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Policy 4.42
Inclement Weather

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Responsible Official: VP for Human Resources
Administering Division/Department: Human Resources
Effective Date: March 30, 2007
Last Revision: September 21, 2012

Policy Sections:


This policy is intended to ensure that essential University facilities and functions remain operational during inclement weather without jeopardizing the safety of employees.

An inclement weather closure should not be viewed merely as a day off, but rather an event that is predicated by unsafe conditions. The closure is predicated on unsafe conditions outside the control of Emory, and is done so with consideration of the safety of employees and students and to keep them from experiencing undue hardship in getting to work or class. Employees who have previously scheduled leave, such as vacation or sick during a University closure, will be considered on vacation or sick and the absence will be charged accordingly.  Presumably these factors that necessitate a decision to close the University, such as a concern for employee safety, don’t affect employees not expected to report for work that day.


Policy Details

In the event of life-threatening weather conditions, the Provost may deem it necessary to close Emory officially or delay normal reporting times. (This policy does not apply to employees of Emory Hospitals.) The inclement weather policy is in effect seven days a week.

Emory will open at a specified time to be announced by 5:30 a.m. on the inclement weather line (404-727-1234). Emory's website, local radio, and television stations will be notified, although there may be delays in the on-air announcements. If it is not possible to specify an opening time, but it is expected that Emory will open at some point during the day, an announcement to this effect will be made.

Managers should be flexible regarding their employees’ report times, as weather conditions near the employee’s home may necessitate late arrival or the employee’s inability to report for the day.

Classes, examinations and operations will be cancelled, except for essential Hospitals, Division of Animal Resources, Campus Services, Food Services, Academic and Administrative Information Technology, Network Communications, Campus Police and Yerkes employees.

It is important to note that while the University campus is closed, some business operations may continue to the extent possible and practical. As such, employees who have the access to work from home are expected to do so.

The Provost will contact the University Communications Office, who will change the message on the inclement weather line (404-727-1234), post a notice on Emory's website, and contact the local broadcast media. Due to possible delays in the media reporting the announcement, employees should call 404-727-1234 for University delayed openings or closing information

Department heads are responsible for designating in advance the necessary staff to sustain operations during an emergency of this nature. Employees so designated  are expected to report to duty even in the event of an Emory closing or delayed opening.

COMPENSATION: Non -Exempt Employees

Employees who are designated essential are required to report to work and will be paid a rate of time and one-half their base pay for the actual number of hours worked. Employees who work from home will be paid regular time.

If the University closes for part of the work day, employees who report to work when the university opens will be paid for their entire shift. When an employee reports to work after the notification that the university campus is closed for the day, the employee is not eligible for overtime or special duty pay. Any amount of the scheduled workday that the employee does not work when the university is officially open will be charged to the employee’s vacation leave balance or will be unpaid (if the employee has no leave balance).

 If the University closes for an entire work day, employees who are scheduled to work will be paid for their regular shift.

Employees who are unable to come to work when a partial-day closure occurs must notify their supervisors as soon as possible. With their supervisors’ approval, employees may use accrued vacation leave or a floating holiday or may work an equivalent number of hours during the remainder of the work week.

Temporary employees are only paid for hours actually worked during inclement weather.

Exempt employees will receive their regular salary. No leave balances should be reduced due to inclement weather. Employees should work with their supervisors to ensure work expectations are met.


Schools and Divisions have the option to pay additional compensation to employees who perform above and beyond during the weather event. All additional pay requests must be reviewed with Compensation.

Expectations for Work during Critical Events or Unusual Events When Emory is Designated as Closed

  •  All staff employees are advised that when the University is closed for critical events or unusual events, staff employees are compensated for the time period the University is designated as closed; therefore, it is an expectation that to the best of one’s ability, staff employees will carry out their work responsibilities productively. This expectation applies to both hourly and exempt staff employees.
  • By preparing in advance of the unusual event and by using such means as telecommuting, all staff employees are expected to work from home productively during the closed event.
  • However, employees who are unable to work (for reasons such as no internet connectivity, or unanticipated child/adult care responsibilities in the home during the weather event) will not be penalized.  Those who can perform work are expected to do so, and supervisors are to set this expectation as the standard during these events.
  • Each school and unit must designate absolutely essential positions whose responsibilities represent critical functions and services that must be sustained during critical events or unusual events (e.g. inclement weather periods). Critical personnel in essential positions whose work requires them to be present on the campus are identified in advance using stringent criteria (so that expectations can be set and managed in a fair manner). Those who are determined to be essential and whose work requires them to be present on the campus should prepare in advance of the event. The list of essential positions will be reviewed with Human Resources (HR) by October 1 each year to help ensure consistent standards.
  • HR will review and approve department and school plans prospectively to address and avoid issues or questions that arise during and after an event.
  • A premium pay structure developed by HR will compensate those hourly employees who perform duties on the campus during the event. 
  • Existing bonus guidelines may be used to recognize exceptional work by exempt staff employees who are required to be on campus. In these circumstances managers are expected to use discretion when awarding bonuses. For example, those employees who perform duties at personal risk or at significant inconvenience, work extraordinary extended hours, or who demonstrate considerable initiative in meeting business needs may be considered for bonus compensation.


Related Links

Contact Information

Divisional Director, Organizational Development/Employee Relations   Jeanne D. Thigpen   404-727-7644   persjdt@emory.edu  

Revision History