Q: Do most of the other member companies stay open over the holidays?
A: Now that’s a different type of question … I know that most certainly keep one or two people in the office and any service or field staff needed to handle emergencies. However, the question I get asked more frequently is, “Do you pay them for time off if you choose to close?” For most exempt employees I would imagine our members do pay them as normal. When non-exempt employees are “given” time off, what’s the catch? Is this earned and paid time off? Is it an outright gift from the owner? Is time expected to be made up in return? You need to think about it. I contacted some of my friends in the business for input and — with only one exception — they are closing, giving everyone the last week of December off, everyone gets paid and no one but standby service techs are expected to work. It’s a holiday bonus … the gift of time. The one company that was the exception had a large project to finish and is staying open so the crew who is working doesn’t feel cheated. It’s just the timing of that project, which couldn’t be avoided. — CW