Impact of remote work adds twist to severe-weather policy


Snowy weather brings a reminder from campus leaders about the university’s policy for reducing operations. This year, with many faculty and staff working remotely because of COVID-19, the impact of a reduction in operations might look a little different.

In short-term severe weather conditions, the university may declare an emergency reduction in operations and reduce non-critical operations on campus. During such a time, only faculty and staff who have been previously designated as critical should report to campus.

Under the policy, non-critical faculty and staff should not report to worksites during reduced operations.

Employees working remotely should continue to work remotely under an emergency reduction in operations.

Employees who typically work on-site but are not critical during a weather-related emergency reduction in operations should also work remotely, if they are able to do so.

Employees who are not critical during a weather-related emergency reduction in operations and who cannot perform their jobs from home should not report to work. They will not lose pay if they cannot work remotely during a short-term emergency reduction in operations.

Critical employees who are needed in-person should report to work.

For more information, see the university’s Standard Practice Guide on Emergency Reduction in Operations, SPG 201.27.

Each school, college and administrative unit is responsible for identifying both the operations — such as police, medical, animal care, etc. — and the specific employees designated critical to report to campus during reduced operations.

Notification of a campuswide emergency reduction in operations will be made through the UM Emergency Alert system, the U-M homepage and local media outlets.

Faculty, staff and students can ensure they’re signed up for the UM Emergency Alert system by visiting Wolverine Access.

In the event severe weather begins after staff members are at work, individual departments will determine whether employees may leave early.

Leaders at UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint will make decisions about reductions of operations on their respective campuses.

For Michigan Medicine, all employees at the hospitals and health centers are designated as critical and are expected to report to work during regularly scheduled shifts whenever possible.

Michigan Medicine faculty and staff should refer to the Severe Weather Plan — accessible from any Michigan Medicine computer or computer logged into the Virtual Private Network — for detailed information on preparedness and response to winter weather.


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