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Index > Operations Policies > Weather Closing and Pay Policy

Weather Closing and Pay Policy


Because RISD is a residential college, its activities necessarily continue despite any inclement weather, and it therefore will close only in the most severe circumstances.

We recognize that there is a wide variation in where individuals live and work, in the nature of a particular job, and in the requirement to be at work at any particular time. Employees and RISD, however, share an interest and a concern for both getting the work done and protecting the well-being of those performing the work. In this spirit, it is anticipated that employees will make every effort, consistent with their own safety, to be at work when needed.


Use of Vacation or Personal Time During Inclement Weather

When RISD remains open during inclement weather, employees who choose not to come to work because of travel conditions or family needs, or who decide to leave work before the end of their scheduled workday may charge their time off to unused vacation or personal time, if available. Employees, other than those who work in a position/department designated essential (see below), may request a variation from their regular schedule due to severe weather conditions. An employee requesting a change in schedule should notify their supervisor of the requested change in schedule as soon as possible. Supervisors who receive such requests should attempt to work out reasonable accommodations consistent with overall staffing and institutional needs.

Supervisors should provide a reasonable grace period without requiring the use of personal or vacation time for employees who are delayed from arriving at work due to severe weather conditions.

Inclement Weather Closing

When RISD closes due to inclement weather, non-essential employees will be paid for the hours they were scheduled to be at work. However, when an employee calls in sick or has planned a vacation day on a day when the institution is subsequently closed for inclement weather, time off will be charged as previously scheduled; i.e. as sick time or vacation time.

Non-essential employees who report to work or stay at work despite the closing or delay announcement will receive their regular pay without additional compensation for the day or hours worked.

Essential Operations

Due to the nature of the College’s and Museum’s activities and the complexity of its operations, there are certain essential services that must be provided regardless of weather conditions. Essential services include those provided by Facilities, Public Safety, Dining Services, Central Control Dispatchers, and Residence Life staff. Because these departments are expected to remain operational, employees within these departments are expected to report to work even when RISD is closed. Depending on the circumstances, other personnel may also be required to report to work.

Managers have the responsibility to identify work roles deemed essential and to inform affected individuals in advance of their obligation. Essential employees who are released from work during an inclement weather event will receive their normal pay as outlined above.

Essential personnel who are non-exempt (hourly) and perform work on days or during the hours that the College is closed for inclement weather will receive time-and-one half for all hours worked, and will also be paid at their straight time rate for their regularly scheduled hours, starting with the time of the employee’s arrival through the end of their regularly scheduled shift, provided that they work through the end of their regularly scheduled shift during the closure.

For example, an essential employee is scheduled to work six (6) hours on a day that the College is subsequently closed due to inclement weather. The employee reports to work at their regularly scheduled time and works nine (9) hours before the College resumes normal operations. In this scenario, the employee is paid six (6) hours at their regular rate of pay and nine (9) hours at the rate of time-and one half.

Essential personnel who are in exempt positions are paid their regular wages when required to work during administrative closings or delays.

For additional information about weather related closings, please see the Inclement Weather Policy.

Revision history

This policy was last reviewed/modified on: 12/18/2015

Next scheduled review: 3/30/2020


Issuing Office

Human Resources

Responsible Officer

Vice President for Human Resources

Individuals/offices required for review and changes

Director of Employment and Employee Development

Vice President for Campus Services