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Eckerd College
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St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Human Resources

Human Resources

Policies and Procedures

Emergency Closures and Compensation

Updated 2/28/13


The College recognizes that there are times, due to emergencies such as severe weather conditions, when classes may be canceled and/or the College may be closed. To insure the safety of faculty, staff and students, timely decisions to close the institution will be made. The purpose of the Emergency Closure and Compensation Policy is to provide guidelines relative to work schedule assignment and pay practices for regular full-time and part-time employees in the event of a declared emergency or natural disaster.


Human Resources in conjunction with the Payroll department are responsible for the administration of this policy once the President has declared a college emergency or natural disaster that necessitates the closure of the campus for a period of time.

Closing Decisions

Decisions to close the College will be made by the President. The President may make such a decision at any time during the calendar year to protect the best interest and welfare of the College.

Eckerd College provides compensation to designated employees for work performed during the periods of emergency preparedness and response as authorized by their supervisor under the following conditions:

1. Authorized work performed outside of normal working hours for emergency preparedness;

2. Authorized work performed during a period of disaster leave as approved by the President

Essential Personnel Policy (Hurricane and Other Emergencies)

The President will designate the time for the opening and closing during an emergency. Certain College staff may be designated as emergency/ essential personnel and may be required to remain on campus immediately before, during, and/or after an emergency to assist in College preparation, repair, and/or recovery.

Employee Responsibilities

1. Employees are expected to observe all departmental safety rules and practices in the case of a declared emergency or natural disaster.

2. Any injury which occurs during the period of emergency preparedness and response must be reported to the supervisor or department head and to Human Resources immediately.

3. Employees are expected to assist the College in emergency preparedness and response as assigned by their supervisor or department head

4. Employees are expected to secure their personal work areas to the best of their ability in accordance to the Department's pre-established guidelines and Unit Plan.

Supervisor/Department Head Responsibilities

1. All supervisors are expected to provide a safe work environment for their employees at all times and in the case of a declared emergency or natural disaster.

2. Supervisors are to make every effort in communicating safety awareness of safety and worker's compensation procedures for reporting injuries among their employees during the periods of emergency preparedness and response.

3. Supervisors are expected to communicate to their employees the integral role they play during the emergency preparedness and response.

4. Supervisors and department heads are required to establish and execute a departmental emergency preparedness and response plan including a unit plan using the guidelines established by the Emergency Management Group.

5. Supervisors are expected to maintain contact with their employees during the emergency closure.

6. Employees are expected to furnish emergency contact information to their supervisors and fill out the emergency contact information survey on the Eckerd College "EC-Web"

Emergency Closure Compensation

1. When it is announced that the College will be closed for the remainder of the day, hourly paid employees requesting to leave work earlier than the scheduled closing time must have the approval of the appropriate supervisor and must charge the additional hours of absence, prior to the official closing, to accrued paid time, or leave without pay, in that order.

2. In the event of an entire shift closing or a partial shift closing, essential personnel who work their normally scheduled shift(s) will be paid for those hours worked.

3. Essential personnel who do not report to work as scheduled must charge time missed to vacation or take leave without pay. In the event the absence meets sick leave benefit qualifications, sick leave may be authorized.

4. Employees within their probationary period are not permitted to use vacation or sick time. This leave must be reported on the time sheet as leave without pay.

5. At the discretion of the President or his designee, essential non-exempt employees who are required to work outside of their regularly scheduled work hours in order to assist in preparing the campus for an emergency may be paid at the rate of two times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked beyond their regularly scheduled hours per day. For the first seven (7) business days, non-exempt (hourly) employees who are asked to work their regularly scheduled shift by their supervisor or department head while the college is officially closed will receive compensation at two (2) times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked. After seven (7) business days, those employees designated as having job functions necessary to allow the college to be operational will be compensated at their regular rate of pay.

6. At the discretion of the President or his designee, Exempt (Salaried) Employees who are required to work outside of their regularly scheduled work hours in order to assist in preparing the campus for an evacuation or those exempt employees required to remain on campus during the time of a declared emergency may receive compensatory time for hours worked. If compensatory time is awarded, it will accrue on an hour by hour basis and must be used with the supervisor's pre-approval within the same fiscal year it was earned or it will be lost.

7. When the college is officially closed due to an emergency or natural disaster, time off for scheduled work for non-essential employees will be paid up to seven (7) work days per occurrence and will not require the use of employee's paid leave (sick, vacation, and personal days). If the closure extends beyond seven (7) days, and employees have not been called back to work, employees may use any available paid leave to remain in a pay status and maintain benefits.

8. Employees prescheduled for vacation, personal leave, holiday, sick leave, short term disability, long-term disability, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or any other absence will be charged the appropriate type of leave, and will not be re-credited with hurricane pay.


Authorized closing: The closing of college operations, as determined by the President or his designee, for specific periods of time as needed.

Emergency conditions: Those conditions that severely hamper employees from traveling to and from work, or remaining at work (such as inclement weather, utility failure, fire or other forced evacuations).

Essential Personnel: Employees identified by the Dean, Vice President, or President who are required to work during periods of authorized closings. Examples of essential personnel may be, but are not limited to, Campus Safety Officers, members of the Emergency Management Team, and other positions on an as needed basis (i.e. Counseling, Health Services). Depending on the nature of the emergency, Deans and Vice Presidents may change the status of any staff member to Essential Personnel based on the needs of the College.

Non-Essential Personnel: Employees who are not required to work during periods of authorized closings.