weather will travel
A municipal employee of a
town in Chester County, Pennsylvania, was terminated from her position due to
excessive absence and tardiness over a six month period of time in the winter.
The employee's union filed a grievance against the town, citing wrongful
termination, in as much as the woman claimed she was unable to make the 32 mile
drive into work on the days she was absent, due to bad weather and poor driving
conditions. Attorneys representing the town presented evidence which
showed that a number of other employees made it into work on those same days,
and thus, the town was within its rights to terminate her employment.
The attorney working on
behalf of the union contacted COMPU-WEATHER. Presented with a list of days
and the driving route that the woman would normally take on her way to and from
work, the meteorologist assigned to the case went to work. An analysis of
the weather showed that on several of the days which the woman claimed she could
not make it in to work, the weather was significantly different at her home,
compared to where she worked. And each time, the weather was worse. In one
instance, freezing rain changed over to rain at her workplace early in the
morning. But at her home, the freezing persisted into the midday hours, as
her home was located in a valley area which held the colder air in place longer.
This meant that roads remained quite hazardous into the afternoon on that
day. On another day, scattered snow squalls fell across the area. But
none in the town where she worked. At the same time, heavy bursts of snow
deposited several inches of snow in her hometown. This caught the local
highway department by surprise and delayed making the roads safe to drive on.
And on yet another instance, fog which had formed overnight, caused a
slick glaze to form on many streets and roads in and around where she lived, due
to temperatures which had fallen into the 20s during the night. At the
same time, in the town where she worked, no fog formed and thus no ice was ever
The union attorney
presented this evidence to the town, along with a request that the employee be
reinstated to her job. She was. And she was also given back pay
dating back to the date of termination.