Paid Vacation for Bad Weather

Holidays… sick days…  personal days… mental health days… and now extreme weather days.

Even the workplace is having to adapt to our changing world.

Whether you are a climate change believer or not, most experts agree that we are seeing more climate-driven extreme weather.  Because of this prediction, one company is now offering climate leave to its employees.

The company is Fog Creek, and it’s a software company based in New York City.  They recently made the announcement that it would give up to five days of paid “climate leave” for employees who can’t work because of extreme weather events.  If there is a state of emergency declared, the company would give its employees even more time off.

In the past when there were hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters, Fog Creek would allow employees to take time off on a case-by-case basis.  Back in 2012, Hurricane Sandy displaced most of the company.   One Miami-based employee had to evacuate during Hurricane Irma.  Throughout it all, the company paid its employees.

Anil Dash, Fog Creek’s chief executive officer, said he saw numerous reports of people losing their jobs after missing work during this year’s particularly devastating hurricane season.  He decided his company would not allow this to happen, and he wanted to formalize the paid time off during extreme weather events.

It’s a decision that appears to be working.  Now other companies are considering the policy.

Think about it… we as employees have very few job protection from acts of nature.  Even during Hurricane Irma…  despite an evacuation order from the Florida governor, some employers of the Sunshine State pressured workers to still show up for work.  ( source:  Central Florida Jobs and Justice )

Even here in Savannah, I heard from numerous viewers on facebook that they were scared to leave during Matthew and Irma despite mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders.

While this is obviously a paid leave I will never be able to actually use…  I think it’s definitely something many companies should consider.  Let me know your opinion.

(sources:  Bloomberg News, Weather Channel )

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