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Suspended Operations and Inclement Weather

It's getting cold and campus looks like a page straight out of a North Face catalog. With snowy and icy weather imminent, it's time to review the University's suspended operations and inclement weather policies.

What's the difference between the inclement weather and suspended operations policies?

The inclement weather policy applies when the University remains fully operational, but local weather or road conditions prevent an employee from working as scheduled. The policy allows employees who miss work due to inclement weather to use eligbile paid time off.

The suspended operations policy is in effect when the University, a campus, or a more localized unit suspends non-essential operations.

How do employees account for time missed?

For absences due to inclement weather, employees must use appropriate leave (annual leave, holiday credit, compensatory time, or discretionary leave) to account for the absence. If paid leave is not available, the time is charged to leave without pay. With supervisor approval, employees also have the option of temporarily flexing a work schedule or teleworking during inclement weather instead of using leave. The inclement weather policy does not allow for hours missed from work to be made up.

When the University suspends non-essential operations, employees in positions that are not designated as essential do not report to work and may need to account for hours missed. How time is accounted for depends on the employee's employment program and whether the employee's supervisor has approved telework as an option during suspended operations.

We ask that employees and timekeepers review the suspended operations pay and leave practices webpage, including the links on the right of the page, to determine which employee types must make up hours or take leave when operations are suspended.

I have more questions about these policies. Where do I look for more information?

Review the suspended operations website, which includes links at the right for inclement weather, leave and pay practices, essential employee information, and an Excel makeup time calculator to help you track and account for makeup time employees work. For help or advice on workforce planning during inclement weather and suspended operations, please contact your unit's Human Resources Consultant.

What do I do in OWLS for time missed due to inclement weather or suspended operations?

In the case of inclement weather when regular University operations are not suspended, the leave used for the absence is accounted for like any other day off.

For instances of suspended operation, please review the OWLS "Making Calendar Entries" pages for information on how to make calendar entries relating to operational suspension, including detailed examples for entering makeup time worked into OWLS.

Are You Interested?

OWLS Support is considering additional training avenues for timekeepers. In order to provide the best service, please let us know what kind of training you would find most beneficial by completing this quick poll.

Holiday on a Sunday

This coming Christmas Day and New Year's Day fall on a Sunday. Washington state law provides that when a holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed the following Monday. Likewise, when a holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed the preceding Friday.

Make sure employees know that Monday, December 26, 2011 and Monday, January 2, 2012 are designated as paid holidays. You can verify the 2011 and 2012 holidays on the UW Human Resources website.

Sick Leave Buy-Back

The Annual Attendance Incentive Program allows employees whose sick leave balances exceed 480 hours as of January 1 to be compensated at 25% value for the previous calendar year's accrued and unused sick leave.

To avoid potential pitfalls, think about the following when entering sick leave payment in OWLS:

  • OWLS shows the deduction of paid sick leave effective January 1 of the year in which payment is made.
  • The employee must retain a sick leave balance of at least 480 hours after the payment. Reminder -- employee donations of sick leave as shared leave are deducted from the employee’s sick leave balance just as if they had been used.
  • Use the “Balances” tab to total sick leave use. Because sick leave donated as shared leave counts too, check both the “Used” and “Adj” columns for sick leave.

TIP: Before submitting the attendance incentive payment request to Payroll, enter the payment in OWLS to ensure that the number of hours to be paid is correct. OWLS will not allow more hours to be paid than the employee is eligible for.

Visit the OWLS User Guide for detailed information about Sick Leave Buy-Back entries in OWLS.

Chicken Soup for the Timekeeper

As the end of 2011 approaches, the OWLS Team wants to thank you for your hard work this year.  It shows! You've been inquiring about all things OWLS on a very timely basis and you've been entering LWOP and/or FMLA on holidays where an employee was either taking LWOP and/or FMLA the day prior to a holiday. Job well done, and happy new year!


The Myth: It's okay to end a record with a shared leave balance remaining, right?

BUSTED! NO, it's not okay to end a record with a shared leave balance remaining. Please notify AskOWLS if you need to end a record with a shared leave balance or if you notice that the employee has not used shared leave for 30 days.  The unused shared leave is returned to the employees who so graciously donated their leave to another employee.

Human Resources Administration, Box 354554, Seattle, WA 98105
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