Weather Policy (HR_EMP)

Policy Name                                       Weather Policy

Policy Category                                  Human Resources

Policy Sub-Category                          Emergency Planning

Policy Approved By                           Cabinet

Responsible VP                                  Vice President of Administrative & Financial Services

Responsible Department                   Human Resources

Responsible AVP or Director             Director of Human Resources

Policy Applies To                                All Campus

Original Policy Date                                   Historical

Last Known Revision Date                      IN PROGRESS

Recommended Policy Review Date  3/31/2020

Additional Authority/References     None


Policy Purpose

This policy provides guidance on how all types of weather schedule modifications should be handled by those on campus.

Policy

Guiding Principles

As a residential learning community, Albright College provides many services to its students and others on a 24/7 basis.  It is imperative, therefore, that essential services be maintained and safety preserved.  Given the wide variation in where College personnel live and the range of work activities they perform, it is not possible to have a one-size fits all inclement weather policy.  Individual employees and the College collectively share an interest in and concern for both getting the work done and protecting the well-being of those performing the work.  In this spirit, individuals should make reasonable efforts consistent with individual safety to be at work.

All efforts will be made to ensure the overall safety and security of our total campus community. This includes the students, faculty, support staff and administrators. Every effort will be made to minimize the concerns of all as we commit to providing essential services for those who rely on us. In the event external conditions prevent individuals from performing their duties, the following procedures will apply.

Practices and Procedures

When inclement weather creates a condition that might raise questions whether the College can operate on a normal basis, the Director of Facilities Operations and Services, following consultation with the Director of Public Safety, will advise the Vice President for Administrative and Financial Services on the feasibility of continued operation.  A recommendation will then be made to the President, by the Vice President for Administrative and Financial Services, who will make a decision on the continued operations of the College based on the information provided. Depending on the circumstances of the inclement weather, all efforts will be made to have a decision rendered as early as possible.  (Ideally, 5 a.m. for day schedule and no later than 3 p.m. for evening activities).

If the President decides to modify the schedule or, on rare occasions, close the College, the President or his/her designee will communicate this decision to key personnel.  Each Divisional Vice President will, as necessary, notify their respective staffs as to the decision.

College Relations will initiate communications for inclement weather and emergency delays and closings as follows:

Broadcast Voicemail Message

Broadcast messages go to all College phones, including students.  Broadcast messages are posted first:  students and employees should dial into their campus voicemail to receive the most accurate and timely information.  For remote voicemail access, dial 610-921-7898.  Press * (star) and enter your ID (four-digit extension number) and your voicemail password.

Albright Hot Line

Call 610-921-7800.  Information is updated as necessary.  All messages indicate date and time of posting.

Albright Web

Go to www.albright.edu and click on the inclement weather link on the front page, or bookmark www.albright.edu/news/emergencyclosings

Local Media

College Relations will inform local radio and TV stations about closing information. Identification of media stations is in the College phone directory, posted on the College website, and is distributed to the campus community every semester.

Changes in College Schedule

As referenced earlier, when weather conditions do become extreme, the following procedures and principles are in effect for all students (residential, commuter or evening) and employees of the College:

  1. Day

Until formally announced by the President or his/her designee, regular day classes meet as normally scheduled.  On an individual basis, classes may be canceled or postponed if a faculty member is unable to report to the campus.  Faculty members are required to notify their students, the Registrar’s Office, the Provost’s Office, and Public Safety of any cancellations or postponements due to inclement weather.

Unless otherwise indicated, administrative and department offices will remain open.  During inclement weather, all employees are expected to report to work, even if they are late.   If, for safety concerns or personal reasons, an employee cannot reach the campus, the employee is required to contact his or her supervisor to report the situation.

In the event that weather requires a modification to the daily schedule, the following types of schedule changes may occur:

A.) Delay

All key emergency personnel are required to report for duty without delay if possible.*

Delay (Late Opening): The normal schedule of classes and work is delayed for a defined period of time.  Classes that are scheduled during the period of delay will not meet; all other classes will.  Employees are expected to report to duty at the defined time and will be paid for a regular full day.

  • One-Hour Late Opening: All classes before 9 a.m. are cancelled. Students report to 9 a.m. classes on MWF and 9:30 a.m. classes on T/Th.  Administrative offices and all departments open as soon as possible, but no later than 9 a.m.
  • Two-Hour Late Opening: All classes before 10 a.m. are cancelled. Students report to 10 a.m. classes on MWF and 11 a.m. classes on T/Th.  Administrative offices and all departments open as soon as possible but no later than 10 a.m.

Class Delay:  Classes only are delayed for a specific period of time.  When classes resume, students report to their regularly scheduled class, for example, if class is delayed two hours, students report to their regularly scheduled 10 a.m. class.  All administrative offices remain on their normal schedule with employees reporting at their normal time.  All key emergency personnel are expected to report for duty without delay if possible.*

Staff Delay: Classes meet as regularly scheduled, but the opening of administrative offices is delayed for a specific period. Staff members are expected to report for duty at the specified time and will be paid for a full regular day.  All key emergency personnel are expected to report for duty without delay if possible.*

B). Closed

No classes are held and all administrative and department offices are closed.  Employees will be paid for an emergency day with no effect on their accrued vacation or personal time. Key emergency personnel are expected to report for duty without delay if possible.*

*Note:  please see 1. Key Emergency Personnel for definition.

  1. II. Evening

The College will follow the same procedure in determining the continuation of evening classes with a decision to be rendered no later than 3 p.m. based on the information available at the time regarding weather and road conditions.  This decision will again be made through consultations with the Director of Facilities Operations, the Director of Public Safety, the Vice President for Administrative and Financial Services and the President.

Main Campus:  Cancellation of evening classes means all classes on the main campus that begin at 5 p.m. and after.

Satellite locations: Employees, as well as students attending classes at other locations, follow the specified procedures for each respective site.

Activities, events or individual facilities may be closed or cancelled even when the College is open i.e., Library, Bookstore, etc.  Individual events may take place even when classes are cancelled.

Emergency Personnel and Flex-Time

  1. Key Emergency Personnel

Key emergency personnel are defined as designated members of the Facilities, Food Service, Public Safety, and Housing Departments as specified by the respective Directors, approved by the appropriate Vice President(s), and submitted to the Office of Human Resources for official documentation.  An employee who is designated as a member of the “key emergency personnel” group will be expected to report to duty as specified by the College and his or her supervisor.  Employees who are classified as hourly employees and are members of the “key emergency personnel” team will receive 2 ½ times their regular hourly pay for hours worked during the time that when the College is closed for a full day due to the weather emergency. Hours worked in conjunction with delayed status or early dismissal are not included in the special pay rate.

  1. Voluntary Emergency Personnel

The Office of Human Resources will also compile a list of voluntary emergency personnel who have willingly offered their services during times of weather emergencies to assist in various necessary tasks at the College.  This list will be based on the home location of the volunteers, their interest in serving, and the need to use their services.

Each volunteer will then be listed with the appropriate key department for possible service during the inclement weather.  Hourly employees who have been identified as voluntary emergency personnel and are asked to report for emergency duty and are able

to do so will be paid their normal hourly rate for time worked at the College during the emergency closing.

In those rare occasions when the College decides it is in the best interest of the community to close due to the inclement weather conditions, non key emergency personnel shall receive pay for the part of the work schedule missed during the official closedown period in the following circumstances:

  1. Individual is at work until the closedown officially begins.
  2. Individual is officially informed not to report to work during the closedown.

If the inclement weather day is not proclaimed an emergency “closed day,” an employee who is not able to report for work at all that day will have the option of using a vacation day, a personal day or an unpaid day.

  1. Flex-Time

If the College remains open during a time of inclement weather, supervisors will have the option of offering “flex-time” for non-exempt (hourly) employees in their department.

This “flex-time” would be used as follows:

  • Supervisors may allow their staff to modify their normal work schedule to accommodate weather conditions by coming into work late and leaving early and make up the lost time.
  • Employees may elect to be paid for hours not worked by using accrued vacation or personal time leave.
  • Employees may take hours off without pay and without the requirement of making up the time.
  • Employees who elect to make up their lost time must duly obtain approval from their supervisor and that time must be made up within that same pay period.
  • All flex-time must be pre-approved by the direct supervisor.
  • Flex-time is not available to be used for a whole day’s absence.

All employees are reminded that they need to communicate directly with their supervisors regarding any deviation in schedule beyond the modified one affirmed by the College.

Revision Log

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