Emergency Leave

Handbook of Operating Procedures 5-4130

Emergency Leave

University of Texas SealEffective January 06, 2014
Executive Sponsor: Senior Vice President and Chief Financial OfficerPolicy Owner: Assoc. Vice President for Human Resources
I. Policy Statement 

The University of Texas at Austin (“University”) provides emergency time off in accordance with Texas Government Code, Chapter 661, Section 661.902.

II. Reason for Policy 

This policy provides guidance for the administration, use and reporting of emergency time off.

III. Scope & Audience 

This policy applies to any employee who is appointed to work at least 20 hours per week or at least fifty percent (50%) time for at least four and one-half (4.5) continuous months. Students employed in positions that require student status as a condition of employment are not covered by this policy.

IV. Definitions (specific to this policy) 
Coworker:

a person who was an active employee of the University at the time of death.

Employee’s Family:

the employee’s spouse, the employee’s and the spouse’s parents, step parents, children, step children, siblings, step siblings, grandparents, step grandparents, grandchildren, step grandchildren and an employee’s daughters-in-law and sons-in-law.

Essential Personnel:

employees designated by their departments as vital to the restoration and operation of University services or who provide for the safety and well-being of the general public and campus community.  Their presence is required during periods of emergency, unless otherwise released from duty by their department head.

Maximum Medical Improvement:

as defined in Texas Labor Code Section 401.011(30).

Peace Officer:

an employee of a UT System institution who is commissioned to serve as a peace officer under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 2.12 and Texas Education Code, Section 51.203.

Resident:

a person who lives or dwells at the home of an employee but who is not a member of the employee’s family as defined in this policy.

V. Website (for policy) 
https://policies.utexas.edu/policies/hop/5-4130
VI. Contacts 
Contact Details Web
Human ResourcesPhone:512-471-4772Website:
VII. Responsibilities & Procedures 
  1. Qualified Purposes

The president of the University may grant emergency time off for a requesting employee who has shown good cause for taking emergency time off. The president must believe in good faith that the employee granted the emergency time off intends to return to the employee’s position on the expiration of the emergency time off.

 

  1. Death in the Employee’s Family. With supervisory approval, an employee will be granted up to three (3) days of emergency time off in the event of a death in the employee’s family. Emergency time off days are not required to be consecutive, but should be taken within 30 days from the date of death and used before unpaid time off.
  1. Funeral of a Coworker. With supervisory approval, an employee will be granted up to four (4) hours of emergency time off to attend the funeral of a coworker.
  1. Natural Disasters. The president of the University may grant emergency time off for natural disasters, such as hurricanes, wild fires and tornadoes.
  1. Emergency Closures. The University may grant emergency time off for unexpected closures of campus facilities or operations. The intent of emergency time off is to prevent the loss of income or a requirement to use accrued time off due to a closure event. It is not intended to generate additional compensatory time unless the employee’s position is designated as essential personnel and their presence at work during the closure was required.
  1. If the University is closed by the president, all non-essential employees will be granted emergency time off for the hours they were scheduled to work during the declared closure.
  1. If an individual campus building is closed by the appropriate vice president, vice provost, or dean, all non-essential employees assigned to that building will be granted emergency time off for the hours they were scheduled to work during the declared closure.
  1. If a remote University campus or facility outside the City of Austin is closed by the director of that campus or facility, all non-essential employees assigned to that campus or facility will be granted emergency time off for the hours they were scheduled to work during the declared closure.
  1. Essential personnel who are required to work during an emergency closure may accrue compensatory time.
  1. An employee who is on accrued time off (e.g. vacation or sick time off) during an emergency closure will have the accrued time off changed to emergency time off.
  1. An employee who is away on business or telecommuting during an emergency closure and is otherwise not affected by the emergency closure, must record any hours worked as normal work hours.
  1. Information about campus alerts, closures and openings during emergencies or inclement weather situations is available on the Emergency Information website:  http://emergency.utexas.edu/.
  1. The University’s emergency procedures and plans are available on the Emergency Preparedness website: https://preparedness.utexas.edu/emergency-plans.
  1. Injured Peace Officer.  With Human Resources approval, and in concurrence with the UT System Office of Director of Police (ODOP) and The University of Texas Police Department (UTPD), an injured peace officer will be placed on emergency time off for a workers’ compensation injury sustained in the line of duty and resulting in disability, except when the officer’s own gross negligence contributed to the injury or the injury was related to the performance of routine office duties.

Emergency time off will terminate on the earliest of the date the peace officer has completed a total of one year of disability status related to the injury, the date of Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), or the date the peace officer is no longer disabled.

 

  1. Other Emergency Leave. An employee will be granted up to three (3) days of emergency time off with supervisory approval under the following circumstances:
  1. Emergency time off will be granted to an employee when the employee is needed to arrange for health care services, or to care for and assist a person other than a member of the employee’s family, as defined in this policy, who is a resident of the employee’s household and who is sick or has a documented medical condition.
  1. Emergency time off will be granted to an employee because of the death of a person other than a member of the employee’s family, as defined in this policy, who is a resident of the employee’s household.
  1. Emergency time off will be granted to an employee for the purpose of arranging and providing emergency alternative childcare for a child who is not a member of the employee’s family as defined in this policy but who resides with the employee and for whom the employee has been properly designated as an emergency contact at a licensed child care facility or a public or private school.
  1. Emergency time off will be granted under exigent circumstances to an employee who holds power of attorney, including but not limited to power of attorney for health care, on behalf of any resident of the employee’s household who is not a member of the employee’s family as defined in this policy for the purpose of fulfilling any duties created by the power of attorney designation.
  1. Employee Responsibilities

Except for emergency closures, an employee must provide reasonable documentation to their supervisor that supports their request for emergency time off. The employee should promptly and accurately record the use of approved emergency time off in the timekeeping system.

 

For situations covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the employee should contact Human Resources. The FMLA will run concurrently with emergency leave, as applicable.

 

  1. Supervisor and Department Head Responsibility
  1. Supervisor. The supervisor will approve requests for leave as provided for in this policy and verify that the employee has accurately recorded emergency time off in the timekeeping system.
  1. Department Head. For employee time off requests due to natural disasters or good cause, the department head will transmit requests to the president through the appropriate vice president or dean with a recommendation.
  1. Human Resources Responsibilities

Human Resources approves requests for injured peace officers in concurrence with the UT System Office of Director of Police (ODOP) and The University of Texas Police Department (UTPD).

 

Not later than October 1 of each year, Human Resources will report to the State Comptroller the name and position of each employee who was granted more than 32 hours of emergency time off during the previous fiscal year, the reason for which the employee was granted the time off, and the total number of hours of time off.

 

  1. Delegation of Authority

The Office of the President delegates authority to the department head or designee to determine emergency time off eligibility due to a death in an employee’s family, attendance of a coworker’s funeral, or other emergency time off as provided for in this policy.

 

The Office of the President delegates authority to Human Resources to determine eligibility for emergency time off for an injured peace officer and for meeting state reporting requirements.

 

Authority for emergency time off for good cause, natural disasters, campus closures or extensions of emergency time off remains under the authority of the Office of the President.

VIII. Forms & Tools 
None
XI. History 

Last review date: October 26, 2020
Next scheduled review: October 2022

Previously HOP 7.F.3