State Employees Upset Over Day Off For Hurricane Ivan

There is fallout of another kind from Hurricane Ivan. WSFA 12 News has received several calls and e-mails from state workers who are upset. Most of them work with the Department of Public Safety. During our hurricane coverage last week, we reported only essential employees or ones who had been told to report had to go to work on Friday. Now, many say they are being penalized for not showing up. In an effort to clear up the confusion, we went to both the State Employees Association and the person in the governor's office who relayed that information to us.

The head of ASEA, Mac McArthur said, "When the Governor has made his statements you don't have to come in. When the EMA or Emergency Management has said don't get on the road. Just don't get out there. You are impairing those other people who have to be out there. That's horribly unfair and I think it's a slap in the face truly." And, the Governor's spokesperson Jeff Emerson repeated what he said the night of the hurricane." I said that if they heard from their agency director that they needed to come to work then they were considered essential and they needed to come to work. If they didn't hear from their agency director that they were expected to come to work then obviously they didn't. They weren't expected to come to come to work."

The head of Public Safety says he sent out a memo telling employees to stay home Thursday, but report to work Friday. That's why he says he's requiring the employees to use an annual leave day for Friday.