Politics & Government

Pierce County Council expands option for paid employee leave on bad weather days

The Pierce County Council on Tuesday approved Executive Pat McCarthy’s request to grant up to two hours of paid leave for county employees on inclement weather days so they could arrive late or leave early.

The vote was 6-0. Council Chairman Dan Roach, R-Bonney Lake, was absent.

The change will give McCarthy more flexibility in dealing with inclement weather days. Under County Code, the executive already can grant one hour of paid leave for late arrival due to bad weather. The change doubles the amount and adds the option for early departure.

Essential county workers would still have to report to work. But if they were late due to road conditions on an inclement weather day, they could receive the allotted paid leave.

The change was crafted in response to a major snow and ice storm in January 2012 when McCarthy closed county facilities and paid about 2,000 county workers their normal pay for the two days she ordered them not to report to work. About 1,000 essential workers were ordered to go to work, but were not given their normal pay if they couldn’t make it to work.