Policy Number: 85

University Official Closure Status for Emergency, Disaster or Severe Weather

Subject:

University closure, attendance of employees and students, compensation and expenses in emergencies, disasters or severe weather

Scope:

Employees and students

Date Reviewed: February 2014

Responsible Office: Office of the President

Responsible Executive: President

I.     POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT

The President may determine that The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") or specific operating unit(s) or building(s) may be deemed officially closed, suspending normal operations and classes, in the event of an emergency, disaster or severe weather.

II.     PROCEDURE

A. University Operating Unit Closure

The University of Texas Police Department is responsible for monitoring potential emergency, disaster or severe weather situations. The Chief of Police or designee will contact the President and the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Financial Officer or their designees to notify them of the status of potential emergencies, disasters or severe weather. The President will decide whether to close the university or a specific operating unit(s) or building(s). If the university, an operating unit(s) or building(s) is to be closed, the Chief of Police or designee will notify the Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs or designee and the dispatch supervisor in charge that the university, operating unit(s), or building(s) will close.

The Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs or designee is responsible for notifying others of the closure as indicated in the Emergency Management Plan.  Further notifications will proceed as described in the Emergency Management Plan.

B. Employee and Student Procedures

When an emergency, disaster or severe weather occurs, employees and students should call the university's weather lines, check local radio and television stations, check the university's emergency information website, or contact their supervisors to find out whether the university or a specific operating unit or building is open.

C. Attendance Requirements Related to Adverse Conditions

If the university, an operating unit(s) or building(s) is declared officially closed, all non-essential, benefits eligible employees and all essential, benefits eligible employees who are not scheduled/requested to work will be granted administrative leave for the hours they were scheduled to work, except for those who have already been scheduled and received approval for leave. Their absences will be reported according to the leave that was previously approved.

If the university is declared officially open, all employees will be expected to report to work. Employees who do not report to work will be given the option of taking vacation time or leave without pay. Employees are expected to call their supervisors to advise them of their situations if at all possible.

An employee who alleges illness when the university is open may be required to submit proof of illness in accordance with HOOP 30 that is acceptable to the supervisor.

Essential employees are designated by their department heads as essential to the continued performance of their department and/or the university. Essential employees include employees who are required to sustain clinical services and/or who are responsible for the protection of university assets. Department heads will inform essential employees of their status.

Essential employees who are scheduled/requested to work will be required to report to their designated work site during their appointed work schedule even when the institution or specific operating unit(s) or building(s) has been officially declared closed due to adverse conditions. Essential employees who do not report to work on a day the university or a specific operating unit(s) or building(s) is officially closed and who were scheduled/requested to do so must use leave without pay or other appropriate leave at the discretion of the supervisor. No administrative leave will be given. If an essential employee cannot report to work, the employee must contact his or her direct supervisor as soon as possible. Such employees may be subject to disciplinary action at the discretion of the supervisor.

D. Compensation

Employees who are essential and are requested/scheduled to work will be compensated as follows:

1. Exempt Employees

Employees who are exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act will receive compensatory time off on an hour-for-hour basis for all hours they are required to work. This compensatory time must be taken during the 12-month period following the end of the workweek during which the time occurred. Exempt employees will not be paid for compensatory time not taken during this 12-month period, nor will an exempt employee be paid for outstanding compensatory time on termination of employment.

Exempt employees in a staff nurse capacity at the UTHCPC will be compensated in accordance with the UTHCPC Staffing in Emergency Conditions policy.  

2. Non-exempt Employees

Employees who are not exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be compensated at a double time rate for all hours they are required to work.

E. Expenses Necessitated by Emergency or Disaster Conditions

Employees may receive reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses incurred in a work-related emergency situation which are contrary to normal reimbursement policies. To qualify for reimbursement under the terms of this policy, conditions of dire emergency must exist that endanger or profoundly affect the university and/or its locale. Emergency situations are non-recurring in nature; they are the result of unusual or unforeseen circumstances for which no prior arrangements for travel or lodging could have been made. The employee must have been required to remain at work beyond the daily scheduled time and found that reasonable or expected transportation was unavailable. This kind of reimbursement may be made only from departmental discretionary funds and requires the authorization of the Senior Vice President, Finance and Business Services.

III.     CONTACTS

ContactTelephoneEmail/Web Address
Office of the President 713-500-3002 http://www.uthouston.edu/president/presidents_staff.htm
Payroll (compensation during adverse conditions) 713-500-3962

payroll@uth.tmc.edu

https://inside.uthouston.edu/finance/payroll/contact-us.htm

Expense Reimbursement (reimbursement for employee expenses necessitated by adverse conditions) 713-500-4958

travel@uth.tmc.edu

https://inside.uthouston.edu/finance/expense-reimbursement/contact-us.htm

Procurement Services (purchases necessitated by adverse conditions) 713-500-4700

procurementservices@uth.tmc.edu

https://inside.uthouston.edu/finance/procurement/contact-us.htm