Inclement Weather Guidelines
Inclement weather: Ice, snow, freezing rain or other events associated with adverse weather conditions.
Essential Employee: An employee is deemed essential if, in the judgment of their supervisor, they are critical and necessary to the discharge of duties and/or functions that can not be suspended or curtailed in whole or in part without leading to the failure of the department to furnish essential functions.
Essential Function: Any function that is designated as essential to the continued and safe operation of the campus. Essential functions may vary depending on the circumstances of the emergency.
Emergency Response Team: (“ERT”) University leaders identified in the university’s Emergency Response Plan with overall strategic management of emergency operations during the emergency period.
The New School buildings will remain open and adhere to full operation whenever possible. During inclement weather, university offices and services will generally remain open during normal operating hours and available to students, faculty, and staff.
Closures or Delayed Starts
The university’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) will make the determination to close buildings, delay or cancel classes and/or events, in accordance with the Emergency Response Plan.
Whenever the NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) informs the public that they are going to shut down the system, the university ERT will recommend the closure of university buildings and cancellation of on-campus classes and events. If the MTA announces a shut down during regular university operational hours, an early dismissal will be authorized by the ERT.
Whenever the NYC Department of Education (DOE) informs the public that they will hold virtual classes for K-12 public schools due to inclement weather, the ERT will recommend the closure of university buildings and cancellation of on-campus classes and events.
Offices and services that are necessary to fulfilling essential functions will typically remain open during periods of more severe inclement weather, even when other non-essential offices and services might limit operations. Department leaders should prepare for inclement weather by informing those employees (if any) who would perform essential duties (an “Essential Employee”), of the expectation to report to work and discuss transportation options if that poses difficulties for the employees.
In all instances, Faculty should work with the academic leadership for their program and/or Faculty Affairs to determine the best appropriate action related to virtual class session delivery, cancellations, and/or make-up sessions.
The university will make its best effort to announce any closings or delayed starts by 7 a.m. On days when weather conditions worsen as the day progresses, the university may decide to close early. In such cases, a decision and an announcement will be made as soon as practical. Employees will be expected to remain at work until the appointed closing time, unless their normal work day ends prior to that time, or unless they receive permission from their department head to do otherwise. Department heads are not authorized to unilaterally close an entire office unless in direct coordination with the ERT.
Weather announcements will be made using the following modes of communication:
- University website banner
- University Status Message on the university website
- New School Social Media accounts
- New School Alerts (including phone/text/email communications)
During a closing or delayed opening, non-union hourly employees designated as essential who are asked to report by their supervisor will be paid for the number of hours worked during the emergency closing and will receive additional paid time off equivalent to the number of hours worked. Non-union salaried employees designated as essential who are asked to report to work by their supervisor will receive their normal pay and receive additional paid time off equivalent to the number of hours worked.
Additional time off earned by an employee that worked during an emergency should be used within 60 days after a weather closing or early dismissal. Supervisors are responsible for tracking this time.
Employees who report to work when the university is officially closed or during a delayed opening, who have not been asked to report, will not be eligible for the additional paid time off.
Union employees (both hourly and salaried) will be paid in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement.
The New School does not expect employees to take unnecessary risks to report to campus or to remain on campus during severe weather. When inclement weather conditions create transportation difficulties that result in late arrival of employees to work, such lost time need not be applied to leave balances, nor should the employees experience loss of pay if, in the judgment of the department head, such lost time was justifiable in view of weather conditions. With the supervisor’s approval, a non-teaching employee may be permitted to make up a limited amount of time missed within the same work week.
Employees who do not report to work or who leave work early without an official closing or early release must charge the time missed to accrued vacation, flexible holiday time, or an emergency absence (Part-Time Faculty only). See the NYC website on Safe & Sick Leave for more information.
Employees who do not report following a delayed opening will be required to use accrued vacation, flexible holiday time, or an emergency absence (Part-Time Faculty only) for the entire absence.
During a closing or delayed opening, employees who are on an approved vacation or sick day are not entitled to additional vacation, flexible holiday, or sick time as a result of the delay or closing.
November 2021 Update: (Re)Commitment to Snow Days
As you may be aware, the New York City Department of Education has done away with snow days and has instead opted for remote learning days when there is heavy snowfall or extreme weather. Remote instruction and services are not always preferable or even possible for caregivers, and the university is recommitting to our pre-pandemic practice of closing the university campus, including canceling classes and staff meetings, during severe weather emergencies. Our emergency response team will continue to evaluate and recommend the appropriate actions if a potential closure scenario arises.
Compensation During a Snow Day
When the university declares an emergency closure due to inclement weather, Human Resources will activate the Emergency Close time off plan. This plan will make the Emergency Close - Snow Day time off entry available. Additional information for salaried and hourly employees is listed below. Temporary hourly employees and students are not paid for the closure.
Salaried employees will have an Emergency Close - Snow Day time off entry automatically posted in their time off calendar in MyDay, and will not need to enter any information in MyDay to report the snow day.
Hourly employees should record their snow day by entering the Emergency Close time entry for the designated snow day in MyDay.
Note: This time entry code should only be used by those who were scheduled to work on the designated snow day.
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