POL-U5400.03 Taking And Reporting Leave During Inclement Weather

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

June 9, 2008

Revised Date:

January 9, 2020

Approved by:

President Sabah Randhawa

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to permanent classified staff and FLSA non-exempt professional staff who do not report to work when the University remains open during inclement weather conditions.


There is no overview for this policy.


FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act):

Federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments. FLSA non-exempt professional staff are eligible for overtime pay.

Inclement Weather

The existence of severe climatic conditions such as, but not limited to, hail, ice, snow, cold, and/or high winds which make traveling to or from work impractical or unsafe.

Satellite Locations

Western Washington University (WWU) operated locations outside of the Bellingham city limits.

Policy Statements

1. University Remains Open Unless Suspended Operations is Declared By President

The University, including satellite locations, will remain open and operating on regular schedule during all weather conditions unless operations are suspended by the President or directors of satellite locations. Requirements for taking leave during suspended operations are outlined in the Suspending University Operations policy (POL-U5400.04)

2. Employees Expected to Give Priority to Personal Safety

It is recognized that inclement weather may prevent employees from reporting to work or cause them to report late or leave early. When evaluating their ability to commute to or from work, employees should give their personal safety priority consideration.

3. Directors, Deans or Managers May Close an Office When There is Insufficient Staff to Maintain Operations

Department directors, deans, or managers may close an office if they lack the staff to sufficiently maintain operations. Employees who are able to report to work during inclement weather may not be denied work but may be given a temporary assignment if not able to perform normal duties due to the lack of staff.

4. Employees Responsible for Planning Alternative Transportation

Employees are encouraged to prepare for inclement weather by having transportation plans in place that allow them a reasonable opportunity to report to work.

5. Supervisors Ensure Employees Submit Leave Appropriately

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring their employees submit leave time taken for inclement weather in accordance with the provisions below.

Supervisors may not allow classified staff or FMLA non-exempt professional staff to make up for leave taken when the University is open during inclement weather.

6. Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Implements Appropriate Compensation Procedures for Employees

Classified staff will be compensated as required by their bargaining unit agreements. Non-represented (confidential) classified employees will be compensated per the State Human Resources regulations.

FLSA non-exempt professional staff whose time loss is due to inclement weather will elect to:

  1. Charge available compensatory, vacation leave time or personal holiday, or
  2. Take leave without pay.

Classified staff and FLSA non-exempt professional staff are to follow the standards for Reporting Leave During Inclement Weather (STN-U5400.03A) to ensure appropriate compensation.

7. Human Resources Determines if Leave Without Pay Status Affects Holiday Pay

Employees who take leave without pay will be eligible for holiday pay if the inclement weather related absence falls prior to a holiday provided requirements for holiday pay are met. For example, the employee must be in full pay status on the last scheduled work day preceding the first inclement weather absence.

8. Certain Employees May Not Telework

Classified staff or FLSA non-exempt professional staff who do not report to work when the University remains open may not perform work related duties in any capacity including working from home unless a written telework agreement is already in place.

Exception: Directors and deans may temporarily approve work assignments to be performed by classified staff and FLSA non-exempt professional staff at home when the director or dean:

  1. Gives the employee approval,
  2. Confirms the employee has the capability to adequately perform assignments from home,
  3. Determines the work is crucial enough to warrant being performed at that time, and
  4. Specifies to the employee the work to be done and the amount of work time allotted (number of hours and dates).

If possible, the above information should be specifically documented in writing. Supervisors and approved teleworkers must follow the University’s Teleworking policy (POL-U5415.01).

9. Department Heads Ensure Internal Procedures are Established

Department heads will ensure that internal procedures are established for their respective areas in order to be in compliance with this policy and effectively respond to inclement weather situations.

Policy Information


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