A large number of workers employed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority have recently learned they will lose several days’ pay if they did not report to work during and immediately after Hurricane Sandy struck the New York area. While the worker’s union representatives are arguing some workers had no way to alert management about their absence, MTA officials plan to enforce their decision on all absent workers.


While it may be true that some MTA workers had no way of contacting their supervisors due to transportation being down and phone lines out of service, it is still important for workers everywhere to become familiar with employer protocol for handling missed work days due to emergency situations and disasters.


The MTA relied on its cache of workers to restore the conditions of the subways and the bus service throughout the city and beyond. Because of the many workers who failed to show up for duty, employees were forced to continue working. This presents a whole new concern for safety of cleanup workers. Having to work extended hours in harsh conditions can lead to employee mistakes and additional health concerns facing workers who come in contact with contaminated debris and materials.


Had the supervisors been in the loop about who was unable to make it to work, it may have been easier to schedule an appropriate workforce to handle the restoration efforts of the transportation system. Because so many workers just skipped out on work altogether, those who put in the extra hours had to pull the extra weight.


Not calling off from work can be a cause for termination by some employers, even in a disaster situation. It is important to follow the protocol of your employer to report a call off even if not doing so can get you fired. Your failure to show up for work can put your other co-workers at risk concerning health and safety. Supervisors need enough time to ensure their workplace is safe and has enough staff to operate safely.


If you have been hurt on the job due to hazardous conditions or safety violations, please contact our experienced workers compensation attorneys to discuss your case. We offer a free consultation and you can schedule an appointment by calling toll free 888-799-3918 or through our online contact form.