Employee Attendance Guidelines in the Case of Severe Weather Conditions or Other Extraordinary Circumstances Policy

  • Employment
Responsible Unit Office of Human Resources
Responsible Cabinet Member VP for Administration and Finance
Adoption Date Unavailable
Last Revision Date
Last Review Date

Policy Statement

This policy will provide guidelines on the impact of severe weather conditions or other extraordinary circumstances on employee attendance in the case of closing State offices and directed early departures. 

Certain general principles apply: 

State policy is not to close State offices or facilities because of severe weather conditions or other extraordinary circumstances. Offices should remain open, even when services to the public are cancelled. 

Only the Governor has the authority to close State offices or facilities. 

Even if offices or facilities close, employees who provide essential services are expected to report to work or to remain at work to perform responsibilities related to the emergency itself. 

Agencies do not have the authority to direct employees not to report to work. 

Agencies do not have the authority to direct employees to leave work, unless GOER, as the Governor’s designee, authorizes a directed early departure. In some situations, agencies may permit employees who wish to do so to leave work early and charge the absence to appropriate leave credits.


There is no purpose/scope provided for this policy at this time


There is no applicability provided for this policy at this time


There are no definitions for this policy at this time.

Policy Procedures

Reporting to Work

Severe weather conditions or other extraordinary circumstances may impact the ability of employees to report to work. 

Only the Governor has the authority to close State offices or facilities. A declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor does not by itself close State offices and facilities. If State offices were to close in such a situation, the closure would result from a separate action by the Governor. If the closure is not directed, employees who do not report to work must charge leave credits other than sick leave. 

While the chief executive of a county, city, or village has the authority to declare a local state of emergency, that declaration does not authorize the closing of State offices or facilities. Similarly, travel restrictions imposed by local authorities do not close State offices or facilities. If an employee is absent because of a local state of emergency or travel ban, the employee is expected to charge the absence to leave credits other than sick leave.

Leaving Work Early

Conditions may develop in a State office, facility, or worksite that significantly impact working conditions, or severe weather conditions or other extraordinary circumstances may raise concerns about employees’ ability to travel safely when they leave work. Employees who request and are permitted to leave work because of such concerns before the end of their workday must charge leave credits other than sick leave.

In certain emergency situations, emergency personnel or agency management may direct employees to evacuate a State office, facility, or worksite. An evacuation order is not a directed early departure and does not by itself release employees from duty status. The University may not direct employees to leave work if GOER has not authorized a directed early departure.

Directed Early Departure

In appropriate situations, an agency may ask GOER to authorize a directed early departure for affected employees who have reported to work and who remain in duty status. A directed early departure may be appropriate when severe weather conditions exist or building problems such as fire, a loss of power, heating, air conditioning, or water, or other problems endanger the health or safety of employees. Conditions that are simply uncomfortable or inconvenient or that reduce productivity do not warrant a directed early departure. Agencies cannot direct employees to leave work if GOER has not authorized a directed early departure.

The following general principles apply to directed early departures:

Employees deemed essential are not covered by a directed early departure. While some positions are always deemed essential, others may be deemed essential on a case-by-case basis depending on the particular extraordinary circumstance.

Non-essential employees who reported to work and remained in duty status until GOER authorized the directed early departure, are not required to charge leave credits.

Employees who reported but left work for the day before GOER authorized the directed early departure must charge appropriate leave credits until the end of their work shift.

Employees who did not report to work because of the extraordinary circumstances must charge leave credits other than sick leave for their entire work shift.

Employees who do not have sufficient leave credits to charge will be required to take leave without pay for hours not worked.

If the closure or directed early departure occurs during the academic year and classes are cancelled, Faculty would not have an obligation and will not be required to charge leave credits.

Whether and how a directed early departure authorized during one shift affects employees working shifts later that day, as well as any other questions about directed early departures in extraordinary circumstances, should be discussed with your direct supervisor.

The directed early departure of any group of employees does not create any right to equivalent time off for employees who chose not to depart, employees not directed to depart because they were not deemed adversely affected by the extraordinary circumstances, or were deemed to be essential employees.

When extraordinary circumstances continue for more than one day, employees must report to work each day.

Links to Related Procedures and Information

There are no links for this policy at this time.

Contact Information

Questions regarding these guidelines can be directed to: Debbie Looney, Payroll at 395-2744 or dlooney@brockport.edu.

History (in descending order)

Item Date Explanation
Next Review Date 2019-12-01 Five-year review
Adoption Date Unavailable Policy Adopted


There are no approvals for this policy at this time.