Inclement Winter Weather

General guidance regarding UO procedures, notifications, and weather-related schedule changes is provided on the Inclement Weather and Other Conditions webpage. Information below addresses specific issues that arise when the university is impacted by winter weather as well as special considerations during the university's response to COVID-19:

Absences Due To Inclement Weather

Since so many operations are being conducted remotely, absences due to inclement weather are more likely to apply to faculty and staff who travel to campus regularly to conduct their work. 

Reporting to campus for work.
Members of the campus community are expected to use their best judgment in assessing the risk of coming to campus, based on individual circumstances. Employees should work with supervisors on any schedule changes.

Working remotely.
Employees who work remotely are expected to continue working as usual during periods of inclement weather. However, in the event that inclement weather disrupts one’s ability to perform their work remotely, they should contact their supervisor to discuss the circumstances and coordinate a plan.

General Guidance

It is understood that not everyone may be able to travel to campus in inclement weather. Members of the campus community are expected to use their best judgment in assessing the risk of coming to campus, based on individual circumstances. Employees should work with supervisors on any schedule changes.

Employees who are unable to report to work because of inclement weather may use accrued vacation, compensatory time, exchange time, personal leave or leave without pay to cover the missed work time, if applicable. Use of accrued sick leave is appropriate only in the case of illness. Should an employee not have enough paid leave to cover the unexpected absence, supervisors are encouraged to allow employees to make up the time, operational needs permitting and should consult with HR in the event the employee does not have enough accrued leave to cover the closure.

University Closures

Because the University of Oregon (UO) is a residential campus with 24/7 operations, we rarely close. In rare circumstances, however, hazardous weather conditions may force cancellation of classes and/or activities for part or all of a day. Closure decisions and procedures are managed in accordance with the university Closure of Facilities and Operations policy. More information about cancellation, delayed start, and early closure decisions and notifications can be found on the Inclement Weather webpage.

Employees responsible for responding to inclement weather and related cleanup under the university’s closure policy are expected to report to work, provided they can do so safely. Employees in this category should contact their supervisors if they have concerns about safety, related to traveling to campus. Those required to be on campus should use extreme caution outdoors and beware of downed trees or power lines, or other hazards. Avoid walking in and around campus if possible.

The university may remain open while public schools and local child-care centers close due to weather.  Supervisors are encouraged to recognize the difficulties this creates for working parents by responding with as much flexibility as the particular work environment allows.  Supervisors may permit parents to make an alternative arrangement or to take work home, if the specific job duties accommodate that arrangement. Please refer to the Family Support policy for more information.

Compensation during campus closures or delayed openings

Compensation during periods of inclement weather follow collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) and UO policies and procedures. For detailed explanation and guidelines, please review the applicable CBA or policy.

Guidance is highly dependent on the circumstances of a particular closure or delayed opening. Therefore, more information about compensation during periods of inclement weather will be issued if/when a weather event occurs.

Please note, the SEIU collective bargaining agreement provides paid time for the first 48 hours of campus closures and delays due to inclement weather or hazardous conditions that occur during the contract period for employees who are scheduled to work at the time of a closure.

Essential Services

Regardless of the cancellation or closure decision, employees who perform essential duties are expected to come to work.  Examples include those who work at the central power plant, in residence halls and dining services, in public safety, and those responsible for snow removal or storm cleanup.   Supervisors of employees who perform essential service work are responsible for communicating attendance expectations in advance and discussing anticipated transportation difficulties.

Supervisor Preparation

University managers and supervisors need to prepare for inclement weather in two ways:

First, notify those employees (if any) who perform essential duties of the expectation to report to work during inclement weather regardless of a university closure and discuss transportation options if that poses difficulties for the employees.

Second, prepare for notification:

  • Maintain an up-to-date after hours phone contact list including all employees and student workers.  Be mindful of sharing this information on a need to know basis.
  • Take responsibility for calling staff or delegate this responsibility to a staff member in advance.
  • Provide employees with the supervisor’s after hours phone number(s).
  • Review the process with staff.

Faculty and Student Communication

Faculty members not able to travel to campus to convene their classes are responsible for notifying students in a timely manner when classes are cancelled.  Faculty should ensure that students fully understand how to get inclement weather information before traveling to campus; please include this information on the syllabus.  Faculty members should contact their home department with cancellation information as a first point of contact and use at least one other method to communicate with students.  Options available both on and off campus include:

  • Canvas has an announcement feature that emails or texts students according to their notification preferences.  (Link to Canvas Instructions)
  • Send an email directly to all students. Class lists in DuckWeb include email addresses.

It is very important that students know in advance the method(s) each faculty member will use.  In addition, all faculty members are asked to exercise flexibility with students who miss class or are unable to submit coursework as a result of inclement weather.


COVID-19: Special Considerations

Although UO operations are predominantly remote, some faculty members, officers of administration, and classified employees are working in person to support research activities and to provide necessary services to our students and the university community. Human Resources and Safety and Risk Services offer the following information to help you understand and prepare for the impact inclement winter weather may have on you and university operations this academic year.

Building access

The open hours and status of campus facilities continue to be adjusted as part of the university’s COVID-19 response and modified operations. Implications of inclement weather on building access will be considered in the same manner. Utilize the UO building status map for the latest information even during periods of inclement weather.

Please keep in mind that clearing walkways and tending to outside areas impacted by winter weather will be prioritized by building access status. Essentially, the focus will first be in areas of campus with more in-person activity. If you must be on campus during winter weather events, please do so with caution and practice winter weather safety

Power and internet outages

Due to the UO’s predominantly remote operations, faculty and staff may be uniquely impacted by winter weather occurring in the location of their remote workspace. Supervisors and employees should discuss contingency plans and communication expectations in advance of an anticipated weather event. Please refer to the following guidance should you experience disruption to your ability to work remotely due to environmental factors such as power and internet outages:

  • An on-campus work location may not be available. Please work with your supervisor to discuss on-campus options. Units and departments are expected to follow their COVID-19 response resumption plans during periods of inclement weather to ensure that safety and compliance measures remain in place.
  • Safety is the top priority. Please use your best judgment when choosing to relocate in order to regain access to power and internet.
  • Notify your supervisor of any disruption or system access issues you are experiencing to collaborate and determine the best course of action.

Questions

Please contact your direct supervisor or department director with any questions.  Questions may also be directed to the Human Resources Service Center at 6-3159.