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Inclement Weather (Policy 9120)

University Policy 9120

Download a Printable Version of Policy 9120

Effective Date

February 2017

Responsible Party

Department of Public Safety, (208) 426-6911

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all University faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

1. Policy Purpose

To provide direction to the University community during times of University Closure or Delay due to inclement weather.

2. Policy Statement

During inclement weather, the safety of students, faculty, and staff is paramount. At the same time, the University has important research, teaching, service, and outreach missions, and must maintain continuous and effective business operations. With due consideration to safety, the University will remain open and operate normally to the greatest extent possible. Faculty, staff, and students should evaluate their own circumstances carefully, exercise appropriate judgment, and take responsibility for their safety when making decisions related to the University during inclement weather.

During extreme inclement weather, the President of the University will determine if the University will close or delay opening. Some critical business of the University such as Public Safety, Housing and Facilities and Maintenance will remain open, even during a Closure, due to their critical business functions.

3. Definitions

3.1 Closure

The University will not be opened for non-critical business during the day or closed before the end of the regular workday.

3.2 Delay

Opening the University and beginning classes/labs and/or University business, will commence at a later time than regularly-scheduled start times. A Delay will be communicated to the University community in a Delay Announcement.

3.3 Announcement

Communication to the University community which could arrive in the form of a Bronco Alert, University email, or online Campus Update. It will state information about a Closure or Delay in the University start time of classes/labs and/or University business, and may include some or all of the following notifications: A) employees who work in non-critical business functions will not be expected to report to work, or until the delayed start time specified in the announcement; B) classes/labs normally scheduled to begin and end before the time specified in the announcement will not be held; C) classes/labs normally scheduled to be in progress at the time specified in the announcement will begin at a delayed start time and end at their normally scheduled time; and/or D) classes/labs normally scheduled to begin at or after the delayed start time specified in the announcement will meet as usual.

4. Responsibilities and Procedures

4.1 Critical Business Areas

In the event the University experiences a Closure or Delay, certain critical business areas will remain open.

a. Each vice president will determine critical business functions in their division. Directors of activities in critical business areas will clearly and timely communicate to their employees what their work attendance requirements are during severe weather, regardless of what other messages are announced to the larger University population. For example, critical business areas such as Facilities and Maintenance, Public Safety, and Housing remain open when the University experiences a Closure due to inclement weather, and they will open at regularly-scheduled times when there is a Delay announced.

b. If you are a manager of a critical business area where employees must report to or remain at work even during a Closure or Delay, you must confirm the following prior to the arrival of the inclement weather:

(i.) Ensure that these employees are designated as “critical business function” employees in your unit emergency plans, and that these employees are aware of their designation.

(ii.) Verify that each critical business function employee who needs to report to work during a Closure or Delay understands the timing of their shift and has an opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns in advance.

(iii.) Develop protocols for each department to perform during a Closure or Delay.

(iv.) All critical business function employees who work during a Closure or Delay will be paid for hours worked. The University is prohibited from providing additional compensatory time for these hours worked.

4.2 Delay and Closure Authorization Process and Communication

Only the President of the University, or the President’s designee, may authorize a Delay or Closure announcement to the University community.

a. The Director of Public Safety, or designee, will initiate an advisory call to the Vice President of University Affairs and Chief of Staff if conditions are such that a Delay or Closure is in question.

b. The Vice President of University Affairs and Chief of Staff will then contact the President of the University. Decisions about a Delay or Closure will be based on the condition of campus, as well as the current and predicted conditions of roads leading to campus.

c. Once the President has made a decision, the Department of Public Safety will communicate that decision to the following, since these units receive many inquiries regarding decisions on Closure/Delay and/or have follow-up responsibilities:

(i.) Vice-President for Student Affairs

(ii.) Communications and Marketing

(iii.) Facilities, Operations, and Maintenance

d. Communications and Marketing and the Department of Public Safety will notify those who have signed up for emergency alerts of University Closures via the text messaging service. Notification will occur before 6:00 AM Mountain Time. In case of emergency, go to for detailed information.

e. The University may Announce the cancellation of classes or a Delay. This does not automatically mean that any University business functions are delayed or canceled. Alerts will distinguish the status of classes from business functions. As discussed in Section 4.2 above, all Critical Areas will remain open and functioning regardless of the University Announcement.

f. After an Announcement of any Closure or Delay, other University departments (e.g., Athletics, Morrison Center, Student Union, ExtraMile Arena, etc.) may advise their customers about the status of specific events.

4.3 Work Schedules and Pay During Inclement Weather – When the University is not closed

a. During periods of inclement weather both employees and supervisors should keep two (2) major goals in mind: 1) The safety and well-being of students and employees, and 2) The need for the University to conduct business on a regular basis.

b. During periods of inclement weather, in the absence of a Closure or Delay and when University offices are expected to remain open, employees are expected to be at work as scheduled but should still take reasonable and safe measures in attempting to meet their employment obligations. Knowing this, the University recognizes:

(i.) An employee may need to arrive late or leave work early to avoid hazardous driving conditions.

(ii.) An employee’s ability to keep regular hours due to inclement weather or hazardous driving conditions may be adversely affected by such things as the employee’s own medical or physical conditions, location of the employee’s residence, availability of transportation, and family care responsibilities.

(iii.) Employees who work in non-critical business areas who need to take annual leave or leave without pay for any of the reasons stated in section B above should notify their supervisor as quickly as possible via telephone or email. Whenever possible, the supervisor should accommodate the employee’s request. These decisions should be made on an individual basis, taking into consideration the employee’s specific situation. Supervisors are expected to be flexible in these situations in accordance with the business needs of their division and the reasonable health and safety needs of their employees.

4.4 Absences and Pay Due to Closure or Delay

When a Delay has been announced that specifically includes business operations, employees in non-critical areas will be expected to report to work at the delayed start time indicated by Bronco Alert, the Online Campus Update, and/or University email.

a. If a Closure or Delay is announced that includes business operations, directors should advise all employees in non-critical business areas to leave work early or not come into work. Employees should record this time as regular hours worked, and it will be counted as administrative leave with pay.

b. Time off due to the announced Delay or Closure, which is reported as paid administrative leave, is not considered as time worked for overtime compensation purposes.

c. Employees absent due to previously-approved sick or annual leave or who are on a shift assignment not affected by the Delay or Closure are ineligible for paid administrative leave as a result of the Closure or Delay.

d. After a Closure, employees are expected to return to their regularly-scheduled shift or work schedule beginning the following business day, unless otherwise specified in an Announcement or email from the employee’s supervisor.

e. Employees on shift assignments should review the online Campus Update page two (2) hours before the start of their shift to see if the University has reopened following a Closure.