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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Controlled Access Status for Emergency, Disaster or Severe Weather

Policy Number: 85

Subject:

University controlled access, attendance of employees and students, compensation and expenses in emergencies, disasters or severe weather

Scope:

Employees and students

Date Reviewed:
September 2018
Responsible Office:
Office of the President
Responsible Executive:
President

I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT

The President may determine that The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") or specific operating unit(s) or building(s) may be changed to controlled access, suspending normal operations and classes, in the event of an emergency, disaster or severe weather.

II. DEFINITIONS

Emergency: A disruption to normal operations which requires prompt or immediate action to protect life, property, or the environment, and/or to restore normal operations.

Essential personnel: Essential employees are those designated by their department heads as essential to the continued performance of their departments for the protection of university assets during an emergency. Essential employees will be required to report to their designated work site (on or off campus) even when the university has issued a controlled access status due to adverse conditions. Essential personnel are comprised of two categories:

Category 1: Executive Control Team members; Advisory Call personnel as listed in the Emergency Management Plan; Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) personnel; Facilities, Planning, and Engineering personnel; The University of Texas Police - Houston (UTP-H); Information Technology personnel; Office of Public Affairs personnel; Auxiliary Enterprises Maintenance staff; and Animal Care personnel.

Category 2: Departmental personnel who will be the last to leave their area during an evacuation, and the first to reenter when the facility is cleared; employees required to sustain clinical operations; and other personnel as designated by the department head. Category 2 personnel are responsible for securing property (e.g., controlled substances, perishables, turning off equipment, covering sensitive property) prior to evacuation.

Controlled access: A state of limited access to university facilities declared by the Executive Control Team during which access controls will be implemented so that only authorized university personnel may gain access to institutional buildings.  All personnel will be required to enter the facility using their institutional identification badges

Emergency lockdown: A state of limited access to university facilities declared by the Chief of UTP-H where all exterior badge access to a facility is limited to emergency and/or any necessary Category 1 support teams.  In this scenario, personnel may gain access to facilities based on safety or security related conditions within the facility and need to follow any established procedures, including signing in and out at the designated check points.

Executive Control Team: Team of executive administrators with institutional authority in times of emergencies. Members of the team include the President, Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President, Finance and Business Services & Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer, Vice President of Facilities, Planning, and Engineering, Vice President of Safety, Health, Environment, and Risk Management, and the Chief of UTP-H.

III. PROCEDURE

A. University Operating Unit Controlled Access

UTP-H and the Office of Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management (SHERM) are responsible for monitoring potential emergency, disaster or severe weather situations. The Chief of UTP-H and the Vice President of SHERM, or their designees will contact the President and the Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer or their designees to notify them of the status of potential emergencies, disasters or severe weather. The President, in consultation with the Executive Control Team, will decide whether to shift the university or a specific operating unit(s) or building(s) to controlled access. If the university, an operating unit(s) or building(s) is changed to controlled access, the Chief of Police, Vice President of SHERM, or their designees will notify the Executive Director of Public Affairs or designee and the UTP-H dispatch supervisor in charge that the university, operating unit(s), or building(s) will shift to controlled access.

The Executive Director of Public Affairs or designee is responsible for notifying others of the change in operational status as indicated in the Emergency Management Plan.  Further notifications will proceed as described in the Emergency Management Plan.

B. Employee and Student Procedures

When an emergency, disaster or severe weather occurs, employees and students should call the university's emergency lines, check local radio and television stations, check the university's emergency information website, or contact their supervisors to find out whether the university or a specific operating unit or building is open.

C. Attendance Requirements Related to Adverse Conditions

If the university, an operating unit(s) or building(s) is changed to controlled access, all non-essential, benefits eligible employees and all essential, benefits eligible employees who are not scheduled/requested to work will be granted administrative leave for the hours they were scheduled to work, except for those who have already been scheduled and received approval for leave. Their absences will be reported according to the leave that was previously approved.

If the university is open, all employees will be expected to report to work. Employees who do not report to work will be given the option of taking vacation time or leave without pay. Employees are expected to call their supervisors to advise them of their situations if at all possible. An employee who alleges illness when the university is open may be required to submit proof of illness in accordance with HOOP 30, Sick Leave that is acceptable to the supervisor.

Essential employees who are scheduled/requested to work will be required to report to their designated work site (on or off campus) during their appointed work schedule even when the institution or specific operating unit(s) or building(s) has been changed to controlled access due to adverse conditions. Essential employees who do not report to work on a day the university or a specific operating unit(s) or building(s) is on controlled access and who were scheduled/requested to do so must use leave without pay or other appropriate leave at the discretion of the supervisor. No administrative leave will be given. If an essential employee cannot report to work, the employee must contact his or her direct supervisor as soon as possible. Such employees may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with applicable university disciplinary policies (HOOP 44, Faculty Reappointment and Non-Reappointment, HOOP 133, Faculty Termination, HOOP 153, Termination of Appointment: Administrative and Professional and/or HOOP 187, Discipline and Dismissal of Classified Employees). 

D. Compensation

Employees who are essential, scheduled and report to their designated work site (on or off campus) will be compensated as follows:

1. Exempt Employees
a. Classified Exempt Employees

Classified employees who are exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act will receive compensatory time off on an hour-for-hour basis for all hours they are required to work off-site or to be present . This compensatory time must be taken during the 12-month period following the end of the workweek during which the time occurred. Exempt employees will not be paid for compensatory time not taken during this 12-month period, nor will an exempt employee be paid for outstanding compensatory time on termination of employment. Additionally, classified exempt employees may receive a stipend as determined by the Executive Control Team in consultation with the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer and the Senior Vice President, Finance and Business Services and Chief Financial Officer.

Exempt employees in a staff nurse capacity at The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Hospital (UTHCPC) will be compensated in accordance with the UTHCPC Staffing in Emergency Conditions policy.  

b. Management Administrative & Professional, Faculty, and General Administrative & Professional Employees

Employees who hold these types of appointments will receive up to eight hours of compensatory time for each controlled access day they are required to work off-site or to be present .

2. Non-exempt Employees

Employees who are not exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be compensated for all hours they are required to work off-site or to be present and may receive an additional stipend as determined by the Executive Control Team in consultation with the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer and the Senior Vice President, Finance and Business Services and Chief Financial Officer.  Overtime pay will be calculated in accordance with regular pay guidelines.  See HOOP 154 Overtime Pay and Compensatory Time Off. 

E. Expenses Necessitated by Emergency or Disaster Conditions

In a work-related emergency situation, employees may receive reimbursement for incurred travel and lodging expenses which are contrary to normal reimbursement policies. To qualify for reimbursement under the terms of this policy, conditions of dire emergency must exist that endanger or profoundly affect the university and/or its locale. Emergency situations are non-recurring in nature; they are the result of unusual or unforeseen circumstances for which no prior arrangements for travel or lodging could have been made. The employee must have been required to remain at work beyond the daily scheduled time and found that reasonable or expected transportation was unavailable. This kind of reimbursement may be made only from departmental discretionary funds and requires the authorization of the Senior Vice President, Finance and Business Services and Chief Financial Officer.

IV. CONTACTS

    • Office of the President
    • 713-500-3002
    • https://www.uth.edu/president/presidents-staff.htm
    • Payroll (compensation during adverse conditions)
    • 713-500-3962
    • https://inside.uth.edu/finance/payroll/contact-us.htm
    • Expense Reimbursement (reimbursement for employee expenses necessitated by adverse conditions)
    • 713-500-4958
    • https://inside.uth.edu/finance/expense-reimbursement/contact-us.htm
    • Procurement Services (purchases necessitated by adverse conditions)
    • 713-500-4700
    • https://inside.uth.edu/finance/procurement/contact-us.htm
    • The University of Texas Police - Houston
    • 713-792-2890
    • https://www.utph.org