Extreme Weather Conditions Policy

Effective Date

Revised Date
February 10, 2023



Policy #6.17: This policy details the expectations of College personnel during inclement weather conditions.

Policy Scope
This policy applies to all faculty, students, staff, visitors, and third party contractors.

Responsible Office
Human Resources

As a residential liberal arts college, Hartwick operates on a “24/7” schedule during academic terms when the College is in session. Therefore, even with inclement weather, the College typically does not close.

On rare occasions, though, extreme weather conditions may necessitate that the College close the physical campus for safety. The decision to close the campus due to extreme weather conditions is made by the President or their designee and is made as soon as possible in order to notify all constituencies. Notification of campus closures will be distributed via RAVE (text message, email, and voicemail). Information will also be posted on the College website at https://www.hartwick.edu/about-us/news/, through local media outlets, and the Snow Line (607- 431-SNOW). Additionally, Academic Affairs will post class cancellations on the website at https://www.hartwick.edu/academics/student-services/academic-affairs/.

While extreme weather conditions cannot always be predicted, employees should plan to work remotely to the extent possible when the campus is closed so that normal business operations may continue. For example, if extreme weather conditions are anticipated to begin before the start of an employee’s regular working hours, the employee should bring home their laptop computer, power cord, and any material that they may need to effectively perform work remotely. Professional staff should consult with their supervisor regarding remote work expectations and supervisors should be accommodating as it relates to issues of internet access, child care responsibilities and other factors, understanding that employees working remotely on these days may need to take breaks and/or may not be in a position to join meetings by video. Professional staff who are approved to work remotely on a regular basis should continue to do so. Any variation from their regular remote work schedule should be discussed with their supervisor.

The College recognizes there may be circumstances when the campus is not closed, but conditions resulting from inclement weather prevent certain employees from safely reporting to campus. Employees are expected to use their best judgment in assessing the risk of coming to campus. In such circumstances, employees are to consult with their supervisor about alternate work arrangements including working remotely.

The College further recognizes that, when the campus is closed or when weather conditions are otherwise challenging, some employees (including those who are regularly scheduled to work remotely) may not be in a position to work remotely at all and may need to take vacation or personal time. In these instances, supervisors should accommodate vacation or personal leave requests on short notice.

This policy gives employees flexibility to work directly with their supervisor to determine what work is possible given the individual employee’s circumstances. Supervisors and employees should review internal procedures for handling weather-related emergencies, including this policy and any other relevant departmental procedure.

Essential Employees
Because of the College’s residential nature, on the rare occasions when the campus is closed due to extreme weather conditions, certain “essential employees” are required to report to campus or continue to work their regular schedule unless they are specifically instructed otherwise. Employees who work in Campus Safety, Facilities, Food Service, Residential Life, and certain academic and other support areas are considered essential employees. Supervisors should communicate with essential employees about their need to report to work when campus is closed. Employees who have questions should contact their supervisor. Compensation for hours worked will be paid at straight time based on an employee’s regular rate of pay. Overtime hours are paid based on normal overtime guidelines.

Classes and Exams
Faculty should include “extreme weather” instructions in their syllabi. Instructions should include either asynchronous activity details or a videoconference link to hold class virtually. In the event that that campus is closed when finals exams, projects, and presentations are scheduled, faculty should consider moving exams to a virtual format or provide students with take-home exams.

Events and Activities
Whether or not weather conditions cause the campus to be closed, the determination to cancel or proceed with an event or activity (including athletics) is made by the staff or faculty member responsible for the event or activity, and in such case, the College switchboard should be notified.

Extraordinary Circumstances
There may be certain extraordinary instances, such as inclement weather causing a regional, extended power outage, when the President or their designee, determines that conditions are so disruptive to college operations that employees will be released from work on campus and/or advised not to report to campus, with no expectation to work remotely, no requirement to use personal or vacation time, and employees being paid their regular rate of pay based on their normal work schedule. Communication from the College will be clear whether and when such a circumstance arises.

Office of Academic Affairs

Class Cancellations