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February 18, 2010

Historic snowfall:

Extreme weather policy in force

thawKKBIn response to rumors that staff might lose their March 12 spring holiday to make up for last week’s campus closures, Ronald Frisch, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources, told the University Times, “There has been no University-wide directive issued that requires staff to make up the weather-related closures. Individual departments, as always, may have specific requirements that request staff utilization beyond the standard workweek.”

The campus closings put extreme weather policies into effect. Essential personnel — those who need to be physically present and on the job — were required to work. No comprehensive list of such personnel exists, said John Fedele, associate director of News, but examples include police, maintenance personnel, groundskeepers, food service employees and lab staff.

The chancellor, in consultation with other senior administrators, designates essential personnel on the Pittsburgh campus; presidents of the regional campuses name who is essential on their campuses.

According to Pitt’s extreme weather policy, when a full-day or partial-day closing is authorized, non-exempt employees who are in nonessential operations may be absent and will be paid for the hours they were scheduled to work. The hours will not be counted as hours worked for overtime purposes.

Essential non-exempt employees who are required to work during a closing will be paid 1.5 times their regular pay rate during the closing.

If they do not work, they will not be paid for the hours they normally would have worked, “unless there is a valid and compelling reason for their absence,” the policy states.

Exempt employees who are required to work during a partial- or full-day closing will be eligible for compensatory time.

Employees — both exempt and non-exempt — who are on vacation, personal or sick leave on a day during a University closing still are charged with the day off.

Pitt’s extreme weather policy can be found at

—Kimberly K. Barlow and Peter Hart

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