We have certainly seen our share of hazardous winter weather this year. It seems snow plows are now permanent fixtures on our roads. Schools have adjusted their hours or closed and employees have opted to take annual time rather than brave the elements. But for many state workers – a blizzard is not a show stopper. Regardless of weather conditions, NH Liquor retail stores will be open; and the NH State Liquor Commission expects all store personnel to report on time even in blizzard conditions. The expectation is so firm that workers have actually received Letters of Warning for reporting fifteen minutes late after braving it through a snowstorm that had already caused fourteen inches of accumulation. Incidentally, there were no other tire tracks in the store’s unplowed parking lot when one dedicated worker arrived to open the store.
This should not be the case. There is a provision in the Executive Branch collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that provides for worker safety in the event of inclement weather.
When trying to report to work on time during periods of extreme weather conditions, please consider Article 10.9, which states: “The Employer shall not arbitrarily or capriciously withhold approval of annual leave requested due to and during periods of severe inclement weather…” This means that if the weather is such that your personal safety may be jeopardized, you have the option to call in and take Annual Leave for whatever time is required before you can travel to work safely.
Protect yourself and your personal safety. Use your SEA negotiated contractual rights to protect your health. Remember, sometimes it truly is better to arrive late than never.