Preparation for Inclement Weather
Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 13 - November 19, 1998
As winter approaches, the probability of inclement weather increases. For that reason, it is important that Virginia Tech employees know in advance where to obtain the official closing announcement and the reporting procedures to follow.
The Tech campus will maintain full operations at all times unless specifically closed by the president or, in his absence, the senior vice president and provost and/or the executive vice president.
In inclement-weather situations, it is the responsibility of each employee to confirm if and when to report to work that day. Because the full details of university closings may not be adequately provided or described in other public media, employees are strongly advised to access the only official sources of information for authorized closing and delayed openings for the Blacksburg campus, which are the University Weather Hot-line: 231-6668; the Virginia Tech operator: 231-6000; or WVTF-FM Radio in Roanoke, located at 89.1 or 91.9 on the radio dial.
Department heads should develop a communications plan for employees to follow in the event of emergency situations. In doing so, it is suggested that managers anticipate the needs of essential operations, especially those of employees with alternative work schedules such as shift work and weekends. Other suggestions are to organize a telephone tree and to share detailed instructions to ensure adequate coverage and clear communications. This is particularly important when the identification of emergency employees is contingent upon the circumstances of the closing and subject to change.
Off-campus directors and department heads of Extension offices, research and continuing-education centers, and other facilities will communicate closing decisions to employees by telephone and according to their emergency communication plans.
Occasionally department heads may designate a non-emergency employee as an emergency employee and vise versa. Employees should be notified of the changes in their status as soon as possible. Personnel Services furnishes a roster for departments to use if they wish to post the names of the designated emergency employees in the department; it may be updated as appropriate during the year.
Supervisors should allow employees up to a maximum of one hour past the start of their normal shift to report to work during conditions of transportation difficulties.
Employees designated as emergency personnel must report during authorized closings; they will be credited with compensatory leave for the hours worked to be used at a later time. Emergency employees who are considered non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act and who work over 40 hours in the work week will be eligible for overtime payment.
Emergency personnel who do not report to work as scheduled must charge time missed to annual, sick, compensatory or overtime leave, or leave without pay, as appropriate.
Employees absent because of an authorized all-day closing will be paid for those hours. To qualify for payment, employees must work or be on paid leave the scheduled work day before and the scheduled work day after the closing.
Non-emergency personnel who work during periods of authorized closing shall not be credited with compensatory leave.
When inclement weather or emergency conditions result in changes in the work schedule, such as late openings or early closings, employees will be paid for periods of authorized closings. To qualify for payment in these instances, the employee must be on pre-approved leave or work all or part of the work schedule not affected by the authorized closings. Pre-approved leave is defined as leave that is approved prior to the time it is to be taken; therefore, approved prior to the emergency condition that resulted in the authorized closing.
Salaried employees, whose scheduled day off falls on a day when their department is closed, will not be credited with compensatory leave.
Employees who leave work before the announcement of an early closing may not charge the difference in time to authorized closing leave. The difference in time must be charged to accrued leave or leave without pay as appropriate.
To obtain assistance with the completion of leave reporting, call Linda Quesenberry at 1-7180 or Mary Chapman Gearheart at 1-5304. For more information on the policy, call Kathie Worner at 1-5303.