As in years past, we continue to have a special phone line to help us cope with weather emergencies. Staff and faculty can call 617-496-SNOW (7669) for recorded information about work schedules affected by poor weather. You may call the line from home in the morning or from your work phone. Multiple callers can access the line at the same time, but it might be busy, so keep trying. Please remember that only the Law School’s plans will be reported on the snow phone; please do not give out the number to people outside of our community.
In general, HLS’s teaching and research activities will continue during inclement weather. However, when severe weather conditions make travel to work inadvisable, an absence may be appropriate. If this situation arises, the staff member should contact his or her supervisor or department as soon as possible. Legitimate reasons for an absence include a concern for personal health or safety or responsibility for a child or other dependent, which, for example, may be complicated by school closings or elder-care placement problems. At that time, the supervisor and staff member should agree as to how the absence will be recorded; that is, whether the time should be made up or taken as a vacation or personal day.
Supervisors may allow staff members to leave work early because of severe weather conditions. Leaving work after completing one half of a shift should ordinarily be considered a paid absence. If a staff member arrives before one half of his or her shift expires due to severe weather, it should ordinarily be considered a paid absence. In the case of arriving more than half a shift late or leaving before half a shift is completed, the staff member’s time should be made up, if possible, or charged to vacation or personal time.
In the event of an extremely severe storm in which state officials are recommending not to travel and/or when public transportation facilities are limited or not functioning, the Dean may elect to close the School in the interest of faculty, staff and student safety. Such a day will be a paid absence.
Departments that require a skeleton crew to provide coverage of vital functions on days when other staff either did not come in, or are sent home because of the weather, should co-operatively formulate assignments for such occasions. In accordance with past practice, a grant of compensatory time is appropriate upon these occasions. All staff should know in advance whether they will be expected to be part of any such skeleton crew and, when appropriate, this responsibility should be included in job descriptions.
Please contact Human Resources at 617-495-4611 if you need more information.