Effective 01/2021 | Albright College

Effective 01/2021

Policy Name

Weather Policy

Policy Category

Human Resources

Policy Approved By

 Cabinet

Responsible Division Head or VP

Senior Vice President for Student and Campus Life

Responsible Department

The unit under the Responsible VP with direct responsibility for implementing and maintaining the policy.

Responsible AVP or Director

Director of Human Resources and Director of Public Safety

Original Policy Date

Historical

Last Known Revision Date

12/9/2020

Current Policy Effective Date

1/28/2021

Recommended Policy Review Date

1/1/2023

Policy Applies To

 Entire Campus

Additional Authority/References

Teleworking Policy

POLICY PURPOSE

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

 

BACKGROUND

As a residential learning community, Albright College provides many services to its students and others on a 24/7 basis.  It is imperative 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, non-essential employees will be expected to work remotely, if they are able, keeping individual safety and personal obligations in mind.  However, no mandatory meetings should be held during any suspension of on-campus operations.  Essential weather personnel must contact their supervisor for instructions, even when normal on-campus operations are suspended.

 

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. 

 

 

 

DEFINITIONS

TERM

DEFINITION

Essential Weather Departments

Departments that may be required to have staff actively working during a weather-related schedule modification, including, but not limited to, Facilities, Dining Services, Public Safety, and the Residential Life departments.

Essential Weather Personnel

Designated employees within an Essential Weather Department, as specified by the respective departmental supervisors.  An employee who is designated as a member of the “essential weather personnel” group will be expected to report to duty as specified by the College and his or her supervisor.

Weather Response Team

The Weather Response Team is a group of key Albright decision makers, led by the Director of Public Safety, who are charged in recommending schedule modifications for the College during times when inclement weather creates a condition that might raise questions about whether the College campus can operate safely on a normal basis. 

 

 

 

POLICY TEXT

Decision Making Authority

 

When the weather forecast predicts inclement weather, Albright’s Weather Response Team will convene to discuss current conditions and whether a suspension of on-campus business operations is necessary.      The Weather Response Team is a group made up of key decision makers from various areas of the college.  Led by the Director of Public Safety, the team meets when the weather forecast predicts inclement weather.  If the anticipated weather event is expected to be minor, the Director of Public Safety may only convene a sub-set of the Weather Response Team. The Weather Response Team discusses current conditions and whether any modifications to the normal College schedule or operations are necessary.  Depending on the circumstances of the inclement weather, all efforts will be made to have a decision rendered as early as possible.  Ideally, announcements will be made by the College no later than 5:30 am for the daytime schedule and no later than 3 pm for evening activities.  Decisions are relayed to campus as described in the Communications section below.  The Facilities Director, or designee, will consult with the Director of Public Safety to determine the applicable start and end times for the weather event which warrant premium pay to the essential weather personnel and email those hours to HR, Payroll, and the supervisors of the Essential Weather Departments.

 

Communications

The Communications division will initiate communication for any inclement weather schedule modifications. The primary methods of communication will be e2Campus text messaging, the Albright website and college email. 

 

Modifications to Normal Schedule

 

When weather conditions become extreme, the following are some of the most common scenarios that would be in effect for all students and non-essential employees of the College.     Essential weather personnel must contact their supervisor for instructions, even when normal on-campus operations are suspended.

 

No Schedule Change:  If no schedule modification is announced by the College, all administrative and department offices will remain open and classes will take place as scheduled.  On an individual basis, classes may be canceled, postponed, or moved online if a faculty member is unable to report to 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.  All staff and administrators are expected to report to work, even if they are late.   If, for safety concerns or personal reasons, an employee cannot reach the campus or will arrive late, the employee is required to contact his or her supervisor to report the situation and make alternative arrangements as described in the “Pay Policies” section of this policy. 

 

Late Opening: When the College designates a late opening for campus operations (such as 9:30 am or 10:00 am), all on-campus administrative and department offices will open at the modified time.  Classes beginning before the designated time may be conducted on-line, or be cancelled, at the discretion of the faculty instructor, who must take responsibility for communication of this decision with students enrolled in the class.     On an individual basis, classes starting later may be canceled, postponed, or moved online if a faculty member is unable to report to campus.  Faculty members are required to notify their students, the Registrar’s Office, the Provost’s Office, and Public Safety of any changes in teaching modality, cancellations or postponements due to inclement weather.  Essential weather personnel are required to report for duty at their regular time or other time specified by their supervisor.     All non-essential staff and administrative employees are expected to telework during the delay, if they are able, however, no mandatory meetings should be held during the suspension of on-campus operations.  Non-essential staff and administrators are expected to report to work at the modified opening time, even if they are late.   If, for safety concerns or personal reasons, an employee cannot reach the campus or will arrive late, the employee is required to contact his or her supervisor to report the situation and make alternative arrangements, as described in the “Pay Policies” section of this policy.

Early Suspension of On-Campus Operations:  When the College determines an early suspension of on-campus operations is necessary, all non-essential employees are expected to leave at the defined time for safety reasons, but are expected to telework from home for the remainder of the day, if they are able, however, no mandatory meetings should be held during the suspension of on-campus operations.  All essential weather personnel are required to report for duty, unless otherwise directed by their supervisor.  Classes that begin after the time announced for the early suspension of on-campus operations may be conducted on-line, or be cancelled, at the discretion of the faculty instructor, who must take responsibility for communication of this decision with students enrolled in the class.  

 

Full-Day or Evening Suspension of On-Campus Operations:  If the College declares a full-day or evening suspension of on-campus operations, the type of suspension will be specified:

Daytime Classes – Moved On-line or Canceled:  All classes on the main campus normally scheduled from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. are either moved on-line or canceled, at the discretion of the faculty instructor, and administrative offices are closed for on-campus operations.  Non-essential staff and administrators are expected to telework from home during the schedule modification, if they are able, however, no mandatory meetings should be held during the suspension of on-campus operations.  Essential weather personnel should report to work. Please note: Because of changing conditions, evening classes may be held even when day classes have been canceled.

Evening Classes – Moved On-line or CanceledAll classes on the main campus normally scheduled at 5 p.m. or after are either moved on-line or canceled, at the discretion of the faculty instructor. Information about classes at individual School of Professional Studies (SPS) sites will be posted to the Albright emergency weather website (https://www.albright.edu/emergency-closing-information/).

 

*Other Activities and Events:  Activities, events, or individual facilities may run on hours that differ from the adjusted college hours.

**Status may change: For example, an initial modification to a 9:00 am opening may later be changed to a 10:00 am opening or a full suspension of on-campus operations.   Late-afternoon and evening classes may be canceled, even if the college has been open all day.

Pay Policies During Weather Suspension Scenarios

 

No Schedule Change:  If there is no schedule change, employees are expected to come to work.  In cases where this is not feasible, the employee will need to talk to their supervisor to agree on a flex time option, as described below:  

  • Supervisors may allow their employees to telework, in which case the Teleworking Policy applies.  
  • Supervisors may allow their staff to modify their normal work schedule to accommodate weather conditions by coming into work late or leaving early and make up the lost time during the same workweek.  
  • Employees may elect to be paid for hours not worked by using accrued vacation or personal time leave.
  • Non-exempt employees may take hours off without pay and without the requirement of making up the time.

 

Late Opening or Early Suspension of On-Campus Operations:     On occasions where the College decides it is in the best interest of the community to announce a schedule modification, employees will be paid as described below:

  • Student Workers – should reach out to their supervisors to confirm they are not to report for their shift.  Students will not be paid if their shift is canceled.
  • Exempt Employees (including exempt essential weather personnel) – will receive their normal pay for any part of the work schedule missed during the official suspension of on-campus operations, where they are unable to telework.    Any pre-planned vacation, sick, or personal time will still be decremented from the employee’s balance.  Exempt essential weather personnel are encouraged to flex their time in the days after the weather event.
  • Non-Exempt Employees (excluding non-exempt essential weather personnel) – will receive their normal pay for any part of the work schedule missed during the official suspension of on-campus operations, where they are unable to telework.  Staff are only eligible for the Emergency Closure pay adjustment if they are normally scheduled during the schedule modification and are not on a previously scheduled day off.  Any pre-planned vacation, sick, or personal time will still be decremented from the employee’s balance.  
  • Non-Exempt Essential Weather Personnel – All non-exempt essential weather personnel that are required to work on-campus during the announced suspension of on-campus operations will be paid at the rate of 1.5 times their normal hourly rate.     This additional 0.5 times is considered premium pay and is not eligible for retirement plan match.     This applies to any hours in which their normally scheduled shift falls during the determined hours of the suspension of on-campus operations OR hours that the weather team deems eligible, if outside normal business hours.  The Facilities Director, or designee, will consult with the Director of Public Safety to determine the applicable start and end times for the weather event which warrant premium pay to the essential weather personnel and email those hours to HR, Payroll, and the supervisors of the Essential Weather Departments.

 

Full Day or Evening Suspension of On-Campus Operations

  • Student Workers – should reach out to their supervisors to confirm they are not to report for their shift.  Students will not be paid if their shift is canceled.
  • Exempt Employees (including exempt essential weather personnel) –  will receive their normal pay for any part of the work schedule missed during the official suspension of on-campus operations, where they are unable to telework.  Any pre-planned vacation, sick, or personal time will still be decremented from the employee’s balance.  Exempt essential weather personnel are encouraged to flex their time in the days after the weather event.
  • Non-Exempt Employees (excluding non-exempt essential weather personnel) – will receive their normal pay for any part of the work schedule missed during the official suspension of on-campus operations, where they are unable to telework.  Non-exempt staff are only eligible for the Emergency Closure pay adjustment if they are normally scheduled during the schedule modification and are not on a previously scheduled day off.  Any pre-planned vacation, sick, or personal time will still be decremented from the employee’s balance.  
  • Non-Exempt Essential Weather Personnel – all non-exempt essential weather personnel that are required to work on-campus during the suspension of on-campus operations will be paid at the rate of 2.5 times their normal hourly rate.  This additional 1.5 times over their normal rate is considered premium pay and is not eligible for retirement match.     This applies to any hours in which their normally scheduled shift falls during the determined hours of the suspension of on-campus operations OR hours that the weather team deems eligible if outside normal business hours.  If essential weather personnel are required to sleep over night, they will be paid at the premium rate for those hours.  The Facilities Director, or designee, will consult with the Director of Public Safety to determine the applicable start and end times for the weather event which warrant premium pay to the essential weather personnel and email those hours to HR, Payroll, and the supervisors of the Essential Weather Departments.

 

Special Situations

  • Normally Scheduled Outside of Business Hours – For non-essential employees normally scheduled to work in the evening or weekend, outside of core business hours, when the weather schedule modification is still in effect, the employee are expected to telework, if they are able.  If unable to telework, employees will be paid for those hours originally scheduled.     If the schedule modification has been ended, staff scheduled to work in the evening or weekend should report to work as scheduled.

 

ASSOCIATED PROCEDURES LOCATION

Timekeeping Procedures

Weather Response Team Procedures

REVISION LOG

DATE OF REVISION

MAJOR CHANGES

(Note:     electronic copies of the former versions of the policy must be maintained within the unit, department, or division)

12/9/2020

  • Made significant policy format/structure changes
  • Included formation of Weather Response Team
  • Updated pay policy for essential weather personnel to be more detailed and consistent across all departments.
  • Specified that non-essential weather employees required to work during a delay/dismissal/closure by a Cabinet Member will earn comp time.
  • Added HRIS system specific requirements for Emergency Closure closing delays/dismissals/closures

1/28/2021

Updated policy to reflect language that says employees are expected to telework if they are able during a suspension of on-campus operations, however, no mandatory meetings should be held

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IMPLEMENTATION PLAN – For decision-making purposes only.  This will not appear in the Final Policy that is posted to the Policy Repository.

Revisions regarding encouraging employees to telework during schedule modifications will be communicated during the next weather event.

 

DECISION – For decision-making purposes only.   This will not appear in the Final Policy that is posted to the Policy Repository.

Date of Draft Policy Review

1/15/2020

Name of Reviewing Committee/Individual

Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life/Chief Health Officer took the policy to Cabinet for review.

Date Approved

1/28/2021

Comments:

Date Rejected

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Comments:

Date Draft Tabled or Further Review Needed (provide comments including plan for re-submission)

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Comments:


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