the police tell you to stay off the roads if possible.

Now.. the bank district manager has told them, they have to go to work. She lives in a big city and works from home so the roads don't bother her.

Now can they fire them for not going to work during a snow/ice storm?
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Little Elm, TX
6,950 posts, read 7,378,811 times
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I always say if the company is willing to pay for damages, then sure - fire me if I don't take advantage of their invitation.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,899 posts, read 10,202,388 times
Reputation: 6679
actually they can fire them or dock their pay. Is there an inclement weather policy? Maybe there's an HR dept or employee handbook that addresses that issue?
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:35 PM
 
Location: NY
797 posts, read 1,663,696 times
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We dealt with that today. Our owner lives on LI-the business is in Dutchess County. Office manager called to discuss closing or leave policy. He said it wasn't bad in LI-so no they couldn't close. Told her-if they want to leave fine-but they don't get paid for hours not worked. And if they tried to work remotely from home-he wouldn't pay them if they tried to put in for it. People decided to start leaving around 1pm. By 2:00 the office manager left herself-she had a 40 min normally drive home. One person wasn't going to get home soon-the interstate was closed. Now let me say the majority of the people I work with are between 19-27. They all bailed. It was just older people 35-70-6 of us-who stayed. But then they decided by 2:40 to close and go. I had no choice but leave-I didn't want to-I live less than 1 1/2 miles from there. So now, next week I have to make up that hour or I don't get paid. His new snow policy-is no closing-no matter how much snow or if they have a snow emergency. You don't show-no pay. But if it happens too often-he's going to fire people.

Honestly-I'd rather drive into a stone wall than go to work at this place-it'd be less painful.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
15,855 posts, read 17,174,014 times
Reputation: 6523
Default Employment at Will

In the USA, the general employment law of the land is "employment at will."

If you are a typical employee (someone who did not sign a contract guaranteeing you anything in terms of how long you will be working for the employer or under what circumstances you can and cannot be discharged), an employer can fire you for anything or even NOTHING, as in, absolutely no reason at all, just like you can do the same and resign and give any reason or no reason at all for doing so.

There are legal exceptions, such as if you are a member of a protected class and can prove you were fired for discriminatory reasons (Title VII, federal law) or are being fired because you took a protected action (Whistleblower Laws).

Not being able to make it to work during a storm has nothing to do with discrimination and is not a protected action. So the bank manager could fire them if he wanted to, but I don't think he could prevent them from getting unemployment insurance compensation because I don't think not being able to make it to work during a winter storm can be considered misconduct.

In conclusion, unless the bank manager has potential employees waiting in the wings who are fully trained, he is probably just ranting away and trying to scare them.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:44 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 10,727,824 times
Reputation: 5793
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper View Post
Now can they fire them for not going to work during a snow/ice storm?
of course they can if in a At Will Employment state. They can fire her because they don;t like the color of the car you drive.

Your protection is to find out what the companies official corportate policy is as others have stated. Somewhere if a large company or multi branch office, they may have a written policy as to bad weather. You can also call your local dept that handles road clearing on the day of the storm and ask them if its safe to drive. You would be in great shape if the local law enforcement issued some form of travel restrictions. If they are saying to stay off the roads that can help if the boss gets upset. But the main thing is to know what the company says about this, not just the local boss.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:47 PM
 
18,868 posts, read 16,117,834 times
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Yes, you can be fired for not going to work in a storm. But you will probably get unemployment.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
15,855 posts, read 17,174,014 times
Reputation: 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by CampingMom View Post
We dealt with that today. Our owner lives on LI-the business is in Dutchess County. Office manager called to discuss closing or leave policy. He said it wasn't bad in LI-so no they couldn't close. Told her-if they want to leave fine-but they don't get paid for hours not worked. And if they tried to work remotely from home-he wouldn't pay them if they tried to put in for it. People decided to start leaving around 1pm. By 2:00 the office manager left herself-she had a 40 min normally drive home. One person wasn't going to get home soon-the interstate was closed. Now let me say the majority of the people I work with are between 19-27. They all bailed. It was just older people 35-70-6 of us-who stayed. But then they decided by 2:40 to close and go. I had no choice but leave-I didn't want to-I live less than 1 1/2 miles from there. So now, next week I have to make up that hour or I don't get paid. His new snow policy-is no closing-no matter how much snow or if they have a snow emergency. You don't show-no pay. But if it happens too often-he's going to fire people.

Honestly-I'd rather drive into a stone wall than go to work at this place-it'd be less painful.
Where I work (in Manhattan) they didn't close the office on Dec. 27, the day of the blizzard. There was barely any transportation going. No LIRR. No or little Metro North, few buses, few subways, etc. I heard only 16 people made it to work (almost all of them Manhattanites). The next day there was also very little transportation available. I couldn't make it to work both days ... no LIRR, no LI Bus to get to Queens for the subway.

So their policy for all the people who couldn't make it to work during the blizzard was as follows: use your accumulated leave. Since it was the end of the year with literally 4 workdays left, many of us had no leave remaining, so the firm decided to let us "borrow" leave from next year. It was a real joke because the few people who made it in didn't get much accomplished anyway and just hung out (or so they say).

I thought not closing the office when they knew there was literally no transportation for many of us and making us burn our own leave days was chintzy. I guess there's always somebody worse out there and I should be glad they aren't firing people for weather-related absences.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:00 PM
 
314 posts, read 477,851 times
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Even if job termination is the result of opting against coming to work during adverse weather/road/travel conditions, you really have to ask yourself if it's worth working for an employer that would insist on endangering employees lives (unless that's the nature of the work).
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: NY
797 posts, read 1,663,696 times
Reputation: 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Love_LI_but View Post
Where I work (in Manhattan) they didn't close the office on Dec. 27, the day of the blizzard. There was barely any transportation going. No LIRR. No or little Metro North, few buses, few subways, etc. I heard only 16 people made it to work (almost all of them Manhattanites). The next day there was also very little transportation available. I couldn't make it to work both days ... no LIRR, no LI Bus to get to Queens for the subway.

So their policy for all the people who couldn't make it to work during the blizzard was as follows: use your accumulated leave. Since it was the end of the year with literally 4 workdays left, many of us had no leave remaining, so the firm decided to let us "borrow" leave from next year. It was a real joke because the few people who made it in didn't get much accomplished anyway and just hung out (or so they say).

I thought not closing the office when they knew there was literally no transportation for many of us and making us burn our own leave days was chintzy. I guess there's always somebody worse out there and I should be glad they aren't firing people for weather-related absences.
I had a few friends stranded in Manhattan for a day or two also. It was unusual for the issues they had during that storm. It does stink that it came out of your time-but that is the way most businesses do things.

I used to work for a school district as a school bus driver. My first years-we went in on snow days for 5 hours to clean buses and move them around for the plowing to get done. Then someone ended up in a nasty accident-the roads hadn't been plowed. Then we banked our hours. Finally decided we got the same privilege as the teachers-stay home off the roads.

Now back in a office-there are no firm office policies. No handbook. He makes it up as he goes.Example one of the sleeplabs he owns-had a fire on the roof last night-the heating/ac plant up there caught fire. No damage to the inside. No heat either. All they had a work was space heaters-in their office and in each sleep lab. He wouldn't close even for that. Last week-the roads in LI didn't get plowed-the employees couldn't reach the facility. They got docked because they didn't try walking to the lab! If they couldn't get there because of unplowed roads and abandoned cars-how were patients?
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