Snow Day, No Pay: Some district workers shortchanged on snow days

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Snow days may be good news for students who get the day off from class, but has sparked concern for hourly, nonessential school employees.

While teachers and principals have a contracted salary, an employee at USD 501 told 13 NEWS other workers, like custodians or cafeteria staff, must use one of their three personal days per year to be paid on snow days.

Using sick days is not allowed.

No one from USD 501 would speak on camera. The inclement weather day policy on their web site reads:

"Twelve-month employees will report to their assigned positions for regular duty. Nine- and ten-month employees may report to their assigned positions. Employees will be paid for the hours worked when school is not in session. Employees who do not work, will not be paid."

Auburn-Washburn USD 437 has a similar policy.

District spokesperson Martin Weishaar told us in an email that on snow days:

"Hourly school employees such as food service, bus drivers, paras, secretaries, etc. will not come in and do not receive pay. If they are later required to work make-up days they will receive pay for that."

Weishaar says employees can use their two personal days, but not sick days.

While teachers and principals get normal pay for snow days, they would not receive additional pay if the district needs to make up time to meet state attendance minimums.

The Seaman School District has a slightly different policy. Spokesperson Candace LaDuc says they group school secretaries, food service workers, paras and bus drivers with teachers and principals in paying for the first snow day, making up the next two with days built into the calendar, and paying for any additional snow days.

Both Seaman and Auburn-Washburn do require employees such as facilities staff, mechanics and central office staff to report to work on inclement weather days, although Seaman, for example, has had late starts for them.

We reached out to USD 501 for comment, but have not heard back.