AT&T Employees Claim: Idle Company Truck To Run A/C, Get Fired

Maybe they’re just more concerned about pollution than about workers’ comfort. TV station KPRC investigated claims from AT&T installation technicians that they’ve been told that they can’t sit in their idling trucks and run the air conditioning to cool off for amounts of time that the company deems “excessive,” even when they’ve been crawling around in attics in the Houston summer heat.

Local 2 obtained an internal AT&T vehicle idling memo that reads, “excessive idling may lead to disciplinary action … up to and including dismissal. While our goal is to eliminate all unnecessary idle time” … supervisors will focus on “technicians that idle their vehicle more than 60 minutes in a day.”

It says idling for health and safety reasons is acceptable.

“Idling for personal comfort is not allowed,” the memo states.

The question is, where is the line between “personal comfort” and “may pass out from heat exhaustion”?

Update: We got an answer to the question at the end of the post fom an AT&T representative. Here’s their statement:

In response to the question you pose at the end of your post: All employees whose jobs require them to work in the heat are provided training on ways to identify and prevent heat illness, and it is at the employee’s discretion to determine if the heat is becoming a health and safety issue, in which case they are allowed — and in fact expected — to idle their vehicle and run the air conditioner. We don’t want these folks to get sick.

The health and safety of our employees is a top priority. AT&T has one of the largest fleets in the nation and works to operate it in a safe and environmentally conscious manner, and in compliance with federal, state and local clean air standards. For example, in many parts of Texas, it is illegal to idle a vehicle for more than five consecutive minutes during summer months.

Workers Claim Company Is Putting Them In Danger [KPRC] (Thanks, Jason!)