In the past year in Western Massachusetts, we’ve had a devastating tornado, a debilitating snowstorm, were touched by a hurricane, and even an earthquake. Our governor declared a “state of emergency” on more than a few occasions. But what does a “state of emergency” mean for employees? It turns out that it doesn’t mean too much.
When the governor declares a state of emergency, he or she is really just triggering MEMA, or the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Also, the governor starts working to get the pieces moving to tackle whatever is plaguing the state—be it earthquakes, blizzards, or whatever else will get thrown at us in the near future. However, the governor’s declaration has almost nothing to do with private enterprise. Your boss can still call you in—especially if you’re one of the lucky “emergency staff” employees.
Once in a blue moon, however, the governor will order that only emergency personnel travel in the state. Only when this happens are you truly entitled to skip out on work and stay safely ticked away at home.
It’s also important to remember that your employer should not expect something of you that you simply cannot give. If it’s impossible to get your car out of the driveway, or if you’re sliding all over the roads, an understanding boss will let you off the hook. Just remember that no job is worth your life, and if you feel that your employer’s actions might be caused by discrimination or harassment, do not hesitate to call an employment attorney for advice on your situation.
Photo credit: Microsoft