No Y2K means workers off for holidays : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

12/04/00- Updated 10:24 AM ET

No Y2K means workers off for holidays

By Stephanie Armour, USA TODAY

So many employees were barred last year from taking vacations because of Y2K concerns that some companies are bracing for more time-off requests this holiday season. Some companies are giving first dibs to those who toiled last year, and others are letting most of their technology departments take time off over the holidays. Many Y2K workers are planning to make up for being on call or in the office last year with big plans this year.

For example:

Employees at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Oren Semiconductor who worked around the holidays last year are guaranteed time off at year's end. About 60% of staffers in one department will be off around Christmas.

"The guaranteed Christmas came later as a thank you," says Mike Hurlston, a marketing vice president. "It's unusual for us to have that many people from one department taking time off. We would normally never allow this much of a department to leave at once."

AT&T is making efforts to give time off to managers who may have had to forgo vacations last year because of Y2K.

"We try to make accommodations for people who have put in the extra effort," says spokesman Burke Stinson.

The Federal Reserve expects to see an increase in requests for time off. Hundreds of staffers last year were told they might have to be in the office on New Year's.

"There will be a lot more people taking time off," says spokeswoman Rose Pianalto, adding that her department is a prime example. "Last year, we didn't take time, and this year we're all taking time off."

At MessageClick, a New York-based communications firm providing outsourced voice, fax and e-mail services, employees who worked because of Y2K get first dibs for vacation during the holidays this year.

"I worked on New Year's," says product manager Andrey Kuzyk, who is going with his wife to Bali just after Christmas. "Around this time, it's hard to get vacation because everyone wants to go. You can choose the vacation time you want if you worked."

At Mount Laurel, N.J.-based Inrange Technologies, employees who didn't take vacation last year around the holidays are taking time off now.

"Last year, you had people who couldn't take vacation in the fourth quarter," says Charles Foley, executive vice president. "We've seen a significant increase in people and clients taking vacation days now."

Some workers never get a break. Philip Murphy worked on New Year's 2000 for New York-based public relations firm Burson-Marsteller. This year, client demands on Jan. 1 mean he'll probably be working again.

"I guess it will be another 1,000 years until I get a day off," Murphy says.

-- Community (impact@of.Y2K), December 05, 2000

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