Severe heat in Oregon during the summer months often result in public safety advisories that spur questions and concern from employees. Extreme temperatures may significantly impact some UO workspaces and employees across campus, which may affect normal operations.
The university typically maintains regular operations during heat advisories with no change to work or class schedules. Should a rare occasion disrupt regular operations, the standard procedures apply for weather-related notifications, such as cancellation, delayed start, and early closure decisions.
Important note - COVID-related changes to building air systems:
In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, adjustments, where possible, have been made to air handling systems to increase outside air in buildings. This may result in warmer temperatures than normal in these buildings.
Employees should communicate with their supervisor if they have concerns about their workspace or assignments during periods of severe temperatures.As with other inclement weather events, employees who are unable to report to work because of the extreme weather may use accrued vacation, compensatory time, exchange time, personal leave, or leave without pay to cover the missed work time, if applicable and approved by the supervisor (to the extent approval is required). Use of accrued sick leave is appropriate only in the case of illness.
There are workspaces around campus that may be too warm for normal operations. Supervisors are asked to keep in mind the following principles to ensure the safety and comfort of employees during periods of severe temperatures:
- If the work and equipment (such as with a laptop computer and mobile phone) allow, be flexible in work locations. Allow employees to work in a more comfortable building (like the EMU) or from home.
- If feasible, allow employees to use their accrued vacation leave or, if appropriate, sick leave.
- Consider relaxing workplace dress expectations to allow employees to be more comfortable and dressed appropriately for the heat.
- Check in on employees frequently. Help ensure that they are staying hydrated and not overheating and allow for extra breaks when possible.
High temperatures may impact classroom instruction. Faculty and instructors teaching courses in rooms without adequate cooling should work with their departmental scheduler, who will coordinate with the Office of the Registrar, to use their best efforts to find an alternative location for their class.
Please contact your direct supervisor or department director with any questions. Employee questions may also be directed to the Human Resources Service Center at 6-3159 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions regarding safety can be directed to Safety and Risk Services at email@example.com.