Applying the University’s Emergency Closing Policy

Guidance for Managers

The University’s Emergency Closing Policy is designed to ensure the safety and well-being of all faculty, staff, and students during emergency situations that may require the University to cancel classes, release employees early or delay their arrival to work, or close campus operations. As a manager, it is important for you to understand and apply this policy effectively. Please review the below guidance to help you navigate the process:

  • Familiarize yourself with the policy: Take the time to thoroughly read and understand the Emergency Closing Policy. Discuss the policy with your team members and plan ahead for how alterations to University operations may impact work.
  • Designate Essential Employees: By October 1st of each year, Departments with essential (level 1) employees must provide a list of these employees to the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations and the Department of Human Resources.
  • Stay informed: Keep yourself updated on weather forecasts, news alerts, and any other relevant information that may impact campus operations. Regularly check the University’s official communication channels for announcements regarding potential closures or delays (
  • Communication is key: Always follow official University guidance about changes to operations. In the event of changes to University operations, promptly communicate with your team members to inform them of the situation and any necessary instructions. Use multiple channels such as email, phone calls, or messaging platforms to ensure everyone receives the message.
  • Provide clear instructions: Clearly communicate your expectations to your team members regarding their responsibilities. Specify tasks that can be completed remotely and establish methods of communication to stay connected during the period of impacted operations.
    • Ensure employees who are able to telecommute on a frequent or infrequent basis are prepared to do so when there is the potential for inclement weather.
    • Provide tasks and direction to employees who primarily perform in-person work on items that may be completed remotely. Consider training, professional development, or research projects.
    • The time reporting code LWWTR should not be used unless specifically directed by the University (e.g., severe and widespread power outage).
  • Ensure employee safety: Emphasize the importance of personal safety to your team members. Provide them with information on available resources and support during the closure period.
  • Be flexible and understanding: Understand that emergency changes to operations may disrupt regular work routines and other personal responsibilities. Be flexible in accommodating employees’ needs and circumstances to the extent possible while still meeting operational requirements.
  • Seek guidance when needed: If you have questions about the Emergency Closing Policy, discuss it with your division head, who may contact the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations for further guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m working from home, and I receive a University-wide notification (UConnALERT) that the University is altering on-campus operations due to inclement weather or other emergency. Do I continue to work from home?

Yes. Many employees have the capacity to work from home. In most instances, inclement weather or other emergency situations on campus do not prevent employees from performing their job functions from home.

I have a telecommuting agreement but am scheduled to report to work in person on a day that the University alters on-campus operations due to inclement weather. Do I telecommute instead?

Yes. Employees who can telecommute should do so when notified of altered on-campus operations due to inclement weather or an emergency closing, even if it falls on a day the employee otherwise is scheduled to work in person.

My child’s school has closed due to inclement weather; do I need to use accrued time if I’m unable to continue working from home?

Managers are encouraged to be accommodating with employees who are able to perform their duties through a flexible schedule during inclement weather days. Employees using a flexible schedule with their manager’s permission are not required to use accrued time. If a flexible schedule isn’t possible within the pay period and an employee is unable to perform their regular duties while their children are home due to inclement weather, the employee must take accrued time (e.g., personal, vacation, holiday compensatory time, or compensatory time).

I have lost power and/or internet access due to inclement weather, what should I do?

Employees who lose power or internet access due to inclement weather should notify their manager as soon as possible and discuss what work can be accomplished at home without power and/or internet. Employees should keep track of the outage and arrange a flexible schedule once power/internet has been restored to make up the lost time. If an outage is severe and widespread, Human Resources may issue alternate guidance to the entire UConn workforce.

What happens if I had scheduled time off on the day that the University alters on-campus operations due to inclement weather?

If an employee is on a scheduled day off due to sick leave, vacation, personal time, earned time, or leave of absence without pay during an official University closing, delay, or early release, the employee’s time will be charged accordingly.

If the University cancels classes, does that mean the University is closed?

No. Certain campus operations continue despite the cancellation of classes due to inclement weather, including public safety, residential and dining services, health services, animal care, facility maintenance, and other critical services. Campus alerts will indicate if there is a campus closure.

Does the University issue general guidance on early releases, delays, and cancellations due to inclement weather?

Yes, each fall, the University issues an official announcement about operations during inclement weather. Additionally, employees should carefully read and understand the University’s Emergency Closing Policy. If employees have questions about the official announcement or policy, they should ask their supervisor, who may contact the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations for further guidance.

How will I be notified of operational changes due to inclement weather?

You can sign up to receive text message notifications on your cell phone about schedule changes, cancellations, emergencies, and other important information. The process is quick and easy, and signing up is free. Instructions can be found under the “Get Alerts” section of the UConnALERT page. Even if you believe you are already signed up, it’s wise to check to ensure that the system reflects your most current cell phone number and other contact information. Additionally, the UConnALERT webpage is the definitive source of information about the University’s operating status.

If the University directs non-essential employees not to report to campus due to inclement weather or other operational changes, what should I do?

Non-essential employees are expected to work from home unless they have a manager-approved flexible schedule or use accrued time.

What if I do not have a telecommuting agreement?

Employees who do not routinely telecommute should work with their manager in advance of inclement weather to determine work that can be done remotely.

What if my manager does not have work for me to do from home or I do not have the necessary equipment to work from home?

Managers are encouraged to plan ahead for inclement weather and discuss with employees the work that can be done remotely in the event that campus operations impact an employee’s ability to report to work in person. Employees must have an appropriate amount of work to complete during the workday at home. If an employee does not have enough work, they must either take accrued time or talk to their manager to arrange a flexible schedule within the pay period to make up the hours not worked.

I am designated as essential (level 1) staff. What happens when the University cancels classes or directs non-essential employees not to report to campus?

Emergency and essential staff must remain at, or report to, in-person work as directed.

When do I use LWWTR?

LWWTR should only be used at the University’s direction if the University is closed and employees are unable to work remotely (e.g., severe and widespread power outage).