Policy Number: 85
University Closure for Emergency, Disaster or Severe Weather
I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT
The President may close The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") or a specific operating unit, suspending normal operations and classes, in the event of an emergency, disaster or severe weather.
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 his/her 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. If the university or an operating unit is to be closed, the Chief of Police or designee will notify the Vice President of Institutional Advancement or designee and the dispatch supervisor in charge that the university or operating unit will close.
The Vice President of Institutional Advancement, or designee, is responsible for notifying others of the closure as indicated in the Emergency Situation Response Plan. Further notifications will proceed as described in the Emergency Situation Response 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 is open.
In the event the university or a specific operating unit will be closed for an indefinite amount of time, it is the supervisor's responsibility to contact his or her employees to inform them of the situation and to keep in contact with them until the university or operating unit reopens.
C. Attendance Requirements Related to Adverse Conditions
Due to the critical twenty-four hour patient care staffing requirements at The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center ("UTHCPC"), UTHCPC has specific procedures regarding attendance which should be referred to by UTHCPC employees.
If the university or a specific operating unit is declared officially closed, all non-essential employees 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 vacation or sick 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 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 will be required to report to their designated work site during their appointed work schedule even when the institution or specific operating unit has been officially declared closed due to adverse conditions. Essential employees who do not report to work on a day the university or specific operating unit is officially closed and who were scheduled/requested to do so must use vacation or leave without pay. 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.
Due to the critical twenty-four hour patient care staffing requirements at UTHCPC, UTHCPC has specific procedures regarding compensation which should be referred to by UTHCPC employees.
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 at a double time rate for all hours they are required to work. At the discretion of the supervisor, the compensated time can either be granted as compensatory time or as pay.
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. At the discretion of the supervisor, the compensated time can either be granted as compensatory time or as pay.
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 Vice President, Finance and Business Services.
|Office of the President||713-500-3002||http://www.uthouston.edu/president/presidents_staff.htm|
|Payroll (compensation during adverse conditions)||713-500-3962|
|Expense Reimbursement (reimbursement for employee expenses necessitated by adverse conditions)||713-500-4958|
|Procurement Services (purchases necessitated by adverse conditions)||713-500-4700|