Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Emergency Delays/Closures (Plan B)
Occasionally, adverse weather or other emergencies may lead the University to delay or close operations. In the event this occurs, employees should be aware of their status and responsibilities during such an event. We address some common questions related to University delays/closures below.
- How will I know if the University is on a delay or closed?
This very rarely happens, but may on occasion. You can find out by watching the local news, listening to local radio or by signing up for automated UK Alert notifications. You can choose your preferred method of first, second and third level of contact from home phone, cell phone, e-mail, text, and so on. You may also visit the UK Web site home page or call UK Infoline at 859-257-5684. Local media outlets will also carry news of any changes to UK's opening schedule.
- What is Plan B?
Normal operations (everyone coming into work on their scheduled time) is Plan A. Plan B is instituted in an emergency and requires essential staff (UK HealthCare, Physical Plant, Auxiliary Services, IT, etc.) to report to work. Plan B is outlined in HR Policy and Procedure # 71.0, University Emergencies. [Note: Essential employees are required to come to work on a normal schedule regardless of any Plan B delays, closures, or cancellations.] If you are unsure if you are an “essential employee”, see below for details or contact your supervisor.
- How do I know if I am an essential employee?
You should be notified of your status by your department. In general, essential-status employees include but are not necessarily limited to:
- All UK HealthCare employees (payroll area 1500), which includes all those working in hospitals, clinics, clinical departments of the College of Medicine and administrative units (except where indicated by the employee’s supervisor)
- All Physical Plant Division (Medical Center and campus) employees
- Food Service and Environmental Service employees working in UK HealthCare and student facilities
- Information Technology employees such as telephone operators, Data Center operations staff, and designated network specialists.
If you have questions, please check with your supervisor to confirm your status.
- Will work done by essential employees during periods of closures or cancellations count as "comp time"?
Essential employees reporting to work in non-UK HealthCare areas during Plan B events will receive their regular rate of pay and receive an equivalent amount of time off with pay (to be taken within six weeks). UK HealthCare employees' attendance during Plan B events will be counted as normal time with no equivalent time off with pay.
- How should regular, non-essential employees indicate delay or closure time on their timesheets?
Assuming the employee does not report to work during the delay or closure period...Indicate the appropriate period of time on your timesheet with a 7407 Emergency Closing absence/attendance code. For example, if the University operates on a two-hour delay and you are a regular employee whose normal start time is 8:00 a.m., indicate the time between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. as a 7407 Emergency Closing code. You will be paid for this time. Non-regular employees are only paid for actual hours worked and will not be paid for the Emergency Closing time if they did not come in. Please check with your supervisor regarding specific use of the Emergency Closing time code for your situation.
If the employee reports to work at his/her regular time despite an opening delay...Because the official University start time is 8:00 a.m., regardless of an employee's start time or work schedule employees who report to work on a day when UK has an Emergency Closing or Delay, will receive the number of hours of Emergency Closing leave based on 8:00 a.m. as the official start time of the UK work day.
If the hours of Emergency Closing Leave are not taken on that particular day (because the employee reported to work as usual and worked a full day, or was considered essential staff and required to work as usual), the hours of Emergency Leave must be taken/provided within 6 weeks.
If the employee works a regular schedule and does not receive the hours of Emergency Leave within the 6 weeks timeframe, the employee may be paid for the hours, but it will not count toward overtime. [See HR Policy & Procedure # 71.0, Emergency Closing, Policy Section (2).]
- How do weather- or emergency-related delays/closings affect employees who work from home?
One of the following two scenarios should apply (employees who work from home should check with their supervisors to confirm which applies to them):
An employee working from home whose work depends on other employees or departments to complete work would fall under the Emergency Closing hours guideline (employee would not work until University re-opening) and receive Emergency Closing compensatory time or pay for hours of emergency closure.
An employee working from home whose work does not depend upon other employees or departments would work as normal (their working from home is not impacted by Emergency Closing) and not receive Emergency Closing hours as compensatory time or pay.
- What happens if an essential employee doesn't report to work on time during a Plan B closure or delay?
Per HR Policy & Procedure 71.0, essential employees who are required to work during a period of emergency, but who do not report to work as scheduled, shall be subject to corrective action up to and including termination of employment. Non-essential employees who are unable to report to work at the delayed University opening time must take the additional time away from work as Vacation Leave. NOTE: If an employee is already scheduled to be off work (Vacation Leave, Temporary Disability Leave, Funeral Leave, etc.), he/she does not get additional emergency closing leave. The time should remain as vacation leave, temporary disability leave, etc.
- What happens if an employee is already scheduled to be off work?
If an employee is already scheduled to be off work (Vacation Leave, Temporary Disability Leave, Funeral Leave, etc.), he/she does not get additional emergency closing leave. The time should remain as vacation leave, temporary disability leave, etc.
- Do essential employees (non-UK HealthCare) working non-standard schedules receive the same Emergency Closing leave time as employees who work 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 (or 5:00) p.m.?
Generally speaking, yes. As indicated in question #5 above, employees scheduled to work on a day when a Plan B delay or closure occurs should receive should receive the same amount of leave time as an employee working a standard schedule. Consider the following example, based on a hypothetical two-hour opening delay (when the University opens at 10 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.): An employee with a normal start time of 7 a.m. may receive two hours of Emergency Closing leave time and begin work at 9 a.m. (assuming access to the work site and the likelihood that meaningful work can be conducted during the pre-open period). Otherwise, an employee in this situation would receive two hours of Emergency Closing Leave time for the 7-9 a.m. time period and “make up” the remaining hour of work time later in the payroll period (or take one hour of vacation leave). We strongly encourage employees working non-standard schedules to check with their supervisors on department practices regarding scheduling in the event of an opening delay.
- Are UK HealthCare clinical employees (non-hospital) required to report to work on a normal schedule during delays or closures?
UK HealthCare facilities operate on a normal schedule during University delays or closures: As a result, employees in these areas are considered essential and should report to work at their regular start time.
Employees in health care colleges have been designated as either essential or non-essential. Employees should check with supervisors if they have any questions about their status. Please note: With a recent policy change effective January 19, 2011, essential employees in clinical departments of the College of Medicine on the UK HealthCare payroll (1500 personnel area) will no longer receive equivalent time off (at a future date) for hours worked during an official University closing or delay.
For details regarding UK HealthCare policy regarding Plan B staffing for University Emergencies, click here.
Related Web Resources
Please see also the official University statement regarding Plan B processes by clicking here.
For more details on University Emergency (Plan B) policy (HR Policy & Procedure 71.0), click here. If you have questions, please contact Employee Relations at (859) 257-8758.