Types of “Essential” Employees

essential workers

Here in the Northeast we are in the middle of a major snowstorm, and although it didn’t live up to expectations, there is a travel ban in effect. The only people allowed to drive without receiving a hefty fine are “essential” employees. But have you ever wondered which types of employees are required to work during major blizzards or other states of emergency? Some of these industries include healthcare, utilities, police & fire, water supply services, and the communications sector. Here are some jobs that are always deemed essential. There are no snow days if you work in one of these positions. The federal or state government determines whether or not they report to work, and some of the following positions may come as a surprise.

1.)  Doctor / Nurse / Health Care Staff

Even during the most major snowstorms, hospital employees are required to work. Medical issues don’t stop during snowstorms, so health care workers need to be prepared to travel through the worst of conditions. Without them, multiple lives would be in danger. Hospitals always have their own form of electricity in case of a power outage, and utility companies always work to restore power in hospitals before servicing anyone else. If you work at a hospital it’s likely that you’ll never see a snow day.

2.)  Police Officers

Extreme weather is no excuse for a police officer to miss work. They need to patrol the roads for public safety purposes. Crime rates usually stay the same, but accidents can become more prominent. Many cities / states issue travel bans during snowstorms, since too many cars on the roads can make for dangerous driving conditions. Police officers need to work through the weather to keep everyone safe, and issue tickets to those who ignore travel bans.

3.)  Probation Staff

Ex-cons or people with criminal records are usually assigned a probation officer. They are responsible for keeping tabs on their assignees and making sure that they are meeting the terms of their agreement. If they didn’t report to work, criminals would essentially have a “free pass” to do as they please, which is a huge no-no in the eyes of the law. Probation officers / staff work through the weather and always report to work.

4.)  Firefighters

Bad weather always causes problems, and can often lead to fires. Firefighters need to be on call just in case this happens. They are amongst the most essential employees and are responsible for saving lives on a daily basis. Reporting to work is a must, even during the most extreme weather events.

5.)  National Guard

National Guard workers actually get busier when the weather is bad. They are prepared for the worst, and are trained to respond to these types of situations. They serve many functions during a storm, and most include setting up roadblocks, sandbags, and locating / helping stranded drivers. If you work in the National Guard and a major weather event is around the corner, then get some rest. Long hours and hard work await you.

6.)  Zookeeper

Since they are responsible for a living collection of animals, zookeepers must always report to work. Also, any workers at zoos responsible for water quality, HVAC, nutrition, and veterinary services need to be present. Without them, a lot of animals could perish. In fact, it’s one of the most secure jobs in the USA. Even when the federal government shuts down due to budget freezes, they still have to come into work. They can worry about getting paid later because the animals need their assistance.

7.)  Grocery

In some states grocery workers are considered essential. It makes sense, because people need access to supplies during storms. However, it’s not guarantee that the items you need will actually be on the shelves. Always prepare before the storm to make sure you have everything you need.

8.)  Snow Plow Drivers

There are three types of snowplow drivers—government workers, private company employees, or self-employed drivers. They are all essential. Even if there is a driving ban in the area, self-employed snowplow drivers are usually given a free pass. Police officers understand that they are working to help people, and typically the trucks they drive are excellent in snowy conditions. Without them, driving would be almost impossible.

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Matthew Welch

Matthew Welch is an SEO strategist, content marketer, blog manager, and sports enthusiast from Boston, MA with a collegiate background in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Connecticut.

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