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Safety and Health Manual: Chapter IV

Adverse Weather and Emergency Closing Policy

PS 09 00e (Revised 3/25/11)

A. Policy

It is the policy of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to protect employees, students, and visitors from adverse weather or other conditions of a serious nature. The University does not, as a matter of general practice, close its operations or cancel classes because of bad weather.   Exceptions to that practice are rare and occur only when the weather is particularly severe and poses a clear and present danger to the safety and welfare of students, faculty, or staff.   Classes taught off-campus (e.g. Sandhills CC, Richmond CC, and Fort Bragg, etc.) are held unless conditions at those sites are hazardous or the off-site facility is closed.   UNCP follows the decisions made by those local sites. 

It is recognized that in some individual cases travel may be hazardous even though closing is not warranted. In those cases, everyone is advised to take all reasonable precautions in coming to campus given his/her personal circumstances.  The university expects students to make every effort to attend class but not to place themselves in dangerous driving conditions.   Faculty members will accommodate those students who are unable to attend class because of hazardous weather conditions.  Faculty and staff members who are commuting to the Pembroke campus or to one of Pembroke’s off-campus sites should assess driving conditions and notify their department heads/deans if they are unable to meet their classes and/or report to work.   Arrangements should be made as early as possible to allow for student and employee notification.

B. Scope. This applies to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, all University employees and activities.

C. Closing Determination

When the threat or the presence of adverse weather or emergency conditions present a safety hazard to University personnel and students, it is the responsibility of the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, or designee, to evaluate weather and emergency conditions and determine if it requires modifications to the regular campus class or normal work schedule. 

Conditions that necessitate the closing of the University, the closing of a University building, or the curtailing of operations that may be hazardous to life or safety include: catastrophic life threatening weather (snow, ice, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood or other natural disaster), fire, equipment failure, disruption of power or water, contamination by hazardous agents, terrorist acts or forced evacuations from the University or worksite, that present a threat to students faculty, and staff while attending or traveling to or from the University.

Should the decision be reached to modify daily operations, the Special Assistant to the Chancellor, or designee, will announce modifications to the schedule via media outlets, the university website, switchboard operations/emergency phone number (x6888) and campus email.   In addition, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to check the University website when the possibility of adverse weather or emergency arises.   Updates about the status of University operations will be posted on a continuing basis.  

All University closings must be reported to the State Personnel Director within five days after the occurrence.

D. Closing Announcements

Announcements of modifications to daily operations may take one of three forms: a) classes are suspended, but offices will remain open. Emergency employees must report to work, while other employees are strongly urged to consider campus conditions and the weather conditions in their residential area, as well as law enforcement reports of road conditions, before making a decision whether or not to come to work, b) the university may delay the start of classes and business operations but emergency employees must report to work, and c) classes are suspended and all University offices are closed. Emergency employees must report for work. Employees who have not been designated \"emergency\" should not attempt to come to their worksites.

E. Mandatory Operations/Designation of Emergency Employees

Some University operations require employees to report to or remain at work in order to provide emergency services during periods of adverse weather. The University will provide staff designated as emergency employees with advance written notice of this status and obtain the employees and supervisors signature. Emergency status is considered a condition of employment for these employees and will be included in the official position description and job announcements, as well as on the employee's work plan.  Emergency employees who are required to remain at work during hazardous times may be relieved of duties for the period of time necessary to assure safety of their families. 

An emergency employee’s failure to report to work can result in disciplinary action and/or requiring the hours missed to be charged to leave with or without pay, as appropriate.  Exception: When conditions cause an emergency employee to arrive late, the Vice Chancellor may determine that the conditions justified the late arrival.  In such cases, the lost time will not be charged to the employee’s leave balances or to leave without pay, and no disciplinary action will be taken. 

Also, emergency designations may change depending on the emergency situation.  If the University determines that a situation requires employees who are not designated as emergency employees to report to work or remain at work depending on the nature of the emergency the University supervisor will notify the employee individually and report the designation to Human Resources.

The University Police, the Student Health Services and the Cafeteria are to remain open under all circumstances.. Facilities Operations, as necessary, will assign a work crew.

F. Offices Open In Adverse Weather or Emergency Conditions It is the responsibility of employees to make a good faith effort to come to work during times that adverse weather or emergency conditions of a serious nature exist. 

Employees, not working in mandatory/essential operations, who anticipate problems in transportation should be permitted and encouraged to avail themselves of leave privileges when encountering difficulty in reporting for work or when leaving early.

G. Accounting for Time

Employees must account for any work time lost due to adverse weather or emergency conditions, unless the Chancellor closes the campus or buildings on campus. If an employee leaves work early, or if an employee does not report to work due to transportation difficulty as a result of adverse weather or emergency conditions, .

Permanent leave eligible employees have 12 months from the occurrence of the absence to make-up time lost due to adverse weather. Adverse weather leave cannot be made up during a regular 40-hour workweek based on FLSA, and the requirement for employees to accrue at a rate of 1 ½ for all hours worked over 40 per week. Leave can be made up during weeks that include a holiday or during weeks the employee takes vacation or sick leave. Employees who volunteer to make up time on a holiday will not receive Holiday Premium pay or equal time off with pay. 

Time lost will be charged to vacation leave, bonus leave, compensatory leave, or leave without pay for any balance remaining after 12 months. However, where operational needs allow, management must make every reasonable effort to arrange schedules so employees will have the opportunity to make-up time not worked rather than charging it to leave.  If an employee separates from State government before the time is made up, it must be charged to vacation/bonus leave or deducted from the final paycheck.

Exception: If the Chancellor or his representative closes the University (Announcement C) employees will not have to make up the work hours lost due to adverse weather or emergency conditions during the period of the closing and will be paid for the hours lost.

If an employee was scheduled for an absence from work during an adverse weather or emergency closing event, s/he cannot code adverse weather or University closing leave even if the University was closed due to the event. Employees who are on scheduled to be off work on vacation leave or sick leave will charge leave to the appropriate account with no provision for make-up time.

H. Designated Areas To Report During Adverse Weather
In case of tornado or hurricane, the University Police will be responsible for contacting the personnel in all buildings. The Police and Public Safety Department has designated specific areas for students, faculty, and staff to report when the signal is given for adverse weather warnings. These areas are primarily interior building corridors. In an emergency, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to stay away from glass windows.

Designated Areas Auxiliary & Main Gym Chavis University Center DF Lowry Education Center, ground level corridor Givens Performing Arts Center (GPAC) Jacobs Hall, suite hallways Locklear Hall, suite hallways Lumbee Hall, ground level corridor Moore Hall, ground level corridor North Belk, suite hallways Old Main Pine Hall, hallways Sampson-Livermore Library University Village Apartments Wellons Hall, suite hallways West Hall, suite hallways