The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

December 26, 2012

Snow day or no way?

Whether or not to call in employees in inclement weather

ANDERSON, Ind. — When she heard Wednesday’s forecast called for central Indiana’s most significant winter storm in nearly four years, Tari Franklin knew she’d be busy.

Her Jeep has four-wheel-drive, so the driving wind and piles of snow are no contest.

The trouble is, “my office knows that,” said Franklin, who works as a home health aide. She spent the morning covering for her snowed-in co-workers.

With hazardous weather conditions, businesses must choose between calling in their employees and calling it a snow day.

That’s a toughie, said county emergency management spokesman Todd Harmeson.

“It’s really up to the employer to make the call,” he said. “But obviously keeping them (employees) safe is most important.”

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for many central Indiana counties, including Madison. That was downgraded to a winter weather advisory at about 3 p.m., but not before much of the county was blanketed in at least 4 1/2 inches of snow.

Law enforcement advised staying home, if possible.

A long list of business and government offices played it safe and closed shop, like Mounds Mall and the Madison County and Anderson city government buildings.

Others, like Art’s Pizza in Anderson, worked through the storm.

“As long as we have power, we’re making pizza,” said manager Michael Carter.

He said employee safety is paramount. But since most of the shop’s workers are family, it’s no trouble to dig out someone who’s snowed-in or lend a ride, if they’re stranded or don’t feel safe driving.

Employers risk legal action if they force workers to drive against inclement weather, according to the Employment Law Resource Center at the Alexander Hamilton Institute. They could be “hit with a civil lawsuit or perhaps even criminal prosecution,” if employees are hurt trying to come to work, it said.

For employers like Art’s who don’t hang the “closed” sign, there are options, the Center said.

“Allow employees to use paid leave or take an unpaid day off,” if they don’t feel safe driving, it said.

Or, instead of “punishing those employees who don’t come in during inclement weather, reward those who do make the extra effort to show up,” it said.

Order lunch for the office, give them an extra personal day or let them leave early without docking pay.  

Find Baylee Pulliam on Facebook and @BayleeNPulliam on Twitter, or call 648-4250.

 

1
Text Only
Local Business
  • FEA - HB0729 - Senior Falls Aging safely in the comfort of her home Marilyn Moneyhun said being totally reliant on others is difficult. "Losing your independence is a shock to your system," Moneyhun, 84, said. "You are not in control anymore."

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0728 - business expansion CB Fabricating makes $2 million investment

    A local business founded in 2006 has invested $2 million in new equipment and a building expansion.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd: 'My Social Security' simplifies your life So many people buzz through extremely busy and complicated schedules these days. A smartphone in one hand, a computer in front of you, and a digital task list that never seems to end. In addition, to complicate things just a little more, there’s another event you need to add to your list — National Simplify Your Life week.

    July 28, 2014

  • nws - hb0725 - colts - jc - 4.jpg Colts camp's impact: pricey or priceless?

    Football fever is here and the city is flooded with fans eager to catch a glimpse of a favorite player. But officials say they are unclear what kind of economic impact the Indianapolis Colts training camp has on the area.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Skill gap 2 Seeking a solution today, not tomorrow Tina Warner-Morton says she wants to open her own healthcare business because it is too difficult to work for an employer with unclear employee expectations.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Cathy Cupboard Biz Profile Business Profile: Cathy's Cupboard focuses on customer satisfaction Cathy McPhearson opened her first storefront in June, but this is not her first venture into business. “I have always wanted to have my own business,” she said. “The problem was finding what people like, but everyone seems to like candles.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital named Level III trauma center The Trauma Center at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital has been verified as a Level III Trauma Center by an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons.

    July 26, 2014

  • Clark, Big Joe mug 'Big Joe' Clark: Beat the market or meet your goals? True or not, my experience tells me that goals – especially when written down – undoubtedly serve as catalysts for success. However, danger arises when a goal does not properly focus on the long term result you expect.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_8125.JPG Auction teaches in business, farming

    After 10 years of 4-H, saying goodbye to his animals has become a simple matter for McKennon Heald. But he said he wouldn't be surprised to see some tears from some of the younger participants. He's been there.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Anderson, Alexandria and Elwood receive grants to tear down abandoned houses Three Madison County cities — Anderson, Alexandria and Elwood — received state grants that will be used to tear down abandoned, dilapidated houses.

    July 25, 2014

Stocks
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide