Essential Position Identification & Designation
- Determine whether your unit has positions that perform essential functions. These are functions that must continue to be performed regardless of whether the University suspends non-essential academic or administrative operations. Create a list of the positions you identify and the employees occupying them.
- Determine whether positions that perform essential function must be available to perform them at any time (e.g. emergency responders, health care providers, IT security); whether the functions are only performed at specific times (e.g. payroll); or whether the function only becomes essential after a period of time elapses where the function is not performed.
- Review job descriptions and job postings for the positions that perform essential functions and ensure that they contain 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.
- Provide all employees in essential positions with a copy of their job description.
- Ensure that any employees who must be available as backups or alternates understand their responsibilities and that you have a communication plan for them in the event operations are suspended.
- Ensure that all employees receive written notification of their responsibilities in the event the University suspends operations, whether or not they hold a position that is designated as essential.
- Determine whether you may need to consider special transportation arrangements for employees unable to get to work during a period of suspended operations.
- Determine whether telework is a feasible option for positions that perform essential services and those that do not. If telework may be an option for employees during a suspension of operations. Approval to telework during suspended operations must be in writing.
- If employees do not normally telework, but might do so during a suspension of operations, anticipate and discuss typical work that would need to be accomplished and confirm access to necessary tools like a home computer system with up-to-date virus and firewall protection, internet connection, and access to necessary passwords and SecurID's if required.
- If employees do not normally telework, but might do so during a suspension of operations, anticipate and discuss typical work that would need to be accomplished.
- Review with employees how they determine the University's operational status.
- Periodically remind employees about their status as performing an essential service, and the respective requirements for reporting to work.
- Remind employees who do not perform an essential service that they do not report to work during a suspension of operation.
- Develop a plan that provides multiple options for communicating with employees in essential positions during an emergency or suspended operations.