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Preparing for winter weather: ‘States of limited operations’ and your role

By IU Human Resources

December 09, 2022

A Campus Facility Services employee clears the sidewalk at Riverwalk Apartments at IUPUI. Photo b... A Campus Facility Services employee clears the sidewalk at Riverwalk Apartments at IUPUI. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana UniversityWith winter weather upon us, it’s time to consider what inclement weather means for employees on Indiana University’s campuses.

IU Today rounded up a few details to help staff and faculty navigate the cold and snowy season:

Will campus ever close? If so, how will I find out?

IU campuses run continuously and never fully close. There are always staff who are essential to making sure students are housed and fed, clinical operations continue, snow and ice are removed, and much more.

However, there may be weather conditions where staff and part-time employees cannot travel to work, or may need to leave early or work remotely. In such cases, university senior management may declare a “state of limited operations.” This signals that the campus is shifting to remote work, non-essential staff should not report to campus, and employees with the ability and technology to work remotely are expected to do so. Essential employees will be required to work on campus to ensure that critical functions continue.

A move to limited operations will be announced on local radio stations, via IU social media accounts, and on the Protect IU website. An IU Notify alert is also sent via email, telephone, text and social media. Check your IU Notify settings by searching for IU Notify at One.IU to make sure you can receive alerts.

How do I know if I should report to campus or work remotely?

There are some essential jobs that must be performed during limited operations; your supervisor will tell you if you are an essential employee. Essential employees are expected to work on campus during limited operations in order to meet immediate and necessary campus or university functions. Types of essential employees may vary by campus, circumstances and time of year.

  • Essential staff and part-time employees are required and expected to work on campus during limited operations.
    • Non-exempt and part-time employees will receive additional compensation.
    • Essential exempt staff receive their regular pay but do not receive any additional compensation.
  • Staff who are not required to report to campus but have the ability and technology to work remotely will be expected to do so. You should discuss remote work with your supervisor.
    • An existing Remote Work Arrangement is not required for an employee to be expected to work remotely during limited operations.
    • Non-essential employees who can work remotely will receive regular pay for hours worked but are eligible to use adverse weather pay for any non-work time during the workday. This allows staff to attend to personal tasks such as child care, snow removal or unplanned events like power outages.
  • Staff who would normally be at work during hours the campus is in limited operations, who cannot work remotely and who were not already scheduled off, are eligible for adverse weather pay for the absence.

The weather looks bad, but limited operations has not been declared. Am I required to come to campus?

According to IU’s adverse weather policy, all staff and part-time employees who work on campus are expected to report to work on campus unless otherwise notified. However, if the weather creates hazardous conditions for your commute to or from work, you are encouraged to use your best judgment and should not endanger yourself or ignore local travel advisories.

If adverse weather conditions cause extreme travel hazards to or from work on campus:

  • Employees should make every effort to notify their supervisor.
  • Advance notice requirements for the use of paid time off will be waived.
  • Non-exempt staff may use paid time off or, with approval, may make up the work time during the same week.
  • Exempt staff may use available PTO.
  • Staff employees without paid time off may be absent without pay, with accruals.
  • All absences from work for part-time employees are without pay.

Staff employees are encouraged to familiarize themselves with IU’s adverse weather policy (HR-11-20). A printable announcement summarizing the policy and an FAQ related to the policy is available on the Human Resources website.

There is no adverse weather policy for academic employees. Classes are in session unless campus leadership announces that they have been canceled. The cancellation of classes does not necessarily mean that the campus has been moved to limited operations.

Be prepared

The Protect IU website has additional resources to help IU employees and their families prepare for winter storms before they happen.