To the Editor:
Re: “Staff Lament Policy for Snowstorm,” News, March 5
The Sun’s story omitted some relevant information on Cornell’s policy and practices regarding pay for non-exempt University staff members. The omission of pertinent information may have given some readers a false impression about options available to non-exempt employees this past Feb. 26, when the University closed at 6 a.m. and re-opened at 9:30 a.m. due to inclement weather conditions.
While it is correct, as The Sun reported, that employees who didn’t work due to personal travel conditions that day have the option of using personal leave or vacation time, the article failed to point out that with supervisory approval, bargaining unit employees (and other non-exempt employees) were alternately able to request leave without pay, or make up the time within the same work week. Additionally, the article failed to point out that bargaining unit employees (and other non-exempt employees) who were scheduled to work during any hours the University was closed but who did not work due to the weather conditions will receive paid leave at their regular hourly rate for the hours they were scheduled to work during the closure. Such paid leave during the hours of the closure period does not come out of the employee’s own personal or vacation time, but is provided by the University department where the employee works.
Also, while bargaining unit employees (and other non-exempt employees) who worked any hours when the university was closed from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. that day will be paid at one and one-half times their regular hourly rate for those hours. The Sun failed to report that those employees also will receive paid compensatory time-off equal to the number of hours worked during the closure period. Further, as an additional recognition by the University of the burdens of this particular storm, bargaining unit employees (and other non-exempt employees) who reported to work during the closure, because they were not aware the University had closed, will also be covered under these premium pay practices.
Alan L. Mittman, director of workforce policy and labor relations