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Suspended Operations
Essential Position Designation & Notification


Essential Position Designation

At least annually, University officers are expected to evaluate the operations under their control and identify and record the units and/or individual positions that perform essential services that must continue to function if the University must suspend operations. (Administrative Policy Statement 40.2).

Characteristics of Essential Functions

Positions that are designated as essential typically meet one or more of the following (or similar) criteria on a regular and ongoing basis, or during clearly defined times during the week, month, or year (like the payroll cycle):

The position is necessary to support or maintain:


Identify Positions that Perform an Essential Function

Identify the positions in your unit that perform essential functions and make a record of them. Some units, like the medical centers, have determined that all positions are essential. In such cases it is not necessary to identify position incumbents individually.

Notify Employees of Their Status

Notify employees holding a position that performs an essential function in writing of their status at the time of hire and/or at the time of a change in status. Include this information in the employee's job description and any job postings. Use a statement like:

This position is designated as one that performs an essential function. This means that the position's incumbent must continue to report to work in the event that the University suspends operations because of severe weather, natural disaster, or other emergency condition.

Notify employees who only periodically perform an essential function of the periods during the month or year during which they must report to work if the University suspends essential operations.

Ensure that employees in positions that are not designated as essential understand their status so that they do not report to work during a suspension of operations.

Individual Employee Notification Templates

Notification Reminder Templates

Periodically remind employees of their status in the event the University suspends operations to ensure that they know what they are expected to do. Annual reminders are recommended.

The following templates can be customized to remind employees unit-wide of their status:

Suspended Operations