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Attendance at Work During Emergency and Inclement Weather

SECTION NUMBER: H-8
SUBJECT: ATTENDANCE AT WORK DURING EMERGENCY AND INCLEMENT WEATHER
DATE ISSUED: September, 2002
REVISION(s): No. 2: April, 2008
Anne Arundel County Government will keep its offices open during regularly scheduled hours unless extreme inclement weather or other emergency necessitates the curtailment of all but essential services. When County offices are open, all employees are expected to come to work or remain at work until officially released. This directive applies to all County employees.
I. DEFINITIONS:
The following are definitions used in this Section.
Administrative Leave - authorized absence from work, approved by the Chief Administrative Officer, that is not deducted from an employee's disability, annual or personal leave accruals.
Emergency and Essential Employees - those employees who are designated as such by an Appointing Authority for the purpose of providing essential services to County citizens and other County employees.
Extreme Weather Conditions - blizzard, tornado, hurricane or whole scale flood conditions.
Liberal Leave - annual leave or authorized leave without pay that is granted by the Appointing Authority, without requiring the normal advanced notice request period, and which is provided at the discretion of the Chief Administrative Officer in connection with emergency conditions only.
Hours of Work - in accordance with ยง6-1-103 of the Anne Arundel County Code, all County departments or offices shall remain open for the transaction of business from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Work Day - the number of hours an employee is normally required to work per day.
II. PROCEDURE:
A. Responsibilities
1. The Chief Administrative Officer, and/or his designee, will make and disseminate all official decisions concerning closing of County offices due to extreme inclement weather or other emergencies.
2. Such decisions will be transmitted to Department/Office Heads and/or the public media as designated in the "Notification Procedure" section of this directive.
3. Appointing Authorities will determine which employees are needed to maintain essential services when County offices are closed.
a. Such employees will be designated as "emergency and essential employees" and will be so notified in writing of their status on or about November 15th of each year or when a change in their status is made.
b. A list of designated "emergency and essential employees" will be furnished by Appointing Authorities to the Chief Administrative Officer, and/or his designee, and to the Personnel Officer by November 30th of each year.
4. Appointing Authorities will ensure the policy and procedures contained in this directive are fully disseminated and understood by all employees in their departments.
5. The Departments of Police, EMS/Fire/Rescue and Public Works will keep the Chief Administrative Officer advised of those weather/emergency conditions which may affect the opening or closing of County offices.
6. The Personnel Officer will maintain a countywide list of "emergency and essential employees."
B. Delayed Opening/Liberal Leave
1. When inclement weather is severe enough, the Chief Administrative Officer, and/or his designee, may:
a. Elect to delay the opening of County offices. In such event, the following announcement will be provided to and made by the radio stations identified in subsection II.E.2
nbsp;"All Anne Arundel County Government Offices will delay opening until _______ a.m. Emergency and essential employees must report for work at their usual times."
Emergency and essential employees who do not report to work at their usual times are subject to disciplinary action.
Information on the delay in opening of County Offices can be obtained by calling (410) 222-4000, or by using the Internet (www.aacounty.org) and clicking on the "Weather Info" link.
b. Elect to apply a liberal leave policy. In such event, the following announcement will be provided to and made by the radio stations identified in subsection
II.E.2
"All Anne Arundel County Government Offices will open today at _______ a.m. Employees are advised that a liberal leave policy is in effect. Emergency and essential employees must report at their usual times." or
"Anne Arundel County Government Offices will open on time today. Employees are advised that a liberal leave policy is in effect. Emergency and essential employees must report at their usual times."
Emergency and essential employees who do not report to work at their usual times are subject to disciplinary action.
2. Appointing Authorities should use their discretion as to employees who report to work late as the result of weather-related difficulties.
3. It is the employee's responsibility to monitor the radio and television stations listed in E2 of this section. An employee who reports to work at their regular time will not receive any additional leave to compensate for the hours of the delayed opening.
4. Employees who call in and are unable to come to work at all may, at the discretion of the Appointing Authority, be granted annual leave if requested. Employees with a positive annual leave balance will normally be placed on annual leave for the entire work day. Employees with a "zero" annual leave balance (including any advanced annual leave they may be entitled to through the end of the calendar year) will be placed on leave without pay for the entire work day.
5. Employees who call in sick during emergency or inclement weather conditions may, at the discretion of the supervisor, be required to provide a doctor's certificate to substantiate charging the absence to disability leave. An employee who fails to bring in the required certificate when requested to do so will have the time automatically reported as leave without pay.
C. Early Closing of Offices
1. The Chief Administrative Officer, and/or his designee, will make and disseminate all official decisions concerning the early closure of County offices due to extreme inclement weather or other emergencies.
2. All employees not designated as "emergency and essential employees" will be excused from work in the case of an early closure decision. These employees will be reported on administrative leave and will be paid at their regular rate.
3. Employees designated as "emergency and essential employees" will remain on duty for the duration of their regular shift or revert to their assigned emergency shift if appropriate.
4. Employees who called in and were placed on annual leave, who depart prior to an official announcement, or had previously been scheduled for annual leave, shall be charged annual leave for the period of absence. Employees with a "zero" annual leave balance will be placed on leave without pay.
5. An employee who calls in sick during an emergency or inclement weather situation may be required to provide a doctor's certificate to substantiate charging the absence to disability leave at the discretion of the supervisor. An employee who fails to bring in the required certificate when requested to do so will have the time automatically reported as leave without pay.
D. Conditions Preventing Opening of Offices
1. The Chief Administrative Officer, and/or his designee, are the only individuals empowered to announce the closure of County offices under this policy.
2. In the event that Anne Arundel County Government offices will not open because of inclement weather, the following announcement will be provided to the radio stations identified in subsection II.E.2
of this procedure:
"All Anne Arundel County Government Offices are closed today. Emergency and essential employees must report for work at their usual times."
Information on the closure of County Offices can be obtained by calling (410) 222-4000 or by using the Internet (www.aacounty.org) and clicking on the "Weather Info" link.
3. All emergency and essential employees will report to their normal shift or emergency shift.
a. Emergency and essential employees who do not report to work are subject to disciplinary action.
b. Appointing Authorities should use their discretion as to emergency and essential employees who report to work late or not at all as a result of extreme weather conditions.
4. All non-emergency employees are excused from reporting to work when the County offices are closed. These employees will be reported on administrative leave and paid at their regular rate of pay.
5. It is the employee's responsibility to monitor the radio and television stations listed in E.2. of this Section. An employee who reports to work will not receive additional leave for any hours worked.
6. Employees on previously approved leave status are still on leave status (not administrative) and time will be reported in accordance with established personnel regulations and this procedure.
7. For non-emergency employees who are assigned to a State operated building (such as the Court House):
 a. If State offices are open and County offices are closed, employees are excused from reporting to work and will be reported on administrative leave and paid at their regular rate of pay.
 b. If County offices are open and State offices are closed, employees must report to work or be permitted to use the appropriate leave to substantiate their absence. 
E. Notification Procedure
1. The following notification procedure shall be employed in the event of a delayed opening or official closing of County offices for the day.
a. The Chief Administrative Officer, and/or his designee, shall notify the following individuals of his decision:
County Executive
Chairperson of County Council
Director of Public Works
Chief of Police
Fire Chief
Detention Facilities Superintendent
Director of the Department of Aging and Disabilities
Health Officer
Minority Affairs Officer
Personnel Officer
Central Services Officer
Controller
Budget Officer
Director of Recreation and Parks
Director of Inspections and Permits
Director of Planning and Zoning
Sheriff
State's Attorney
Circuit Court Administrator
Anne Arundel Community College President
Board of Education/Superintendent of Schools
Library Administrator
b. The Chief Administrative Officer, and/or his designee, and the Public Information Officer shall notify:
Official Radio Stations
Official Television Stations
Superintendent of County Facilities/Buildings
c. The Chief Administrative Officer, or his designee, will notify the members of the Executive Office Staff and all individuals not enumerated above who report directly to the County Executive.
2. In the event a decision is made by the Chief Administrative Officer to delay the opening of County Government offices, institute a liberal leave policy, or not to open County Government offices for the day, the Chief Administrative Officer, and/or his designee, will notify local radio and television stations listed below:
Radio:
WNAV - AM 1430 (410) 269-1558
WBAL - AM 1090 (410) 467-3000
WCAO - AM 600 (410) 366-1555
WMAL - AM 630 (202) 686-3020
WLIF - FM 101.9 (410) 823-1570
WPOC - FM 93.1 (410) 366-1555
Television:
Channel 2 WMAR (410) 377-2246
Channel 11 WBAL (410) 467-3000
Channel 13 WJZ (410) 466-0013
Fox 45 WBFF (410) 467-4545
Channel 5 WTTG (202) 895-3000
Channel 7 WJLA (703) 236-9555
These radio and television stations represent the only authorized source of official information concerning the time of opening of Anne Arundel County Government offices.
3. In the event the Chief Administrative Officer elects to close offices during the workday, all Appointing Authorities will be notified by telephone by the Office of Personnel, at which point the policy outlined in Section II.C will apply.
4. Information on a delayed opening, liberal leave policy or closing of County Offices is also available by calling (410) 222-4000 or through the Internet by clicking the "Weather Info" link.
F. Performance of Functions
In the event of inclement weather, or other emergency conditions, any employee may be directed to remain on duty beyond a regularly scheduled workday at the discretion of the Appointing Authority when such action is required for the delivery of essential public services or the transaction of essential County business.
Forms and Practices:
None


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