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Inclement Weather Information - FAQs

Visit Emergencies and Inclement Weather for more information.

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 Vice Chancellor/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 be made by the on-site administrators after consultation with the Lawrence administrators to whom they report

What factors go into the declaration of inclement weather?

The Provost’s Office considers current weather conditions and the forecast for the next day, available information about road conditions in the city and on major roads, and the ability of our Facilities Services staff to maintain the roadways, parking lots, and sidewalks on campus.

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

KU closes only in very rare circumstances. Usually closing is 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.

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

If inclement weather is declared information will be posted on the KU Homepage and on KU Lawrence Campus Alerts

The declaration will also be announced via area news media (after 5:45 a.m.), 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). Hearing impaired individuals who have 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; the Provost’s Office makes the inclement weather decision for KU, Lawrence. The other designated administrative offices make the decisions for other campuses. 

Do I have to come to work when inclement weather is declared?

You should 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 in advance of your work day to report your absence. Emergency/weather essential employees are expected to come to work, regardless of the weather conditions.

Will I get paid if I cannot make it to work on an inclement weather day?

Employees who are unable to make it to work during inclement weather 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 administrative leave for inclement weather do not apply to individuals who were not physically at the work site during the inclement weather period(s), to temporary employees, or to student hourly 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 so I have to stay home with my child? Do I get administrative leave?

No, you would not be eligible for paid administrative leave to care for your child during the inclement weather period. You would be expected to use vacation leave for that purpose. 

What happens if I can make it to work, but I know I’ll be late arriving?

If inclement weather has been declared, KU allows a specified time period (usually an hour) for late arrivals. Hourly, non-exempt employees are paid (administrative leave) for the time, up to that specified amount of time, for a late arrival. For example, inclement weather may be declared with 1 hour allowed for late arrivals to work.  If an hourly, non-exempt employee arrives at work 30 minutes late, the employee will be paid for those 30 minutes. In any case, if you know that you will be arriving late, you must notify your supervisor in advance of the late arrival.

Will I get paid if inclement weather is declared while I’m at work 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, non-exempt employees are paid (administrative leave) for the time, up to that specified amount of time, for the early departure. For example, inclement weather may be declared at 4:00 p.m. with 1 hour allowed for early departure. If an hourly, non- exempt 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.

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

You would use vacation (or other forms of paid 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 physically at work when inclement weather was declared.

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

The University’s workday is from midnight to midnight. Employees are eligible for the inclement weather administrative leave hours that are 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 administrative 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 administrative 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. However, campus departments are discouraged from authorizing hourly, non-exempt staff to work at home. If hourly, non-exempt staff work at home, the department must authorize that work in advance, be able to justify that the work can be appropriately performed at home, have a method to confirm that work has been performed, and have a method of tracking the actual number of hours worked at home. Campus departments should have consistent practices when authorizing staff to work at home. Employees working at home are not eligible for any administrative leave 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 Facilities Services and the Public Safety Office). HRM maintains a list of the employees or groups of employees that have been designated by their departments as “emergency/weather essential.”

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 are not at work, a supervisor must approve any change in their schedule in advance. If they do not report to work as scheduled, they may be recommended for disciplinary action. The provisions of paid administrative leave during the periods of inclement weather do not apply to hourly, non-exempt or to salaried, exempt emergency/weather essential employees. 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 work day.

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

In addition to their regular pay, hourly, non-exempt, emergency/weather essential employees receive hour-for- hour compensation for time worked during the period of inclement weather. For example, if inclement weather is declared, allowing 1 hour for late arrival, an hourly, non-exempt, emergency/weather essential employee would receive regular pay for that hour worked plus an hour of compensatory time. Salaried, exempt emergency/weather essential employees do not receive compensatory time.

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

No, your department does not have that authority. Campus departments can only “close” because of inclement weather with permission from the Office of the Provost or the appropriate offices designated for your campus.

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.

How do I report my time in HR/Pay when a inclement weather declaration is made during the work day/shift?

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

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

  • CM1 is only used for emergency essential designated 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 to recognize the extra efforts for reporting to campus.
  • CM1 is used for certain designated positions which are mainly in Facilities Services, Public Safety and Information Technology.
  • IWN is used for non-emergency essential designated hourly staff who did not work during the inclement weather period. IWN is used in replacement of REG (regular hours)
  • The inclement weather code is mainly used for departmental office and program staff to cover the hours the employee did not work during inclement weather.

Who can add these codes to the timesheets?

  • If the employee uses a punch timesheet (clock in and out), the supervisor or departmental time reviewer are to add the additional coding.  (+ to add a new row)
  • If the employee uses a regular (elapsed) timesheet, the employee or supervisor or departmental time reviewer are to add the additional coding. (+ to add a new row)

Learn more

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


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