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Ohio University updates emergency closure policy for employees

March 25, 2024

Ohio University has updated its employee policy related to declaring an emergency closure, early release or delays.

The policy does not apply to student employees.

The updated policy, 40.051, took effect on March 4, and includes several changes from the previous policy.

For example, the newly approved policy updates the work requirements in the event of an emergency closure. This includes:

  • In the updated policy, non-essential service employees will not be required to work remotely and will receive regular pay for any hours they normally would have been scheduled to work unless they are assigned and work a 100 percent remote appointment. Employees with 100 percent remote appointments will be required to work.
  • The updated policy also clarifies that essential employees who are required to work during a declared emergency but are unable to report, must notify their supervisor of their absence and may be paid at their regular rate for any hours they normally would have been scheduled to work, depending on their absence reason. 
  • The updated policy also added language which grants equivalent time off, at a later date, to salaried employees, other than those assigned to 100 percent remote appointment, who are required to work during a declared emergency. 
  • The updated policy also deleted the following language from the earlier policy, in order to eliminate the need to use paid time off during a declared emergency. 
    • “Prior to the time of a declared emergency, employees who had previously approved sick leave, vacation, or personal days during a time in which a declared emergency occurs will be required to use/submit the previously scheduled and approved sick leave, vacation, or personal days for the period approved.”

Additional changes to the policy include:

  • Updating the name of the policy to “40.051: Declaring an Emergency Closure, Early Release, or Delay” to better reflect its intent.
  • Clarifying who has the authority to declare an emergency, close or delay the University or cancel classes on the Athens campus and regional campuses.
  • Updating how emergency closures, early releases or delays will be communicated to the OHIO community.

The policy provides guidance for declaring an emergency university closing, early release, or delay and establishes guidelines for the compensation of classified and administrative employees during an emergency. This includes administrative hourly, administrative salary, and classified bargaining unit employees. Bargaining unit employees covered under a collective bargaining agreement should refer to their current contract for specifics of participation.

The updated policy can be seen at this website.

This article also appeared on the OHIO News webpage.