The simple answer is 'yes,' an employer is within their legal right to penalize, even fire, workers who don't show up because of a storm. A News Center viewer wrote on Facebook that his company punishes workers who can't make to work because of the storms. Benjie Ames asks, "Are there any laws to protect us??"
News Center reached out to the Department of Labor and the Maine Employee Rights Group to get Ames an answer. Turns out, there is no law that protects workers who can't work due to the weather. Maine is an at-will state. That means an employer can fire an employee at any time and for any reason, even if it's unfair and as long as the reason isn't discriminatory.
Additionally, Julie Rabinowitz at the Department of Labor says, "There's no provision in the law that requires employers to pay for time not worked." Rabinowitz says it's the company's choice whether they allow an employee to use a vacation or sick day for time not worked.
Bottom line, while it may not be fair, it's not illegal for a company to penalize workers for missing a work day because of a storm.
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