The Administrative Policies

TAP NO. 22: EMERGENCY CLOSING OR PARTIAL SHUTDOWN OF UNIVERSITY

Scope:

This policy applies to all University students, faculty, and staff. Employees working under a collective bargaining agreement shall follow the terms of that agreement and department work rules.

Purpose:

The purpose of this policy is to define categories of employees and related expectations of work during planned or unplanned delays, closings, cancelling of classes and events, and early release.

I. Overview

It is the intent of the University to remain open and operating at all times. If weather conditions or other situations challenge our ability to maintain regular class schedules and/or operations, the University may alter the daily schedule. These occasions are expected to be infrequent, and primary consideration will always be given to the safety and wellbeing of students, faculty, staff, and visitors, as well as to the ability to maintain appropriate service levels to the University community.

II. Definitions

A. Essential Personnel, for purposes of this policy:

i. Employees who, by the nature of the work they perform, are expected to report to/remain at work during weather conditions or other situations to perform essential services and maintain business continuity.

ii. Essential Personnel are designated as such by the respective Division Vice President or President of Duquesne University.

B. Non-essential Personnel, for purposes of this policy:

i. Employees who are not expected to report to/remain at work as scheduled in the event of a delay, closure, cancellation of classes or events, or early release.

C. Delay:

i. A temporary time adjustment to the normal operating schedule.

ii. May include adjusted start times for classes, office hours, and events.

D. Cancellation:

i. A temporary end or change of status to a prearranged activity.

ii. May impact classes and events.

E. University Closing:

i. A temporary cessation of regular University operations.

ii. May include a full or partial closing of University offices and operations.

F. Department or Section Closing:

i. A temporary stop of regular operations in a particular School, building, or area of campus.

ii. May impact select classes, offices, and events.

G. Early Release

i. A planned or unplanned event resulting in a release from work and/or an adjusted end time.

ii. May include stopping classes in progress and releasing non-essential personnel.

III. Authority to Delay, Cancel, Close, and Early Release

The authority to delay, cancel, close, and early release resides with the President in consultation with the appropriate Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer. Individual Deans, Directors, and Department Heads may not delay, cancel, close, or early release their School/Department without the express approval of the President.

IV. Communications

While students, faculty, staff, and visitors may obtain information about delays, cancellations, closings, and early release through a variety of sources, the official means of communication regarding those events will be as follows:

A. Notification via the DU Alert System;

B. Notification on the homepage of the University's website;

C. Notification on the homepage of the University's DORI Intranet;

D. Notification on official University social media channels.

Active students, faculty, and staff will also receive an official University communication via their Duquesne University email address.

The University's weather/emergency hotline, which can be reached at (412) 396-1700, will be updated to reflect any delays, cancellations, closings, and early release.

V. Expectations of Essential Personnel: Delays, Cancellations, Closures, and Early Release

A. It is expected that Essential Personnel will report to/remain at work during delays, cancellations, closures, and early release due to weather conditions or other situations to perform duties as assigned.

B. Essential Personnel will receive their regular pay as well as compensatory time off with pay for those hours worked during the delay, cancellation, closure or early release.

C. Essential Personnel who are unable to provide essential services due to injury or illness will be required to present a physician's note or other medical evidence to document their unavailability to work.

D. Essential Personnel who are consistently unavailable to provide essential services shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including, termination of employment.

VI. Expectations of Non-essential Personnel: Delays, Cancellations, Closures, and Early Release

A. It is expected that non-essential employees will observe official University delays, cancellations, closures, and early releases.

B. There will be no loss in pay during a delay, cancellation, or early release. In the event of a closure, there will be no loss in pay for the first 48 hours of a closure.

C. Supervisors may assign/approve requests for temporary work from home as appropriate in the judgment and discretion of the supervisor. Compensatory time will be provided for those asked to work when the University is otherwise closed; this will be administered at the department level.

D. In the event of a delay, employees are expected to take reasonable steps to report to work at the adjusted start time. They are also expected to use their best judgment if adverse weather or other emergency situations create extreme travel hazards when traveling to or from the University. They should not endanger themselves nor ignore the statements of local officials about traveling during adverse weather or other emergency situations.

E. An employee previously scheduled to use vacation time who does not report to work as scheduled, or who leaves early before the University officially delays, closes offices, or provides an early release, will be charged vacation time for all time not worked. If vacation or personal time is depleted, the time will be unpaid.

VII. Department or Section Closing

A. In the event of a department or section closing due to utility loss or other situation, non-essential employees unable to work due to the situation will continue to be paid only if: (1) they accept an offer to relocate to and/or perform a temporary assignment in other areas within their department, division, or elsewhere in the University; or (2) as set forth below.

B. The decision to compensate employees who are unable to work elsewhere in the University shall be made only by the appropriate Division Vice President or the President.

C. Supervisors may assign/approve requests for temporary work from home as appropriate in the judgment and discretion of the supervisor.

VIII. Athletic Events

A. Delays and Cancellations:

i. Athletic games and events may continue as scheduled when classes and office openings are delayed or when classes are cancelled and offices are closed.

ii. The Department of Athletics protocols will govern.

IX. Related Information

Emergency Operations Plan

Applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements

X. Violations

Violations of this policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are subject to formal disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

XI. History

Date of most recent revision: November 7, 2019.

XII. Ownership of the Policy

Office of the President