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Essential Personnel

Responsible Department
Human Resources
Effective Date
04/16/2020
  1. .

    Policy Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the identification and use of employees during campus emergency closures or altered operations at the University of North Georgia (the “University”).  The health, safety and welfare of students, employees, and visitors, as well as the continuity of key operations, are essential during emergency situations.

  2. .

    Definitions

    1. Emergency Campus Closure:  In the event of inclement weather or any emergency which may place the health or safety of students, employees or citizens at risk, or conditions or events that prevent performance of regular operations of the University, official closure or reduced operations of the University may be deemed necessary.

    2. Essential Position:  A position that has been designated as critical because its responsibilities include Critical Essential Functions that must be performed despite an Emergency Campus Closure.

      1. On-campus:  An Essential Position that is required to report to campus to his/her normal work location (or an alternate site if necessary) for work during an Emergency Campus Closure.

      2. Remote Access:  An Essential Position that is required to perform non-deferrable work during emergency closures, but is not necessarily required to do so at his/her normal workspace. Instead, a Remote Access Essential Position may perform his/her non-deferrable work remotely from home or another off-campus location.

    3. Critical Essential Function: A service or operation that is necessary to maintain or protect the health, safety, or physical well-being of the University's personnel (students, staff, and faculty), critical administrative functions, academic mission, facilities and/or assets (including research projects).

    4. Standby Position: A position that is not designated as an Essential Position, and, as such, its incumbent is not required to work during an Emergency Campus Closure.
  3. .

    Policy Statement

    1. The President may declare the closing or reduced operations of the University in an Emergency Campus Closure.  Any Emergency Campus Closure or delayed opening will be consistent with the University’s “Unscheduled University Closings” policy.

    2. In the event of an Emergency Campus Closure, all employees holding Essential Positions must fulfill their duties as set forth in this policy and as directed by their supervisors.

    3. Standby Positions may be designated as Essential Positions at any point during an emergency, even if not designated as an Essential Position prior to an Emergency Campus Closure.

    4. An employee serving in an On-campus Essential Position may have to report to work even if the Emergency Campus Closure occurs during a time that he/she is not regularly scheduled to work.

    5. In the event of an emergency that requires reduced operations but not closure, the President may implement telework or flexible schedule arrangements in order to continue the required operations of the University.  In situations where work is not available to certain employees, the President may place those exempt and non-exempt employees on leave with or without pay.
  4. .

    Support Information

  5. .

    Procedures

    1. Identification of Critical Essential Functions and Personnel

      1. Department Heads and Supervisors are responsible for completing a Continuity of Operations Plan that identifies Critical Essential Functions and Essential Positions for their respective area(s) of oversight.

      2. Department Heads and Supervisors are responsible for notifying the Office of Human Resources in writing of Essential Positions for reporting purposes, and their position descriptions should note that, in the event of an Emergency Campus Closure, the employee may be called back to assist with campus operations and recovery.  Essential Position designations must be reviewed annually.

      3. Department Heads and Supervisors are responsible for notifying employees whose positions have been identified as Essential Positions.

      4. If a department head designates an Essential Position as a Remote Access Essential Position, he/she must coordinate with the Office of Information Technology to ensure the employee has the appropriate computer access and security to work remotely, if required.  A temporary telework agreement must be on file in compliance with the University’s Telework Policy.

    2. Reporting for Duty during Emergency Campus Closures

      Personnel who hold Essential Positions will be notified by campus communication and/or their respective Department Head or supervisor (or their designee) of specific reporting instructions.  They must report to work as scheduled or as soon as feasible.

      1. Personnel in Essential Positions must remain on duty as instructed to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of Critical Essential Functions, unless directed or permitted to do otherwise by their respective supervisors.

      2. Personnel in Remote Access Essential Positions may be able to perform required services from home or from a remote location, in appropriate circumstances.  Department Heads and supervisors will identify these individuals on a case-by-case basis and consult with the Office of Human Resources on the designation and in compliance with the Teleworking Policy.

    3. Any related operating procedures must comply with and should reference this policy.

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