The VP of HR at Brandeis sent out an e-mail Monday to Brandeis Staff saying that President Lawrence has decided to close offices on Thursday and Friday for July 4th, giving workers "an extended weekend for relaxation and enjoyment with family and friends." (E-mail printed below)
While I appreciate the good will behind this move, and I believe this in common in many workplaces, do employers realize how giving extended holidays impacts hourly wage workers? As a temporary summer employee working at Brandeis for the summer for an hourly wage, I don't get paid when the school is closed, since I can't come in. That means that rather than enjoying the relaxing weekend, I worry about how to pay my rent with 2 less days – i.e. 14 hours less pay – for the month.
I spoke with a friend and fellow Brandeis alumnus about this today, and zhe informed me that when zhe worked at Brandeis as a student, zhe would very frequently lose hourly wages because of the Brandeis Mondays and other irregular schedules. As a student, I worked very few hours a week and never considered the impact this policy had on workers, but as an employee working 2 part time jobs, I realize how frustrating magnanimous gestures such as this can be.
Can't holidays be optional (if not otherwise compensated for)?!
As a reminder, President Lawrence has directed that Brandeis University offices will be closed beginning at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3rd with staff returning to work on Monday, July 8th.
His hope is that staff members will be able to use the extended weekend for relaxation and enjoyment with family and friends.
Vice President for Human Resources