Fayetteville Policies and Procedures  210.0

Inclement Weather Policy

The original PDF version of this policy is linked from the revised date below.

  1. General Considerations
    In the event of inclement weather, the University recognizes the need to address how such conditions may affect the overall operations of the institution. This policy is intended to provide guidance in addressing inclement weather conditions. In general, the University must continue certain operations during periods of inclement weather due to the needs of students, the requirements of ongoing research activities, and other factors. The University recognizes, however, the need to exercise caution for the welfare of the University community, including all faculty, students and staff, during adverse weather conditions, as set forth in this policy. Because many University operations continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week, this policy is applicable to all seven days of operation.

    Although the University generally expects all employees to make every reasonable effort to come to work on occasions when the University is open during inclement weather, this general expectation is subject to each employee’s exercise of his or her personal judgment and common sense regarding his or her personal safety under the circumstances and weather conditions. Each employee, therefore, must exercise his or her personal judgment on whether it is possible to report to work consistent with such considerations. Employees who do not report to work because of inclement weather conditions will be charged “annual leave.” With the approval of the supervisor, an employee may elect to use “leave without pay” in lieu of “annual leave.” Absences due to inclement weather will be treated as an “excused absence.” Extra-help hourly employees who miss work due to inclement weather will not be paid for time missed, unless the inclement weather has affected the operating status of the University for the time they are scheduled to work. Employees are responsible for notifying their supervisor in accordance with departmental policy and guidelines if they do not plan to come to work due to inclement weather.

    In general, inclement weather may affect the operating status of the University in three possible ways as detailed below:
    1. Delayed Opening:
      During a delayed opening, University officials will publicly announce the specific time at which the University will open. All academic classes regularly scheduled to begin prior to the delayed opening time will be cancelled and will not meet; all remaining day and evening classes will commence at their regularly scheduled time. All offices and regular business operations will open at the specified delayed time.

      Under a delayed opening, the delayed opening time will apply to all University classes, offices and regular business operations and will be determined with each incident of inclement weather. Employees who are not identified as “weather or event essential personnel” are expected to arrive at work by the designated opening time; if they do so, they will not be charged for late arrival. Employees arriving after the designated time will be charged the full amount of time that they are late, and employees who do not come to work will be charged a full day’s absence. Employees whose shift begins after the delayed opening time should report to work as regularly scheduled. Employees designated as “weather or event essential personnel” should report by their regularly scheduled start time regardless of the announced delayed opening, unless advised otherwise by their supervisor. “Weather or event essential personnel” arriving after their scheduled start time will be charged the full amount of time that they are late, and employees not coming to work will be charged a full day’s absence.

    2. Early Dismissal:
      In the event of an “Early Dismissal,” the University will cease all academic classes and regular business operations at a publicly announced time. In such an event, all remaining day and evening classes will be cancelled after the specified time. Normal University operations, including all academic classes and regular business operations, will commence at the regularly scheduled time on the next work day.

      In the event of an Early Dismissal, the designated Early Dismissal time for University classes, offices and business operations will be determined with each incident of inclement weather and followed consistently. Employees who are not identified as “weather or event essential personnel” will be dismissed to go home and will not be charged any leave for the balance of the employee’s work day. Employees who leave earlier than the designated dismissal time will be charged leave for the full amount of time that they are absent prior to the dismissal time and employees who do not come to work will be charged a full day’s absence. “Weather or event essential personnel” are expected to remain at work as regularly scheduled, unless otherwise directed by their supervisor. Employees who have not been identified as “weather or event essential personnel” who have shifts beginning after the designated early dismissal time should not report to work.

    3. Closure:
      In the event of a “Closure,” all day and evening classes will be cancelled. All offices and regular business operations will be closed. Normal University operations, including all academic classes and business operations, will commence at the regularly scheduled time on the next work day.

      If inclement weather conditions warrant a decision to cancel classes and close offices and regular business operations, employees who have not been designated as “weather or event essential personnel” should not report to work, and will not be charged any leave unless it was previously scheduled. “Weather or event essential personnel” are expected to report to work as regularly scheduled, unless otherwise directed by their supervisor.

  2. Weekends
    If inclement weather occurs during a weekend, University officials will determine if a delayed opening, early dismissal or closure is necessary, as applicable to weekend operations. Non-weather essential personnel and “weather or event essential personnel” will follow the appropriate procedures (as listed above) for the respective situation.

  3. Athletics and Other Special Events
    Upon the determination of the appropriate Vice Chancellor/Athletic Director, in consultation with appropriate University officials, certain previously scheduled special events such as athletic contests may be conducted during times of University closure. Event essential personnel will be expected to report to work as regularly scheduled, unless otherwise directed by their supervisor. In coordination with University Relations, the University department responsible for such events shall provide public information regarding event status.

  4. Weather or Event Essential Personnel
    Individual departments are responsible for designating “weather or event essential personnel” and ensuring that all such employees are aware of their responsibilities. Departments may develop and implement additional policies concerning requirements for “weather or event essential personnel” during periods of inclement weather, consistent with this policy.

  5. Compensation for Weather or Event Essential Personnel
    Non-exempt classified staff designated as weather or event essential personnel who report to work at their scheduled time when the University is closed due to inclement conditions will receive inclement weather pay (IP) plus payment for all hours worked during that period at an hourly rate equal to the maximum level for their position of the Classified Pay Grid for the State of Arkansas or at time and one-half of their current rate, whichever is greater. This extra amount will be paid separately on the next scheduled hourly payroll. The IP will be included on the monthly payroll.

    Extra-help hourly employees designated as weather or event essential personnel will receive IP if they were scheduled to work during the inclement weather event and will also receive payment for all hours worked during that period at an hourly rate of time and one-half of their current rate.

    Instructions on how to process the inclement weather pay for non-exempt and extra-help hourly employees will be provided by Payroll when each inclement weather event occurs.

    Departments may adjust the work schedules of exempt classified and non-classified employees who are designated as weather essential in response to inclement weather situations.

    Any classified or non-classified employee who is designated as weather or event essential but does not work during an inclement weather event will not receive additional compensation and will be charged annual leave for the time missed or, with the approval of the supervisor, the employee may elect to use “leave without pay” in lieu of “annual leave.”

    Only employees designated as weather or event essential personnel will receive additional compensation when the University’s operating status is affected by inclement weather.

  6. Posting of Inclement Weather Information
    The Chancellor, or his designee, will instruct the Office of University Relations to post appropriate inclement weather information to the University’s web site – http://www.uark.edu, via the RazALERT emergency communications system – http://emergency.uark.edu, and through notification of local and regional media.

  7. Class Cancellation
    For additional guidance regarding cancellation of classes due to inclement weather, including notification procedures for cancellations that occur during the work day, please refer to Academic Policy 1858.10.

  8. Weather Emergency Procedures
    Please refer to Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 211.0 regarding weather emergency procedures.

Reformatted for Web May 28, 2014
Revised November 6, 2014
Revised February 10, 2012
Revised August 26, 2011
Revised December 15, 2010
Revised April 6, 2010
Revised November 5, 2008
Revised September 18, 2008
Revised August, 2003
Revised March 6, 2002
Revised July, 1999
October 25, 1989