Guidelines for Extraordinary Weather Conditions
It is State policy not to close State facilities, offices, or operations as a result of extraordinary weather conditions. In all such circumstances, offices are considered open for business.
Notwithstanding the above stated policy, it is understandable that in certain extraordinary situations it may not be possible for employees to get to work. This could be due to impassable roads, declaration of a State of emergency by a governmental official, etc. (NOTE: A declaration of emergency, even by the Governor, does not automatically mean closure of State offices. If there were to be closure of State offices in such a situation, that determination would result from a separate action by the Governor.) Certainly, employees as citizens are expected to abide by civil authority. Nevertheless, even in such situations, absence is the employee’s responsibility and employees will be expected to charge their absence to accumulated vacation, personal, or overtime compensatory leave accruals.
There may be rare instances where a State office, facility, or operations must be closed. It is possible that this might occur prior to the commencement of the business day or during the business day, requiring Directed Early Departure. While agency management and/or appropriate emergency personnel may direct an “emergency evacuation” of a State facility due to building safety conditions, individual appointing authorities do not have the authority to close an office or facility or send employees home without charge to leave accruals. Offices or facilities may only be closed by order of the Governor.
It should be noted that even when closures occur, employees performing essential services are expected to report to work in emergencies as part of their job responsibilities related to the emergency itself, and/or for the care and custody of clients in hospitals and facilities. Agencies are reminded that offices should not be closed solely due to weather conditions; offices should remain open for those employees who are able to report to work.
Purchase College Policy
The official Purchase College policy on extraordinary weather requires that normal operations be continued as much as possible. Essential College services include:
- Heating / Plumbing
- Residential Facilities Management
- Mailroom Services
- Maintenance Trades
- University Police
- Residence Life
- Food Services
- Health Services
Services must be maintained throughout severe weather events. College employees working in these areas should remain on duty or report to work to avoid interruption of these essential services, unless directed or permitted to do otherwise by their supervisors.
The Purchase College President (or designee) has the authority to take the following actions:
- Cancel classes: When this decision has been made, absences of professional employees, librarians and management confidential employees on such days must be credited against compensatory time or vacation accruals. Full-time classified employees are provided with five (5) personal days annually to be used for personal business, religious observance or emergency weather situations. Absences due to inclement weather should be so charged. (the inclement weather option should only be used in the Time and Attendance System (TAS) when the Governor has closed the campus). Professional employees, librarians, and MC employees should first charge such absences against vacation or holiday compensatory time, or other compensatory time.
- Excuse reasonable tardiness: This action is permitted without charge to leave credits when extraordinary weather conditions affect the arrival time of a significant number of employees. Full day absences, however, can never be excused without charge to leave credits or payroll adjustments.
- Direct the early departure of employees: This action is permitted, without charge to leave accruals or payroll adjustments, when in the opinion of the Campus President and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) the weather is severe enough to make travel dangerous. This may be enacted in only the most extreme situations.
- Authorize early departure of employees: The College President may authorize this action with appropriate charge to leave accruals or payroll adjustments when weather conditions make transportation dangerous.
ESSENTIAL PURCHASE COLLEGE SERVICES
The schedules for essential college services during a weather emergency are as follows:
Food Services, Health Services, and Residential Life will maintain normal operating hours.
- Monday - Thursday - Close at 8:00 pm
- Friday - Close at 3:00 pm
- Saturday - Close at 5:00 pm
- Sunday - Close at 8:00 pm
All Day Closures
- Monday-Thursday - 10:30 am to 8:00 pm
- Friday - 10:30 am to 5:00 pm
- Saturday - 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
- Sunday - 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm
- Monday to Friday - Open at 10:30 am - The Library will close at its regular closing time
- Saturday and Sunday - regular hours
Circulation services will be available. Other services may be curtailed.
During inter-sessions, the Library may close earlier than its normal inter-session hours.
- Monday-Thursday - 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Friday - 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Saturday & Sunday - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
- Monday-Thursday - Noon to 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- Friday - Noon to 2:00 pm
- Saturday & Sunday - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
IMPLEMENTATION OF PURCHASE COLLEGE POLICY
The Provost and Emergency Response Team are responsible for monitoring weather reports and weather conditions for the College. In the performance of these duties, they will consult with the United States Weather Service, State, local and county policy and the College’s Director of Facilities Management to monitor the effect of storm conditions on transportation to and on the campus.
The Provost and / or Emergency Response Team will contact the other senior College Officers to discuss whether the reports indicate that weather conditions will probably severely disrupt transportation and warrant administrative action. To be considered is the impact of the weather on classes as well as any scheduled events. Whenever possible, information on scheduled events should be communicated by the Deans, Chairs and Directors to their senior College Officer by close of business the day before the anticipated weather event.
The Officers will make a decision. The decision may be one or some combination of the four options outlined in the Purchase College Policy.
Communication to the College community will be made as follows:
- Updates on the Weather Emergency Hotline (914-251-7500) & Portal page will take place by 5:30AM for day classes and college business hours. Postings will take place by 2:30PM for evening classes.
- Rave Alert System - which allows us to send the entire community emergency notifications via phone, text and email. Text messages will now be included for weather related campus-wide delays and cancelations. The text will be from 78015.
If classes are cancelled after the beginning of the instructional day, the announcement will be communicated to the campus via broadcast email.
If supervisors receive requests from employees for approval of early departures because the employees are concerned about the effects of weather on travel but the weather has not been deemed severe enough to justify authorized departures, the supervisors should not deny such requests as unreasonable - keeping in mind the maintenance of campus essential services. As mentioned, however, early departures requested by employees and approved by supervisors, require appropriate charges to leave accruals or payroll adjustments. (Payroll adjustments will only be made in cases where there are no appropriate accruals to charge.)
If the President determines that an authorized early departure is warranted, they will so advise the other Vice Presidents and the Provost. Those officers will then notify all supervisory personnel in their areas to begin directing employees not required for essential services to leave work. Employees should not leave their work locations until directed to do so by their supervisors. As previously stated, authorized absences must be charged to leave accruals.
If the President and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations determine that a directed early departure is warranted, the President will notify the College Officers and the Chief Human Resources Officer. The Chief Human Resources Officer will notify all employees via campus wide broadcast. Employees should not leave their work locations until directed to do so by their supervisors. As previously stated, directed absences will be without charge to leave accruals.
* In the event of a major storm, an operations center will be established in the University Police Office in accordance with the College’s Emergency Response Plan. Emergency situations and response to such emergencies will be monitored and coordinated from this center.