The state of North Carolina is taking all the fun out of Monday's solar eclipse for its employees, according to a memo sent to all state departments.
It's for their own good, of course, officials say.
The memo, from the Office of State Human Resources, says workers for the state of North Carolina may not watch Monday's solar eclipse during work hours, only on "an official break from job duties."
Courtesy of NASA
Monday's solar eclipse will be visible throughout North Carolina, but state employees have to follow new guidelines to watch it.
Not only that, state agencies won't be allowed to "encourage or endorse" any events—parties, perhaps?—geared toward watching the event, which will be total over parts of the state, and partially visible elsewhere.
In addition, they can't go to any areas specifically to watch the event.
"It's pretty self-explanatory," says John R. Bogner Jr., director of the Division of Safety, Health & Workers’ Compensation in the Office of State Human Resources.
The state is also worried about the possibility that a worker who is injured during the eclipse, presumably by staring into the sun, while "in the course and scope of employment," may "incur compensable work related injuries while doing so."
The directive takes the same position the state Highway Patrol is taking, to put safety and health first, says Bogner, who sent out the email.
"We have an obligation to the taxpayers," he says.
The Highway Patrol is advising drivers to follow safety tips including using designated parking spots, not stopping on the roadway, and not parking on highway shoulders or medians. In addition, drivers are advised not to wear eclipse glasses while driving, or to drive while distracted.
Oh, drivers should also turn on their headlights during the event.