RUTGERS POLICY

Section: 60.3.16

Section Title: HR/Non-Academic Employees

Policy Name: Attendance During Adverse Weather Conditions

Formerly Book: 3.6.17

Approval Authority: Senior Vice President for Administration

Responsible Executive: Senior Vice President for Administration

Responsible Office: University Human Resources

Originally Issued: 11/1969

Revisions: 10/30/2003, 8/2/06 (Updated titles), Updated University Officers 6/12/2008, 9/18/2013, 12/03/2013 (severity levels, essential services personnel)

Errors or Changes? Contact policies@hr.rutgers.edu

  1. Policy Statement
    Specifies University’s position on non-academic employees’ attendance during adverse weather conditions.

  2. Reason for Policy
    Provide guidelines for attendance during adverse weather conditions for non-academic employees

  3. Who Should Read This Policy
    This policy is applicable only to employees in Rutgers positions. A Rutgers position is a position which, historically, was associated with the Rutgers University before June 30, 2013. Individuals employed in Rutgers positions are processed through the PeopleSoft (RIAS) payroll system. These positions may be governed by different negotiated agreements and policies from those that would be applicable to individuals in legacy UMDNJ positions. In this regard, individuals employed in Rutgers positions may be eligible for different non-State benefits than individuals who hold legacy UMDNJ positions.

  4. Related Documents
    None

  5. Contacts
    University Human Resources
    Office of Labor Relations 848-932-3400

  6. The Policy

ATTENDANCE DURING ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS

While it is the policy of the University to remain open and continue all normal operations during periods of adverse weather, the University does not advise employees to take unwarranted risks when traveling to work in the event of adverse weather. With the understanding that it is the obligation of all employees of the University to report to work during these periods, each employee should exercise his or her best judgment with regards to road conditions and other safety concerns.

Essential Services Personnel – Essential Services Personnel are defined as employees holding positions which perform job duties that include non-deferrable services that must be performed despite an emergency closure. Personnel may be designated as essential on a seasonal (e.g. in the event of a weather related emergency only) or a situational basis (e.g. in the event of a toxic chemical spill only). In addition, any person may be designated as essential at any point during an emergency, even if not designated as essential prior to the emergency. A non-inclusive list of non-deferrable services that must be performed despite an emergency closure would be dining services, housing services, public safety, facilities services, patient care services, research laboratory services, environmental health and safety services, clinical services. Further, to the extent that it is impossible to foresee or plan for every circumstance related to weather or other emergency, supervisors have the authority to make essential staff designations on an event by event basis for employees that have not already been designated as essential personnel.

An Essential Services Personnel designation shall extend for the entire Level 1 and Level 4 Adverse Weather Conditions period or as long as the work unit deems necessary. Employees designated as Essential Services Personnel that cannot report for work because of a serious concern about personal safety or other extenuating circumstances must contact their supervisor to advise them of the situation as soon as possible.

Departments may establish internal guidelines regarding reporting procedures during periods of Adverse Weather Conditions.

Department administrators are responsible for designating which employees are “Essential” on the basis of the essential non-deferrable duties of the positions held by the employees, the seasonal or situational basis of the event, and the needs of the university. Department administrators must provide a list of essential personnel to the Vice President for Faculty and Staff Resources on an annual basis each January. Department administrators must notify, in writing, each employee identified as “Essential” that they have been so designated. The written notice must detail what this designation entails and the duties and responsibilities the employee may have during an emergency.

Procedures in respect to adverse weather conditions are described below:

Level 1 - Delayed Opening

For the purpose of this section only, the start of the normal business day is defined as 8:30 AM, Monday through Friday.

A Delayed Opening may be declared for certain staff employees when a weather condition occurs such that it is necessary to delay the start of the normal business day in order to prepare facilities to receive faculty, students, and employees. Staff employees subject to the Delayed Opening shall not report for work during the period of the delayed opening.

A Delayed Opening does not apply to the following staff employees:

Level 2 - Campus(es) Open - Intermperate Weather

Level 2 is defined as weather conditions which appear to make travel hazardous for a particular employee, but are not declared by the University as a Level 4 or a Level 3.

If " Intemperate Weather" prevents an individual employee from reporting on time, prevents him/her from reporting at all, or makes it essential for him/her to leave early, the following rules pertaining to attendance on that day will apply:

  1. Lateness. The employee shall notify his/her supervisor as soon as possible if it is necessary to be late in reporting to work. The employee may charge any lost time to administrative leave, vacation, or personal holiday if available. If no such time is available, the employee may be allowed to make up the lost time, or have his/her salary appropriately adjusted. There will be no disciplinary action for such lateness.

  2. Absence. The employee shall notify his/her supervisor if it is necessary that he/she be absent. The employee may charge the day to administrative leave, vacation, or personal holiday if available, or will have his/her salary appropriately adjusted. There will be no disciplinary action for such absence.

  3. Leaving Early. The employee must request and receive permission from the supervisor to leave early. Such permission shall not be unreasonably denied. There may, however, be instances of emergency work-related conditions that require an employee to remain at the work station. Employees who are allowed to leave early may charge the time to administrative leave, vacation or personal holiday if available. If no such time is available, the employee may be allowed to make up the lost time, or have his/her salary appropriately adjusted.

Level 3 - Campus(es) Open - Severe Weather

Level 3 is defined as a specific period of time lasting for a portion of a day or a full day when there is a severe snowstorm, hurricane, flood, tornado, etc. in the area of the University or any of its campuses which makes transportation a problem in the respective University locations.

During a Level 3 the University remains open and provides normal services to the fullest extent possible. A Level 3 may be declared University wide by the President, or individually at each of the three major campus locations (New Brunswick, Newark or Camden) only by the designated authority: in New Brunswick, by the President or designee; in Newark and Camden, by their respective Chancellors or designees, who shall notify the Senior Vice President for Administration of the starting and ending times of the alert.

A Level 3 may be declared after the fact for an earlier period of time. For example, the President may declare at 10:00 a.m. that Level 3 for the New Brunswick Campus has been in effect since 7:00 a.m.

If a Level 3 has been declared, the following rules pertaining to attendance will apply:

  1. Lateness. The employee shall notify his/her supervisor as soon as possible if it is necessary to be late in reporting to work. Any staff employee who made a reasonable effort to arrive at work on time but who arrived after the start of his/her shift may, at the discretion of the supervisor, be excused with pay for such lateness.

  2. Absence. Any salaried staff employee who made a reasonable effort to arrive at work but was unable to do so may, at the discretion of the department head or designee, be excused with pay for the hours absent as long as the "Weather Alert" is still in effect. Should the "Weather Alert" be declared over during the day, the remaining absence must be charged to administrative leave, vacation, or personal holiday if available; otherwise, the employee may be allowed to make up the lost time, or have his/her salary appropriately adjusted.

  3. Leaving Early. If a staff employee believes that it is essential that he/she leave early, the employee must request and receive permission from the department head or designee. Such permission will not be unreasonably denied. There may, however, be instances of emergency work-related conditions that require an employee to remain at work. Employees who are allowed to leave early will be paid only for the time the "Weather Alert" is in effect. If the "Weather Alert" is called off subsequent to the departure and prior to the completion of the employee's shift, lost time must be charged to administrative leave, vacation or personal holiday if available. If no such time is available, the employee may be allowed to make up the lost time or have his/her salary appropriately adjusted.

Level 4 - Campus(es) Closed - Weather Emergency

Level 4 is defined as a period of hazardous weather conditions (blizzard, hurricane, tornado, flood, etc.) during which travel is recognized as an imminent danger to life and property in the area of the University or any of its campuses. A "Weather Emergency" may be declared and a major campus (New Brunswick, Newark or Camden) consequently closed only by the designated authority: in New Brunswick, by the President, or designee; in Newark and Camden, by their respective Chancellors, or designees, who shall notify the Senior Vice President for Administration of the starting and ending times of the closing.

If the University or a campus is closed for Level 4, employees on that campus who are not in emergency, security, or other essential service positions will be excused with pay for up to one day for any one closing. If the University is closed for more than one day in any instance of closing, the employee may charge time in excess of one day to Administrative Leave, Vacation or Personal Leave, or have his/her salary appropriately adjusted.

Employees designated as Essential Services Personnel are required, unless otherwise advised by supervisory authority, to report for duty during such periods when the University or campus is declared closed. Essential Services Personnel who fail to report for, or who fail to remain on, duty without supervisory approval may be required to charge accrued leave time or be docked pay.

Essential Services Personnel eligible for overtime who are required to report to work or are required to remain on duty during a campus closing will be paid their regular pay plus time and one-half for all hours worked during that period.