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Inclement Weather Information - FAQs

Visit Emergencies and Inclement Weather for more information.

Why is inclement weather designated?

The two main reasons inclement weather is designated are:

  1. Safety - reduce the number of employees arriving to campus at key times.
  2. To allow those who remove snow and ice to not work around employees and their cars. This also allows clearing of snow before it is packed.

Who is eligible for inclement weather leave?

Only those regular employees who are working at a campus worksite are eligible (i.e., if you are working from home or working from another state, you are not eligible).

  1. Regular, hourly (non-exempt) employees who work at the declared campus worksite are eligible to receive inclement weather leave based on their work schedule.  Inclement hours will need to be recorded in the timesheet.
  2. Exempt employees do not need to report inclement weather.
  3. Those required to report to the campus worksite during the inclement weather are designated as emergency/essential employees and generally have job duties related to campus operations and safety.
  4. Emergency/essential employee are provided hour for hour compensation time for the time worked during the declaration.

How long is inclement weather declared?

The time frame is determined with each event and could range from an hour delay in campus arrival, or hour early departure or, if severe, an entire day.

Where can I find the Lawrence and Edwards campus' policies on inclement weather?

Who determines when inclement weather is declared for KU?

  • The Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor's Office for the Lawrence Campus
  • The Dean’s Office for the Edwards Campus
  • The Executive Vice Chancellor for KU Medical Center for the Medical Center Campus
  • The on-site directors of other KU offices outside Lawrence, (e.g. Public Management Center, Juniper Gardens, KU at Parsons, Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center) will consult with their Lawrence campus hierarchy regarding the recommendation.

What factors go into the declaration of inclement weather?

The Provost/EVC Office’s considers current and forecasted weather conditions, available road condition information, and the ability of our Operations staff to maintain the roadways, parking lots, and sidewalks on campus worksite.

Does KU ever entirely “close” because of inclement weather?

KU closes in very rare circumstances and a closing is usually associated with cancelation of classes. Inclement weather may or may not be declared at the same time classes are canceled. Our inclement weather policy is oriented, instead, toward allowing a late arrival to work or an early departure to/from the campus worksite.

How do I know when inclement weather has been declared for KU?

Inclement weather announcements will be announced via area news media (after 5:45 a.m.), the KU Homepage, the inclement weather line (785-864-SNOW after 6:00 a.m.), on KU Lawrence Campus Alerts, and via text message (applies to faculty and staff who have registered to receive texts), and those with TTY/TDD Equipment will be able to obtain information through the Kansas Relay Center (1-800-766-3777).  If you do not work on the Lawrence campus, contact the appropriate administrative office with the authority to declare inclement weather for your campus. 

How does a designation of inclement weather by the Governor affect KU?

Weather conditions vary widely across the state; therefore, the Governor has delegated authority to designate inclement weather to Regents institutions and to other agencies outside Shawnee County. Designations of inclement weather by the Governor do not affect KU campus locations. 

I work on-campus and inclement weather has not been declared but I feel travel may be unsafe, do I need to report to work?

If the campus has not been closed, it is recommended that you evaluate your personal circumstances before deciding whether it is safe to come to work. If you decide it is unsafe to come to work, you must contact your supervisor within 15 minutes of the beginning of your work schedule to report your absence. You will need to use your appropriate leave (vacation, compensatory time etc.) as this absence is not covered under the inclement weather leave. This leave usage does require supervisor approval. Emergency/weather essential employees who work on the campus site are expected to come to work, regardless of the weather conditions.

Will I get inclement weather leave if I do not work on a delayed start inclement weather day?

Employees not designated as emergency/weather essential who are unable to make it to work may use forms of paid leave they have accrued for the time they are absent from work: vacation leave, discretionary holiday, holiday compensation or compensatory time (for hourly, non-exempt employees). If accrued leave is not available, the employee will report leave without pay.

Salaried, exempt employees can report leave without pay only in full-day increments.

 Hourly student employees and temporary employees do not accrue any paid forms of leave so they would not receive pay if they did not report to work. (Note: Please be reminded that hourly, non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime, whereas salaried, exempt employees are not.) 

The provisions of paid leave for inclement weather does not apply to individuals who were not physically at the campus work site during the inclement weather period(s), or to temporary employees which includes student employees. For example, if a “regular” employee were at home on sick leave, no paid administrative leave would be granted for the period of inclement weather.

What happens if my child’s daycare provider or school is closed due to inclement weather?

Consistent with all school closings during your scheduled work time, you need to contact your supervisor to work out a schedule or leave plan. Employees may work from home if approved by their supervisor or use appropriate leave. A combination of work and leave time may be used if the supervisor approves.

What happens if I can make it to campus, but I know I will be late arriving?

If inclement weather has been declared, KU will allow a specified time period (usually an hour) for late arrival to the worksite. If you are a regular hourly (non-exempt) arriving to the worksite within that time period, inclement weather needs to be added to the timesheet to cover the late arrival. Regular salaried (exempt) employees do not report missed time for less than ½ day.

For example, inclement weather may be declared which allows non-emergency/weather essential employees to arrive up to one hour late to their campus worksite campus.  If the non-exempt non-emergency/weather essential employee arrives on campus 45 minutes later than their regular scheduled time, the employee will be covered with pay for those 45 minutes by entry of the inclement weather code (IWN) in their timesheet and the 15 minutes would be reported as regular time.

If I cannot complete my job duties at my telework location am I eligible to receive inclement weather leave?

No, if you are designated as an employee who can perform work remotely, you must enter an absence request from your personal leave (vacation, compensatory time or discretionary day if full day), if you are unable to work. Inclement weather leave is only for those required to work on a campus site. 

Will I get paid if inclement weather is declared while I am on campus working and we are allowed to leave early?

If inclement weather has been declared during the workday, KU allows a specified time period based on weather conditions (usually an hour) for early departures. Hourly, regular, non-exempt employees are paid (inclement weather), up to that specified amount of time, for the early departure. This time is recorded in the timesheet (IWN time reporting code).

For example, inclement weather may be declared at 4:00 p.m. with 1 hour allowed for early departure. If an eligible employee with an 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. work schedule leaves work at 4:00 p.m., the employee will be paid for that 1 hour by entry of the inclement weather code in the timesheet.

What if I am working on campus but leave work because of weather conditions, and then inclement weather is declared after I leave campus?

You would use vacation (or other forms of appropriate leave) for the time you were absent from work. The paid inclement weather time period when declared during the workday is for employees who were at the campus worksite when inclement weather was declared.

I do not work an 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. shift. What is the University’s “workday?” How do the late arrival and early departure inclement weather leave provisions apply to me?

The University’s workday is from midnight to midnight. Employees are eligible for the inclement weather leave if the timeframe is applicable to their work schedules.  

For example, inclement weather may be declared in the afternoon, allowing 1 hour for late arrival the following morning. Employees who begin work at 5:30 a.m. who are not emergency/weather essential would be allowed until 6:30 a.m. to arrive late to work. That 1-hour would be paid inclement weather leave.  

As another example, if inclement weather was declared for a 4:00 p.m. early departure, employees on the 10:30 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. shift would not be granted inclement weather early paid departure time.  

As a third example, if inclement weather was declared at 6:00 a.m. for a late arrival, employees on the 5:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. shift would be retroactively allowed an hour for late arrival.  In these examples, if such employees are emergency/weather essential, they must arrive at the beginning of their work shift. They are not eligible for the paid inclement weather leave for a later arrival. However, they would be eligible for the hour-for-hour compensation time granted to such employees who must arrive at the beginning of their work shift despite inclement weather.

Can I be allowed to work at home during a day of severe weather?

Your department has the discretion to allow work at home. Campus departments should have consistent practices when authorizing staff to work at home. Employees working at home are not eligible for any inclement weather or weather-related compensation time during the period(s) of designated inclement weather.

I have heard the phrase “emergency/weather essential” staff in inclement weather announcements. Who are these employees and how are they designated?

Emergency/weather essential staff are designated by their departments as being essential to campus operations during inclement weather conditions. They are employees who must perform duties essential to the safety, services, and maintenance of persons and/or property during extreme weather conditions. Included in this group are employees who must maintain services for residential students (e.g. employees of Student Housing) and those responsible for critical maintenance and public safety (e.g. employees of Operations and the Public Safety Office). Individual employees should ask their direct supervisor about their designation.

The designation is by position and is tracked in the HR/Pay system. Shared Service Center or Human Resource Management staff can download a list using the OAC reporting system.

How do the provisions of inclement weather differ for these “emergency/weather essential” employees?

Emergency/weather essential employees must be at work at the beginning of the work shift and remain at work during inclement weather periods, regardless of the weather conditions. If they do not report to the campus worksite as scheduled, they may be recommended for disciplinary action. The provisions of paid inclement weather leave during the periods designated do not apply to any emergency/weather essential employees (salaried or hourly). However, the pay of salaried, exempt employees will not be reduced if they arrive late or depart early during periods of inclement weather that are less than a full workday.

Do these employees receive any compensation for this “emergency/weather essential” designation?

The emergency/weather essential hourly, non-exempt, employee will receive hour-for-hour compensation for time worked on site during the period of inclement weather declaration.

For example, if inclement weather allows for one hour for late arrival, this delay is not applicable to the emergency/weather essential hourly employee. As this employee would report to work as usual and they would receive regular pay for that hour worked plus an hour of compensatory time. Salaried, regular, exempt emergency/weather essential employees do not receive compensatory time. The hour for hour compensatory time is a KU program.

Does my campus department have the authority to “close” the department and grant me paid inclement leave during severe weather conditions?

No, your department does not have that authority to grant inclement weather leave. Campus departments can only “close” because of inclement weather with permission from the Office of the Provost/EVC or the appropriate offices designated for your campus. The lack of closure or declaration does not prevent an employee from requesting the day off using their own appropriate accrued leave with the approval of their supervisor (normal).

How does a declaration of inclement weather affect KU students?

Classes may be canceled. The process for handling class cancelation is described in the Inclement Weather Policy

Student employees are temporary employees and are not designated as weather essential or eligible for the inclement weather pay.

How do I report my leave time in HR/Pay when an inclement weather declaration is made?

Inclement Weather tracking only applies to Hourly (Non-Exempt) Regular Employees.

The following time reporting codes (TRCs) are keyed to report hours in inclement weather situation:

  • CM1-Inclm Wthr PostionDsgnt Only is only used for emergency/essential designated regular hourly staff who worked on campus during the inclement weather periods. This is used in addition with REG (regular hours) by adding a row in the timesheet. The compensatory time is used by KU to recognize the extra efforts for the required reporting to campus.
  • IWN-Inclement Weather Leave is used for regular hourly staff who work on the campus site but did not work during the inclement weather period and are not designated as emergency/essential. IWN is used in replacement of REG (regular hours) to continue pay.

Salaried (Exempt) Employees do not report work time and are not eligible for Compensatory Time. Whether an exempt person worked or not during the inclement weather period, there is nothing reported for inclement weather. Student hourly employees and other temporary hourly employees are not eligible for inclement weather or compensatory time.

Learn more: Please download and review Inclement Weather Time Reporting Guidelines for detailed time reporting instructions.

Who can add inclement weather leave codes to the timesheets?

Clock Reporting Timesheet (punch) -The supervisor or departmental/shared service center time reviewer (under the direction of the supervisor) are to add the additional time reporting code of IWN and the hours to the timesheet.  (+ to add a new row).

Total Hours Reporting Timesheet (elapsed)- The employee is to add the additional time reporting code of IWN and the hours to the timesheet (supervisor or departmental/shared service center time reviewer both have access to assist if needed.)  (+ to add a new row).

Learn more: Please download and review Inclement Weather Time Reporting Guidelines for detailed time reporting instructions. Salaried (Exempt) Employees do not report work time and, thus, are not eligible for Compensatory Time. Whether an exempt person worked or not during the inclement weather period, there is nothing reported for inclement weather. Student hourly employees and other temporary hourly employees are not eligible for inclement weather.

Where can a department find a list of how their employees are designated and what are the designations?

Shared Service Center or departmental staff (with time reviewer or budget roles) may provide a listing by positions and employees using the OAC Human Resources>Employment>Position Management data set.

The weather essential “Attributes” codes are defined below:

  • WEA1A — Weather Essential
  • WEA1B — Weather Essential Backup
  • WEA2A — Weather Essential Intermittent
  • WEA2B — Weather Essential Intermittent Back up

How are changes made to an employee or position designation of weather essential?

Revisions may be submitted at any time to hrdept@ku.edu. Human Resource Management does send out an annual review reminder. Please include the following: 

  1. Position Number
  2. Employee Name
  3. Addition or Deletion or Change
  4. Weather Essential Code 
    1. WEA1A — Weather Essential
    2. WEA1B — Weather Essential Backup
    3. WEA2A — Weather Essential Intermittent
    4. WEA2B — Weather Essential Intermittent Back up

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