ALBANY – At the behest of the governor, thousands of state employees in the Capital Region took a day off Monday as snow continued to pile up, amounting to nearly two feet in some areas.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s directive, issued late Sunday night, affects only “non-essential” state employees in 11 counties, including Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga. State workers joked on social media that “non-essential” just equates to “unimportant” – but the term is a commonly used phrase both at state and federal agencies during emergencies.
Essential employees are exactly who you might expect: emergency responders, health care workers and those who help clear the roads. State agencies tailor the definition to their specific needs; for example, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities also considers high-level supervisors, fiscal and business workers, cooks and cleaning staff to be essential.
“As in every storm, public safety is priority, and keeping non-essential employees home keeps them safe and off the roads, better enabling our plow crews and first responders to do their jobs,” Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said.
The governor decides which counties are affected based on current conditions and weather forecasts from the state’s emergency operations team. Individual departments are responsible …read more
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