As we emailed last week, when inclement weather prevents employees from reporting to work, Del Rio Sector utilizes a procedure requiring employees first to request annual leave and then request weather safety leave later on. We disagree with this process and are addressing it, but there will be many of you this week who will be requesting that your annual leave be converted to weather and safety leave because of last week’s winter weather.
For context, Article 14, Section I, of the CBA and 5 USC § 6329c allow employees to be granted weather and safety leave for a day, or part of a day, during which such conditions prevent an employee from reporting to work. However, to be eligible, you must provide your supervisor with evidence that you “made every reasonable effort to report to work, but that such conditions prevented” you from doing so.
In the memo, explain what conditions prevented you from getting to work. For example
1. Did the ice or snow prevent you from getting out of your neighborhood or subdivision?
2. Were the only roads you can take to work closed by the state or county?
3. Did you drive some of the way to work, but turn around because the roads were too dangerous?
4. Did you get into an accident on the way to work?
Gather and provide to your supervisor any evidence you can showing that you made “every reasonable effort to report to work, but that such conditions prevented” you from doing so — the keyword is reasonable. For example, provide pictures or videos of icy roads, closed road notifications or signs, weather reports indicating dangerous conditions, pictures of vehicles in ditches, an explanation of how you made it part of the way to work, but the roads continued to get worse, etc.
Remember, you will not be granted weather and safety leave if you just woke up, looked at the temperature, and then crawled back into bed. You have to do some work to document the roadways’ hazardous nature by making every reasonable effort to get to work.
If your request for weather and safety leave is denied, contact a local union rep so we can gather more information and evidence to determine the path forward.