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All Harvard employees who were unable to get to work last week because of the snowstorm will be paid for their time missed, Edward W. Powers, associate general counsel for employee relations, said yesterday.
The issue of whether employees should be paid for time missed last week has become a controversial one in Massachusetts, as several large firms--General Electric and Raytheon--have decided to pay only salaried workers, and not hourly employees.
Snow Has Green Lining
Although contracts between Harvard and its unionized employees do not require the University to pay workers who are unable to get to their jobs, all custodial, food services and police employees will receive paychecks for last week, Powers said.
Faculty, administrative, and clerical employees, who are not unionized, will also be paid for last week, because the University's policy is to pay salaried employees when weather prevents them from getting to work, Daniel D. Cantor, director of personnel administration, said yesterday.
The decision to pay hourly employees was made because last week's storm was unusually severe, and in future times when workers may be unable to get to their jobs because of weather they will not necessarily be paid, Powers said.
"As far as I know, this has not been done before," he added.
Other large firms, including Polaroid in Cambridge, will pay all workers for their time missed.
Harvard is the fourth largest private employer in Massachusetts, with over 11,000 employees at the College and the graduate schools.
Paying all workers will involve "substantial cost" to Harvard, because a number of services were not performed fully last week, Powers said, but he added he does not know how much extra the University will pay.
Many students volunteered to help serve meals in the understaffed dining halls, and Powers said he does not know whether those students will be paid for their work.
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