Weather Emergency Policy

Date: November 2023

Philosophy and Purpose: Decisions to declare weather emergencies are made by senior management including the Senior Vice President for Finance & Adminstration, Executive Director of Safety and Security and the Vice President for Human Resources. They take into consideration the timing, geographical scope, and severity of road and weather conditions, as well as the safety and well-being of students, staff and faculty.

Since the pandemic, many support and administrative staff are now prepared to work from home and are expected to do so. Employees whose presence on campus supports student safety and well-being (e.g., Facilities, Dining Service, Security, etc.) are deemed as “essential”. Employees whose positions are determined to be essential are notified of this status by their supervisor and whether they are expected to work if the College decides to alter working business hours or suspend normal operations due to a weather emergency. All employees should check with their managers to understand if during a specific weather emergency they are considered:

Group 1. “Essential” required to work on campus

Group 2. Can work successfully from home

Group 3. Are considered “non-essential” and are unable to work from home

Essential employees working on campus during a weather emergency will receive a double rate of pay for all hours worked.  If working more than regularly scheduled hours, the employee will receive double-time pay for all hours worked after the emergency was declared. For example, if an employee is regularly scheduled to work an 8-hour shift and a weather emergency is declared before their shift begins and then works 10 hours, they should record 10 hours as Weather Emergency Essential on Campus. Essential employees unable to report to work as scheduled should use Vacation or available Personal Emergency time*. 

Employees required to work overtime during a weather emergency will receive any additional pay according to normal practices.  Supervisors may require that casual employees report for work during weather emergencies.  These casual employees will also be paid two times their normal pay rate for hours worked. Supervisors should use discretion and clearly communicate in these instances determining who needs to report to work, as essential and non-essential.

Administrative Staff (Salaried/Exempt):

Almost all administrative staff have the ability to work from home when a weather emergency is anticipated and/or declared.  It is not necessary to record a special time off code in Workday.  However, if an employee is on vacation or is taking a sick day during a weather emergency, any time off should still be recorded as vacation or sick time.  If administrative staff are caring for children during a weather emergency, their time should be recorded as vacation or personal emergency time.

If Bowdoin does not declare a weather emergency, an employee, after checking with their supervisor, may choose not to travel to work or decide to leave work early because of concerns about the weather. In such cases, benefit eligible employees may:

  • use earned Vacation time for the remainder of the shift OR
  • use a portion of available Personal Emergency time for the remainder of the shift OR
  • make up the time on other days within the same week, only in limited cases with specific directions of the supervisor OR
  • take leave without pay if applicable, and only if no accrued time is available.

If an employee decides to leave early due to concerns about the weather, they must use the appropriate time entry type (Vacation or Personal Emergency Time) for the entire remainder of the scheduled shift, regardless of declaration of a weather emergency later after the employee has left campus.