consider her lucky to have a job.
I really need to start my own business
So was her place of employment open or no? If they were then I'd say it's right to make people take vacation or PTO if they couldn't get in. If they were closed then I don't know how they could make you take PTO.
My former employer would occasionally close the office early, open late, or just be closed. I worked there for 8 years and they probably had short days maybe 9 times and closed completely 3 or 4 times. Not very much. We got paid for those days and didn't have to take vacation. My current employer was closed on Wednesday and that has NEVER happened. They got paid too. I was out of town though, so I missed probably my only chance at a snow day!
FAQ from Iowa State for Faculty, Professional and Scientific and Supervisory and Confidential Merit Staff
If it's a day I'm normally scheduled to work and I'm ready, willing, and able to work, and you tell me I have to stay home, why should it be a vacation day? What if I only had one day of vacation before the end of the year, or none? Lots of places have disciplinary measures for exhausting your paid leave.
Alot of people don't have a pile of PTO days to use. I work my butt off and get 15 a year, soon 20, and I consider them precious and my property to use as I please.
Now, if the company gave you an option to make up those 8 hours working late... that would be fair. Forced PL? ripoff.
There's some confusion going on between not coming to work, and work not being open.
I seem to be one of the luckier ones - work shut down and it went paid. But if it were open, I probably would've been here, or understood that it was my choice to take time off.
But I side with those who think that if work wasn't open - that's not on the employee to take time off.
How does it work if you don't have any PTO left? I'm sure many don't.
What was the original contract/agreement with the employee (your wife) and the employer? That should tell you what's covered and allowed regarding all types of leave. Also, is she an exempt or non-exempt employee? That likely makes a difference, too.
Whining and complaining after something happens means you weren't prepared for what might happen. Be a good employee and find out what's required and expected of you before you accept a job.
Rules aren't personal, but employees sometimes try to make them so.
I am sure there were plenty of businesses open during the storm. Unless they were compleltely physically unable to access the building and open it for any employees who could make it in, then it wasn't out of its control.
I am basing this on the assumption that the employee is salary and not compensated by hourly wages. That would be a different story.