It is that time of year when winter weather may have us waking up and debating on whether it is safe to drive to work.
In anticipation of the potential inclement weather, the inclement weather FAQs on TeamTN.gov have been updated to include the following information:
Inclement Weather FAQs
My state office building is not closed due to inclement weather, but I do not feel safe traveling to work. What should I do?
Conditions caused by inclement weather require each employee to make a personal decision regarding safety in traveling to and from the workplace. Although employees are expected to make every effort to report to work, those who do not feel safe doing so should contact their supervisor using approved methods. These employees should expect to use accumulated annual or compensatory time for their absence.
Who makes decisions about office closures caused by inclement weather?
The closure of a state office building is determined by the State’s subject matter experts, including Tennessee Department of Human Resources (DOHR), Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), with the Office of the Governor having final approval for any state office closure. State office closure information will be available on the Inclement Weather Portal on TeamTN.gov.
How are office buildings categorized for the purposes of a closure decision?
State office closures are made on a county by county basis where an office is located and NOT where an employee lives, with a closure impacting all offices in the designated county/counties.
How is notice of an office closure provided?
Inclement weather announcements and timely notice of state office closures will be available for employees on the Inclement Weather Portal on TeamTN.gov. Additionally, the information will be communicated to Appointing Authorities and Agency HR professionals for distribution to employees. State office closure information will be provided to local media for broadcast to the public.
What happens if I participate in the Alternative Workplace Solutions (AWS) work from home arrangement and I was scheduled to work from home on a day my office is closed due to inclement weather?
If an employee was scheduled to work from home and their office is closed due to inclement weather, the employee will NOT be excused from work. Employees who AWS are required to work remotely, despite any office closures, and time missed on that day will be charged as leave. Employees should contact their Agency HR professional with questions related to their Agency’s AWS procedures.
What if I experience a power outage at my residence when I am scheduled to work from home?
In those instances, the employee will have the option to report to the office or use accumulated annual or compensatory leave for their absence.
What happens if my office location is a shared space with county offices that have been closed by order of the local government?
If an employee works from an office building that has been closed by local government, the employee will not be required to report to work and will be granted discretionary leave with pay. The employee’s Appointing Authority will need to notify the Commissioner of Human Resources of the incident in writing, including a copy of official correspondence from the local government which authorized the closure, as soon as possible.
What happens if I am already on leave during the time my office is closed due to inclement weather?
If an employee was previously-approved leave during the affected period, the employee must continue to charge the appropriate leave and will not be eligible for discretionary leave.
For more information regarding inclement weather announcements and general related information, employees may visit the TeamTN.gov Inclement Weather portal at: https://www.teamtn.gov/human-resources/inclement-weather.html
It is the policy of the State (Department of Human Resources—policy number 12-037) to make every effort to maintain normal working hours during periods of inclement weather in order to continue providing necessary services to the citizens. Occasionally, emergency conditions caused by extreme inclement weather may warrant the closing of some State offices. When such conditions are thought to exist, the Governor and/or his/her designee may determine whether state offices should be closed. State office closures due to extreme inclement weather are made on a county by county basis and include all offices in each designated county. Should this occur, timely notice will be provided to the local media for broadcast to the general public and it will be published on the TN. gov website.
If the office remains open, absences due to inclement weather requires that each employee makes a personal decision regarding safety in traveling to and from the workplace. As with any unexpected absence, employees should contact their supervisor using your agency’s approved methods. Employees can use annual or compensatory time for their absence. Employees with no annual or compensatory time, will be changed as leave without pay. Employees who make the effort to report on time and who report within a reasonable period should not be required to take leave for that absence. To be eligible, the employee must leave for work at his or her normal departure time in anticipation of regular arrival time.
If State offices in a county are closed, employees: (1) other than those who work in 24-hour facilities, (2) those who participate in the Alternative Work- place Solutions (AWS) Work from Home arrangement and were scheduled to work from home on that particular day, or (3) those who may be required by their Appointing Authority to work, shall be excused from work and granted discretionary leave with pay. If an employee is a participant in the Work from Home AWS arrangement but is not scheduled to work from home on the day that State offices are closed, they shall be excused from work and granted discretionary leave with pay. However, if an employee is participating in the Mobile Work AWS arrangement on the day State offices are closed, the appointing authority will have the discretion to either allow the employee to be excused from work and granted discretionary leave with pay or require the employee to work remotely. Part-time employees are not eligible for administrative leave or compensatory time. Employees on previously approved leave during the affected period will be not eligible for administration leave.
Certain employees who are employed by the Departments of Mental Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Correction, Children’s Services (group homes, schools, and institutions), Transportation, and Safety, and others which require the employee to maintain the health and safety of others may be required to report to work during periods of inclement weather.
Should you have questions or concerns please contact the TSEA Compensation and Benefits 615- 256-4533.