HR-106.1: Campus Emergency Closing Policy

Impact Area: SUNY Morrisville (Morrisville campus, Norwich campus, EOC)

Author: Human Resources

Supersedes Policy #: HR-106 (Approval date 11/15/2021)

Policy Summary

State offices and other state facilities may be closed only by order of the Governor. Local governmental officials, police, radio, and television stations do not have the authority to close State offices or facilities. Declarations of a state of emergency or road closures are not equivalent to the closing of state facilities. Following certain snow emergencies, the Department of Civil Service and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations may excuse the charge to leave credits for full days. This is usually granted only for severe multiple day closings and is not automatic.

Policy Statement

In the rare circumstances when the campus should be closed by order of the Governor, you will be advised by the Government Office of Employee Relations. When the announcement is made that only essential service employees are expected to report to work, those people should make every effort to get to the College. Depending on the nature of the emergency, these would typically include power plant, Facilities/Maintenance, University Police, Information Technology, animal care, food services, health services, those with responsibility for laboratory experiments and other employees who are essential to maintaining the College’s vital or mission-critical services, to providing food for dormitory residents and to cleaning the Campus parking lots and roadways, or other emergency response, relief, and recovery. It is advisable that members of this group be notified at the beginning of each year, so that there is not a misunderstanding if or when a snow or other emergency announcement must be made. Those employees who work on these days should, of course, be marked present.

Even when the Governor has not closed facilities, Presidents are authorized to cancel classes. The President or their designee has the authority to grant non-essential employees the option to not report to work or work remotely during an emergency. Supervisory approval is also needed for all employees who elect to not report to work and use accruals for the absence or if the employee can perform their work from home in accordance with SUNY’s telecommuting policy, then they do not need to charge accruals. When weather or other conditions are severe enough to disrupt transportation or endanger the health of employees, the campus may authorize the early departure of employees affected, with proper charge to accruals. Employees who do get to work may need to be notified that they cannot be guaranteed work at their normal workplaces. It may be that the building in which the individual normally works is not open. Provisions should be made for alternate campus work locations and alternate work for those who do get to the campus, but who cannot go to their regular workplaces and cannot perform their regular work assignments.

In extraordinary circumstances, campuses may be authorized to direct employees who report for work, to leave early. In such circumstance, employees directed by the college president or their designee, to leave would not be required to charge leave credits. This applies only to employees who are present at the time the departure is directed. Full day absences must be charged to leave credits or leave without pay. Supervisors may not direct such absences, regardless of their good intentions. Any such release of employees will not create the right to equivalent time off for employees who are not directed to leave work.