Adverse Weather and Other Emergency Conditions FAQ
In December 2018, the regulation governing NC State’s procedures for adverse weather and other emergency conditions was revised to reflect new information and current best practices. The revised regulation, located at REG 04.20.07, is available for review.
- What does adverse weather mean?
Adverse weather is defined as significant accumulation of snow or ice, high winds, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding and other weather events that can cause a variety of safety risks to employees, students, clients, customers, patients or the public and impede the ability of individuals to travel to and/or from the campus. Such events can also result in significant logistical challenges, including loss of utilities, IT and other critical infrastructure that may impede the effective and efficient functioning of the institution or one or more of its operating units.
- What does other emergency event condition mean?
Other emergency event Condition (other than adverse weather) is defined as a threat, planned or unplanned, to NC State that is relatively unexpected and abrupt and that requires a collective reaction as the negative impacts worsen and, if not addressed, will jeopardize the university’s ability to carry out its mission or conduct business.
- How are employees notified that they have been designated as mandatory for adverse weather and/or for other emergency event conditions?
Employees who have been designated as mandatory for adverse weather and/or for other emergency event conditions will be issued advance written notice by the appropriate supervisor/manager requiring that they report to work on their regular schedule during adverse weather or other emergency event conditions. The employee’s supervisor needs to discuss mandatory requirements for adverse weather and other emergency conditions with the employee before designating the employee or amending the designation. In addition to mandatory status being reflected in their appointment letter and position description, employees who have been designated mandatory should receive an annual written notification of their mandatory designation.
- Can an employee be designated as nonmandatory?
Yes. All employees should be either mandatory or nonmandatory. Nonmandatory for adverse weather means that an employee has no mandatory designation for adverse weather. Nonmandatory for emergency event conditions means that an employee has no mandatory designation for other emergency event conditions.
- What is the process for amending designations of currently identified mandatory employees?
To amend the designation status of currently identified mandatory employees (and/or formerly designated essential or key personnel), use the provided Google Form. In the future, these status reviews will be routed through MyPack Portal.
- How often should mandatory employee designations be reviewed and/or updated?
Designations should be reviewed at least annually with the employee. Additional times to review designations could include change in job scope or required duties, change in physical work location or change in employment status.
- Does this regulation apply to all faculty and staff?
This policy applies to all permanent full-time and part-time employees of the university. It excludes temporary employees of the university and student workers.
- Does this regulation apply to faculty and staff not physically located on the Raleigh campuses?
Yes. University employees at all NC State locations are subject to this regulation. All locations must have staff identified and prepared to assist during adverse weather and other emergency conditions that may jeopardize the university’s ability to carry out its mission or conduct business.
All university-affiliated facilities in Wake County must remain open with at least skeleton staffing unless there is an official announcement of adverse weather or emergency event conditions by the chancellor or executive vice chancellor and provost.
Directors of units located outside Wake County, such as 4-H camps, research stations, laboratories and other outlying facilities should consult with the dean or vice chancellor of the college or administrative division under which the unit falls to determine their operational status during adverse weather or other emergency event conditions.
If an NC State offsite location/work facility is in a county that has a campus of the UNC System, then the NC State location should follow the adverse weather conditions declared by that UNC System campus in that county. If an NC State location/work facility is not located in the same county as a UNC System institution, then it should follow the adverse weather condition of that county.
NC State Extension employees should follow their local government’s guidelines for adverse weather and other emergency event conditions.
For NC State units that occupy leased facilities, landlords do not make the decision to limit operations or close the unit. However, the closure of a building by a landlord will be a factor for university leadership to consider in deciding the operational status of university units or entities residing in that building.
Employees who work in locations not affected by adverse weather or other emergency event conditions are expected to work their normal schedule.
- How do I know whether I am a mandatory or nonmandatory employee?
Employees who have been designated as mandatory for adverse weather and/or for other emergency event conditions will be issued advance written notice by the appropriate supervisor/manager requiring that they report to work, either physical or virtually as agreed upon in prior discussion, for their regular schedule. Nonmandatory employees did not receive any documentation following discussions with their supervisor/manager.
- Under what university adverse weather status or other emergency condition status must a mandatory employee physically report to work?
A mandatory employee is required to physically report to work (or remain at work) at the workplace under conditions 1, 2 and 3, unless directed otherwise by their supervisor. Note: Remote work is permissible, depending upon the nature of the employee’s job and with prior supervisor approval.
- Are mandatory employees eligible for compensatory time?
Conditions 1, 2 and 3: Mandatory employees must report to and remain at work as directed by their manager and/or supervisor. Remote work is permissible, depending upon the nature of the employee’s job and prior supervisor approval. Mandatory employees who are on approved leave during an adverse weather or emergency event condition will still charge the approved sick, annual, bonus/special bonus or compensatory leave with no provision for leave without pay or make-up time. Holiday pay guidelines run concurrently with this adverse weather policy.
Conditions 2 and 3 (nonexempt mandatory employees): additional equivalent time off (ETO)
- Nonexempt employees (those subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA]) who are designated mandatory and who are thus required to report to or remain at work (or work remotely subject to prior supervisor approval) during a condition 2 3 adverse weather and/or emergency event condition shall receive ETO awarded on an equivalent hour-for-hour-basis for future use as outlined below.
- ETO is in addition to and does not replace any required FLSA overtime or compensatory time for time worked.
- ETO should be used before using other accrued paid time off (such as annual or bonus leave) because it cannot be paid out and must be used within 12 months or forfeited. The scheduling of the ETO shall be subject to management approval, but every reasonable effort shall be made to permit the employee to use the ETO prior to its expiration.
- FLSA nonexempt mandatory employees will receive overtime compensation (at time and a half) in either comp time or pay for all hours worked over 40 in the affected work week.
- FLSA-exempt employees are not eligible to receive ETO.
- If the governor declares a state of emergency and urges citizens to stay off the roads, am I expected to report to work?
The University of North Carolina System has delegated authority to campuses to make their own decisions and announcements about operation of constituent institutions during adverse weather and other emergency event conditions. Public announcements about closings or late openings applicable to other state agencies or to other state employees do not apply to NC State or its employees. Unless the university announces reduced or suspended operations, a closing, a late opening or cancellation of classes, all offices and service operations are expected to remain open, and personnel are expected to report to work as outlined in this policy.
- If I cannot report to work, will I face consequences such as disciplinary action or termination?
Failure to report when required may result in disciplinary action and requires the hours missed to be charged to annual, bonus/special bonus leave or leave without pay.
A mandatory employee who is unable to report to work or remain at work during adverse weather or other emergency events on a repeat basis may be subject to disciplinary action for unsatisfactory job performance. A sustained inability to meet obligations for mandatory reporting during adverse weather or other emergency events may subject an employee to more significant disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
- Are there special considerations for single parents who are designated as mandatory?
Family and personal situations should be discussed with individual employees as part of the designation review process. Extenuating circumstances should be addressed with your supervisor prior to adverse weather and other emergency events so appropriate designations and planning can be completed.
Employees who have been designated as mandatory for adverse weather and/or other emergency event conditions will be issued advance written notice by the appropriate supervisor/manager requiring them to report to work on their regular schedule. Employees must make necessary arrangements to report to work as quickly and safely as possible.
- What accommodations will be provided for food and lodging for mandatory employees that remain at or report to work during adverse weather or during other emergency event conditions?
Food and lodging provisions are addressed by the individual department or college based on the number of mandatory employees and critical operations they support. Considerations for short, medium and extended work presence need to be addressed. The university does not have a standing cache of lodging for employees but has provisions and options that departments and colleges may inquire about via the Department of Emergency Management and Mission Continuity. Mandatory personnel reports are used in university planning and preparedness efforts; thus, it is vital for the university to have up-to-date information on employee designations.
- Does the university offer transportation or carpooling for mandatory employees with transportation needs?
There is currently no provision for transportation or carpooling for mandatory employees. Extenuating circumstances should be addressed with individual employees in the annual designation review meeting.
- Can I opt out of being designated as mandatory?
The mandatory designation is not an opt-out action. However, if personal circumstances affect the employee’s ability to support the university during adverse weather and emergency conditions, this should be considered prior to designation and reviewed annually and/or when circumstances change.
- How long will I be expected to work during adverse weather and emergency condition activation?
Employees must make necessary arrangements to report to work as quickly and safely as possible. The length of work is dependent on the nature of the adverse weather or other emergency condition. All efforts will be made to reduce the impact on employees. Declaring condition 3 (closure) for the entirety of the university for a period longer than 72 consecutive hours, thus requiring extended employee support to the university, requires direct consultation with and approval of the UNC System president.. For long-term closures, succession planning for mandatory employees (tier 1, 2, 3, etc.) would be used where possible so as not to exhaust mandatory employees and give them opportunities for rest.
- Are there situations where nonmandatory employees are required to work?
If a specific adverse weather or other emergency event is critical enough to require it, the university may also take the unusual measure of calling in employees who are not normally designated as mandatory and temporarily assigning them to this status, as determined by the employee’s immediate supervisor or next-level manager. Employees are responsible for ensuring they can be reached via current contact information.
- How long do I have to make up adverse weather leave?
Employees may be permitted to make up leave within 90 days, at a time mutually agreeable to their supervisor, based on departmental need. The Office of State Human Resources changed the policy on Jan. 1, 2015, to reducing the time permitted to make up adverse weather leave to 90 days. This is part of the UNC System adverse weather policy and the NC State adverse weather regulation.
- Why are the emergency categories separate from the adverse weather category?
These categories are used to review specific functions needed in the event of non adverse weather situations. Different skill sets and services may be needed in the event of non-weather based events and these categories help identify coverage. These categories should also be considered in the Condition 1, 2, 3 framework. Additionally, it is recommended to consider continuity of operations in planning and tiers of staffing (example – if person 1 is mandatory for an emergency category but unavailable, identify a back up employee to support that function). These templates may be used for discussions with employees and understanding the critical services/roles that are needed in emergency conditions.
- How were the emergency categories determined?
Emergency categories were determined from historical events, requirements of various emergency plans and local impacts to NC State. These categories are used in Pack Plans, which are the individual department/unit/college emergency preparedness and continuity plans. Designation of employees as mandatory or nonmandatory by emergency category is an important part of emergency planning. This helps plan for staffing, service coverage and food/shelter obligations if needed. Creation of Pack Plans is facilitated by Emergency Management and Mission Continuity. Pack Plans are updated annually.