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Policies and Procedures
Office Coverage and Weather Events Policy


It is the policy of the College for Units to provide office coverage and services during College business hours.  Only the Governor has the authority to close State offices or excuse employees from reporting to work.  Since the closure of a state agency by the Governor is a rare occurrence, supervisors and employees should be aware of the protocols for emergencies or other instances described further below.  

Unit Heads should discuss the need to provide office coverage and/or normal services with the President or their respective Vice President as far in advance as possible and/or at the time of an unplanned event.  Appropriate arrangements should be made for handling business on a day when in-person office coverage cannot be provided, so that there is minimal disruption and urgent business can be handled.   Such arrangements may include forwarding telephone calls, referring visitors to another appropriate office and/or checking office email and voicemail and responding as needed.  

Any instructions for employees in these instances will generally come from the President’s Office (or designee).  Instructions regarding building services will generally be sent by Physical Plant.  

Snow or weather-related events

When classes are in session, the College is responsible for providing services to students and office coverage and services are required.  In the event that an employee will be delayed or is unable to report to work because of hazardous conditions in his/her area which make it inadvisable to travel, the employee should contact her/his supervisor and must charge the absence to appropriate leave accruals.  

When regional conditions are severe enough to disrupt transportation or endanger the health and safety of employees and students, the President or his designee may ask the local media to broadcast an advisory indi­cating that classes are cancelled and/or that only essential employees are to report to work.  In these cases, essential employees should make every effort to report to work.  Efforts to communicate the advisory through other sources, such as campus email, campus voicemail and/or a notice on the ESF home page will also be made.  In addition to University Police, other employees whose services are identified as essential in order to deal with the specific emergency will be contacted by their supervisor or by the University Police Office if they are to report to work.  All other non-essential employees who do not report to work must charge absences to appropriate leave accruals.  

There may be times where because of weather conditions, supervisors are encouraged to allow as many non-essential employees as possible who wish to leave early to do so while maintaining minimum office coverage and services.  In these cases, employees who are approved to leave early must charge the time to appropriate leave accruals.  

The ESF home page, ESF voicemail and/or ESF Campus Email are the only official sources for the status of the College, as media outlets may broadcast partial or incorrect information.

Interruption of electricity or other building services

Whenever planned and possible, interruption of building services such as electricity, computing services, and/or normal temperature control will be communicated in advance.  In the cases of unforeseen interruptions, the college community will be notified and appropriate arrangements should be made for continuation of office coverage and services unless otherwise directed.  If interruptions are wide-scale, the College will generally communicate alternate work locations that may be available on campus.  

Liberal Leave Dates

The College may designate days when office coverage is not required unless deemed necessary by the President or appropriate Vice President, such as the day after Thanksgiving.  For those days where office coverage is not required, employees may be encouraged to take these days off with charge to appropriate leave accruals, and supervisors may be encouraged to approve employee requests for leave.

If you have any questions regarding these protocols, please contact the Office of Human Resources at x6611.