Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Weather Emergencies and Utility Failure Policy

As a residential institution, Franklin & Marshall rarely ceases operations due to adverse weather conditions or utility failure. However, if severe weather conditions or utility failure make traveling to and from campus, or remaining on campus, unsafe, the College may modify normal work schedules for professional staff. The procedures outlined below will be followed in the event of changes to the normal operating schedule.

As a general rule, classes are held at the discretion of the professor in the event of severe weather.

Delays or Closings Due to Extreme Weather or Utility Failure

The Department of Public Safety will be responsible for obtaining information regarding extreme weather conditions. Upon receipt of information concerning extreme weather conditions or other emergency situations, the Director of Public Safety will inform the Vice President for Finance and Administration. The decision to excuse or dismiss employees from work due to extreme weather conditions or utility failure rests with the Vice President for Finance and Administration, in consultation with the President. In the absence of the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Associate Vice President for Finance shall assume this responsibility. Supervisors, department managers, and department chairs are not authorized to make such decisions.

It will be the responsibility of the Vice President for Finance and Administration or his designee to issue appropriate public announcements regarding delays, early dismissal, and/or closings.

Announcements

Announcements regarding a change to normal College hours of operation will be made as follows:

Weather Line: The Department of Public Safety maintains a severe weather phone line which you may call to access up-to-date information about changes to normal hours of operation, including delays and closings. The number to call is (717) 291-4003. Public Safety will make every attempt to record an updated announcement by 6:00 a.m. when a decision has been made to delay opening or to close the College.

Franklin & Marshall Website: Announcements regarding delays and cancellations will also be posted at www.fandm.edu.

Faculty, professional staff, and students are encouraged to sign up for text alerts at www.fandm.edu/emergencyalert.

Safety Precautions

Severe Weather--The College does not expect faculty and professional staff to take unnecessary risks to report to campus or to remain on campus during severe weather. If a professional staff member decides to leave work early or not to report to work because of adverse weather conditions and his/her own commute, and the College has not issued a closing, late opening, or early dismissal, the staff member will be expected to use an earned vacation day, a personal day, or request time off without pay.

Utility Failure-- If an individual deems his/her work area to be unsafe during a utility failure, the employee may leave the work area after notifying his/her supervisor (unless it is not practical to notify the supervisor in advance, due to safety concerns), or may be assigned to a different work area if appropriate. If a professional staff member decides to leave work early or not to report to work because of utility failure, and the College has not issued a closing, late opening, or early dismissal, the staff member will be expected to use an earned vacation day, personal day, or request time off without pay.

Compensation Policy

When a decision is made to delay the start of the work day or dismiss before the normal close of the work day, full-time and part-time members of the professional staff who have reported to work will be paid for their regularly scheduled number of work hours for that day, at their regular base rate of pay, regardless of time lost.

If administrative offices close for the full day, full-time professional staff will receive their regular base pay for the day. Part-time employees who were actually scheduled to work that day will receive pay for the number of hours they were scheduled to work.

Non-exempt members of the professional staff should record the hours they were scheduled for but missed as College Closure - Weather or College Closure - Utility as applicable on their timesheets. 

Employees who have requested to use a sick day prior to announcement of a closing or delayed opening will be charged for the sick day. As noted above, if a staff member decides not to report to work yet the College has not closed offices, the staff member may use an earned vacation hours or personal hours.  Managers may explore options including proactively identifying appropriate projects that allow their direct reports to work from home, or adjusting an individual's work schedule for the rest of the pay period to allow him/her to make up the time missed.

Designated Essential Personnel

Support operations directly involved with maintaining the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff are considered essential. These essential support operations are Facilities and Operations, Appel Health Services, and Public Safety. There may be additional members of the professional staff who are considered “critical” in terms of providing essential services to the campus during a weather emergency or utility failure. It is the responsibility of the department manager, in consultation with the appropriate Senior Officer, to designate essential and critical personnel in his/her area who are required to report to work during a weather emergency or utility failure. It is also the responsibility of the department manager to notify essential and critical staff members of their responsibilities during an emergency, and to assign essential work tasks.

Compensation for Essential and Critical Personnel / Weather Emergency-- Non-exempt staff members (those who complete timesheets) designated as "essential" or “critical” by their department manager and/or Senior Officer, and who are required to report to work or to remain at work during extreme weather conditions, will receive a total of two (2) times their normal hourly rate of pay for each hour worked during the weather emergency, until the emergency is declared over by the Vice President for Finance and Administration (i.e., the weather pay premium is equal to one hour of pay).

Only those employees designated as essential or critical by their department manager, and who report for work and remain in a working status until excused, will be eligible for this additional pay. Other staff members who choose to and are safely able to arrive and/or remain on campus when administrative offices are closed will receive their normal rate of pay for the day.

Non-exempt employees in Public Safety who are required to work the shift immediately prior to the shift on which there is a delayed opening of College offices, will receive a weather pay premium equal to their normal hourly rate of pay for the same number of hours as those essential Public Safety Officers on the shift on which the weather emergency is declared receive.

Non-exempt employees in Public Safety who are required to work the shift immediately after the shift on which there is an early closing of College offices will receive a weather pay premium equal to their normal hourly rate of pay for the same number of hours as those essential Public Safety Officers on the shift on which the weather emergency is declared receive.

Examples:

If an employee designated as essential earns $12 per hour and normally begins work at 7:30 a.m., and the College announces at 6:00 a.m. that Franklin & Marshall offices will not open until 10:30 a.m. due to poor weather conditions, this employee will be paid as follows:

  • If he begins working at 7:30 a.m., while College offices are closed due to poor weather, he will be paid a total of 2 times his normal hourly rate - a total of $24 - for each hour worked between 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (3 hours). From 10:30 a.m. until he leaves work, he will receive his normal rate of $12 per hour.
  • If this employee is asked to begin working at 5:00 a.m. due to poor weather conditions (i.e., for snow removal), he will receive a total of 2 times his normal hourly rate ($24 per hour) from 5:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. From 10:30 a.m. until he leaves work, he will receive his normal hourly rate of $12.
  • If College offices close for the entire day due to poor weather conditions, and this employee is required to work from 5:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., he will receive 2 times his normal hourly rate (a total of $24 per hour) between 5:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

In addition, if this employee works more than 40 hours during the work week, normal overtime payment procedures will apply (i.e., the employee will receive a total of 1.5 times his regular hourly rate of pay for each hour worked over 40 during the week). See below for details.

During a weather emergency, essential and critical personnel should record their actual working hours as usual on their timesheets, and "weather emergency” should be noted.

Compensation for Essential and Critical Personnel / Utility Failure-- Non-exempt staff designated as essential or critical by their department manager and/or Senior Officer, and who must remain at work during a utility failure, will be compensated at their regular base rate of pay for hours worked during their customary shift, and at 1.5 times their regular base rate of pay for hours worked beyond the customary shift (a premium of .5 the normal hourly rate will be paid for hours worked beyond the regular shift).

During a utility failure, essential personnel should record their actual working hours as usual on their timesheets, and " utility failure" should be noted on timesheets.

Overtime Hours-- Per standard College policies, if a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours during one work week, he/she will receive an overtime premium for all hours worked over 40 during the week (hours 41 and over). Pay for hours 41 and over during one work week equals a total of 1.5 times the employee's regular hourly rate

During a weather emergency or utility failure, the total number of hours actually worked by essential personnel, plus any paid absences during the emergency (up to a maximum of 7 or 8 hours per day, depending on an individual’s normal number of scheduled daily hours) are counted as “work hours” for purposes of determining whether a non-exempt staff member worked over 40 hours during one week.


Policy Maintained by: Human Resources, Director

Last Reviewed: August 12, 2014