Human Resources

University System of Georgia

Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual

Time Away from Work

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Inclement Weather or Other Emergencies

Citation Reference  
Official Title Policy on Inclement Weather or Other Emergencies
Abbreviated Title Inclement Weather or Other Emergencies
Volume Human Resources
Responsible Office Human Resources
Originally issued January 2008 (last revised)
Revised July 2016

Policy Statement

In the event of inclement weather or any emergency which may place the health or safety of students, employees or citizens at risk, or conditions or events that prevent performance of regular operations of the Institution, official closure of Institutions of the University System of Georgia (USG) or various locations thereof may be deemed necessary. In such instances, the Institution President may declare the closing of an Institution within the affected area and leave with or without pay. The President will also declare the reopening of an institution once the inclement weather or emergency has subsided.

When an Institution is declared closed, all academic classes, administrative offices or other functional areas are suspended and only essential services are maintained, until the institution is officially reopened as declared by the President.

Employees whose job responsibilities require that they work during hazardous or emergency conditions in order to maintain critical institutional functions, e.g. public safety, facility, or information technology employees or employees with critical health and safety responsibilities, may be designated as ‘essential personnel’ by their institution. Essential personnel will be expected to maintain a normal work schedule during inclement weather or other emergencies unless specifically excused.

Reason for Policy

The University System of Georgia allows leave under specific guidelines. This policy establishes uniform procedures during the official closure or delayed opening of USG Institutions and the treatment of employee absences from work during periods of inclement weather or other emergencies.

Entities Affected By This Policy

All units of the University System of Georgia (USG) are covered by this policy.

Who Should Read This Policy

Human Resources personnel and employees within the University System of Georgia should be familiar with this policy.

Definitions

These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in these policies and procedures:

  • Essential Personnel are generally defined as the faculty and staff who are required to report to their designated work location, to ensure the operation of essential functions or departments during an emergency or when a USG Institution has suspended operations.

  • Travel Time. As defined in HRAP Emergency Call Back Pay and Variant Pay. http://www.usg.edu/hr/manual/variant_pay

  • Unscheduled Closing Leave. Paid Leave which is due to unforeseen closing of USG Institution locations in the event of inclement weather or any emergency which may place the health or safety of students, employees or visitors at risk, or conditions or events that prevent performance of regular operations of the Institution as declared by the Institution’s President.

Process and Procedures

The following guidelines apply for the treatment of leave for employees during an official closing due to inclement weather or other emergency situations:

  1. Each Institution is responsible for creating and maintaining a list of services and employees who are considered essential to running critical functions within their operations in the event of a declared emergency. This list is to be updated on at least on an annual basis, employees should be notified that they are on the list and expectations should be communicated by supervisors. The list of essential personnel should be housed in the Office of Human Resources or a department designated by the President or his/her designee. Supervisors shall have the discretion to add an employee to this list based on the nature of the declared emergency and skills needed in order to maintain critical institutional functions.
  2. Once there is a decision to close an institution due to inclement weather or other emergency conditions, only those employees designated by the institution as “Essential” to oversee the critical functions during an institutional emergency are required to report to work, if notified. All other employees are to either stay home/away or to leave their work area as soon as practicable after the notice is made. The decision to close an institution will generally be made on a workday by workday basis.
    1. Essential Personnel. Exempt and Non-exempt employees who are required to report to work during inclement weather or other emergency closings may receive Unscheduled Closing Leave for their regularly scheduled hours.
      1. In addition, non-exempt employees may be paid at the straight –time rate for all hours actually worked during the inclement weather or other emergency closing, not exceeding 40 hours in the workweek.
        1. Unscheduled leave is not counted as hours worked in the calculation of overtime pay.
        2. Non -exempt employees will be compensated in compliance with FLSA regulations and HRAP workweek and overtime policy for all hours actually worked over 40 in a work week. (http://www.usg.edu/hr/manual/workweek_and_overtime).
    2. Non-Essential Personnel. Exempt and Non-exempt employees not scheduled or not required to work during an inclement weather/emergency closing event should not report to work unless instructed to do so by their supervisor. Non-essential service employees in the affected area may be excused from duty for the duration of the closure and be placed on Unscheduled Closing Leave, without loss of pay.
    3. When a nonexempt employee, who has not been previously designated as an essential employee, is asked to report to work or to the office during a campus closure, that employee will be paid as an essential employee for all hours worked.
  3. Unscheduled Closing Leave cannot be used for non-exempt (bi-weekly) employees at a future date.
  4. Treatment of Compressed Work Week Schedules. Unscheduled Closing Leave is equivalent to the employee’s normal shift. Staff members working compressed workweek schedules during periods of Unscheduled Closings will not be required to take additional leave.
  5. Approved Sick or Annual Leave. A Non-exempt or exempt employee who is on approved leave during periods of severe weather/emergency closings, may charge leave as Unscheduled Closing.
  6. An employee whose work location is not directly affected by the severe weather/emergency closing and is scheduled to work will be expected to report to work as normal. If an employee is absent from duty because of severe weather conditions or other emergencies, which do not cause his/her office or facility to close, the institution may permit the employee to make up time lost from work within the same workweek or charge the period of absence to accrued leave (i.e. annual or compensatory time off). If none of the options are available, the employee may be placed on leave without pay for the period of absence.
  7. Record Keeping. Unscheduled Closing Leave should be recorded in the following manner and in compliance with HRAP Time and Leave Reporting and Approval policies.
SituationEmployee GroupHow to Code Time
Campus is closed all dayDepartment Designated - Essential Employees who report to workRecord actual hours worked and record eight (8) hours of unscheduled closing (i.e., 4 hours of actual time worked during a declared closing plus 8 hours Unscheduled Closing Leave)

Does time of decision of closing matter? Response. No

Can actual hours and unscheduled hours be greater than 8 hours? Response. Yes, employees should record regularly scheduled hours as unscheduled closing plus all hours actually worked during a declared closing
Regular - Benefits Eligible Employees (do not report to work) OR Essential Employees who do not report to workRecord unscheduled closing - unscheduled closings should be designated the same as the employees’ regularly scheduled hours. (pro rated for part time employees)
All Other Employees including student, temporary or casual labor employees (do not report to work) Will not receive paid leave or be paid for unscheduled closing time
Campus is closed a partial dayDepartment Designated - Essential Employees who report to work prior to campus opening (delayed start) or remain at work after campus has been declared closedRecord actual hours worked after the campus has been declared closed (or prior to campus opening if delayed start) plus record regular work hours as unscheduled closing.
Regular - employees (do not remain at work/do not report prior to campus opening) OR Essential Employees who do not remain at work/do not report to work prior to campus openingRecord actual hours worked while campus is open. Plus record unscheduled closing hours for hours the campus is closed during employee’s normal work schedule. The total number of actual hours worked plus unscheduled closing hours should equal the employee’s regular shift hours.
All Other Employees including student and casual labor employees (do not remain at work/do not report prior to campus opening)Record actual hours worked while campus is open. Will not be paid unscheduled closing time.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities each party has in connection with the policy are:

Party Responsibility Contact
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, USG Maintain policy, provide guidance to institution human resource officers on effective utilization of policy, monitor for compliance, update the system as necessary, and respond to campus requests for updates. Usg-hr@usg.edu
Institution Chief Human Resources Officers Ensure implementation of policy and appropriate utilization of leave. Ensure implementation of policy and appropriate utilization of leave. | See University System HR Officer Listing at http://www.usg.edu/hr/officers
Institution Presidents or designee in absence of President In the event of inclement weather or any emergency which requires leaves of the absence of the institutions employees, declare leave with or without pay Internal Listing

Website Address for This Policy

HRAP Inclement Weather or other emergencies
BOR 8.2.7.7 – Other Leave – Inclement weather

Related Policies/Documents/Resources

HRAP Emergency Callback and Variant Pay
HRAP Workweek and Overtime
HRAP FLSA – Exempt Employee – leave without pay
BPM 5.3.6 Overtime and Compensatory Time
HRAP Time and Leave Reporting and Approval

Forms

None

Appendices


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