Visit the Human Resources Contact Us info page if you have questions about an HR policy or a related matter
Use the feedback form to provide input about a policy document or this library
2.10 Emergency Closures
This policy addresses University closures due to weather or other safety concerns.
Origination date: 9/16/2003
Applicability: Academic Professionals, Administrators, Classified Staff, Faculty, Service Professionals
Under certain adverse conditions it may become necessary for the President or another authorized University official to close an NAU facility, such as the Flagstaff mountain campus, and/or to cancel classes or other University programs or activities.
When the President (or designee) declares that classes are cancelled, faculty who teach the cancelled classes are relieved of the duty to participate in the classes for the period of time specified. In the case of class cancellation, faculty impacted by the cancellation shall use paid emergency leave time to account for the absence. See the Administering Final Exams policy for more information regarding emergency closures that occur during final exam week.
When the University closes one of its facilities on an emergency basis, all non-essential personnel shall not report to work or shall leave the facility upon receiving official notice of the closure by a supervisor, department head, other authorized University official, or by other official means. Only departments and employees who provide essential functions shall be open and required to perform duties. Employees shall not choose to work during a campus closure unless specifically directed to do so by their supervisor, department head, or other authorized University official.
Essential personnel include but are not limited to employees who work in the Essential Service Units as defined by Northern Arizona’s University’s Emergency Closure Procedures Manual. In order to sustain specific business activities, other units or personnel may be designated as essential for the purposes of a specific closure. The President’s Executive Team members are responsible for determining which units shall be deemed essential for any particular closure. Supervisors and managers shall notify the employees in affected units as soon as possible if they are required to serve as essential personnel.
Employee Compensation during a Closure
Non-exempt employees, as determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), who are designated as essential personnel and required to work during an emergency will receive time off with pay that is equal to the time worked during the closure. Options will include taking the time off with pay during the same work week or adding that number of hours to the compensatory balance to take off at a later date at the discretion of the appropriate supervisor. If total hours on the job for a non-exempt employee in any workweek exceed 40 hours, overtime compensation or compensatory time off for the hours worked in excess of 40 hours will be at a rate of one and one-half times the rate at which the person is paid. The combination of compensatory time or pay received for working during an emergency closure and the pay for time worked beyond 40 hours in a work week shall not exceed one and one-half times the rate at which the person is paid. Overtime for non-exempt, benefit-eligible employees may be compensated either by cash payment or compensatory time off at the discretion of the University. Refer to NAU Personnel Policy 2.03 Overtime/Fair Labor Standards Act for more specific details on overtime pay.
FLSA exempt personnel who work extra hours during a closure will not be paid for the additional time, but may receive flexible time-off for some of the hours worked at a later date at the appropriate supervisor’s discretion.
Non-essential personnel shall use paid emergency leave to account for the absence. Emergency leave is paid time and may only be used in situations when a cancellation or closure has been declared.
Employees who have been granted approval by their supervisor to not report to work and have requested sick leave, vacation leave, or personal days off prior to a declared emergency closure, will be charged for the time off as requested. Paid emergency leave is not available for hours previously approved for absence.
Employees paid on an hourly basis and temporary employees are not eligible for emergency leave pay.
Work/Leave Procedures when the University Remains Open
If employees choose not to attend work or leave early when a closure has not been declared, compensatory time (for FLSA non-exempt employees), vacation, or absence without pay shall be used to account for the absence. The employee must follow normal department absence procedures. Supervisors are encouraged to be flexible with employee work schedules when feasible, balanced with the need to maintain the ongoing operations of the University.
Other options to cover employee work time missed when the University remains open may include:
- Flexible scheduling (FLSA law requires the time missed be made up within the same work week for FLSA non-exempt employees.)
- Telework (work from home or other location)
The options listed above may not be reasonable in all employee and job situations and will be granted at the discretion of the supervisor.
Other NAU sites statewide shall not automatically be impacted by a class cancellation or closure that occurs at the Flagstaff mountain campus. The University shall notify individual sites if the cancellation or closure will impact those sites. Other NAU site closures will not automatically impact operations at the Flagstaff mountain campus.
Employees should tune to local radio stations to obtain information regarding NAU class cancellations or closures or may visit the NAU website and call the NOW line at 928-523-0007.