Human Resources Guidelines

HRG10 Handling "Weather Day" Absences or Official University Closedowns Due to Weather Conditions

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Dovizia Long, 814-867-0041,

Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Human Resources





To provide a uniform method of handling "weather day" absences that occur when employees are prevented or delayed from getting to work, or leave work early, because of a severe storm with heavy snow accumulation, icy roads, flooding, etc. Also, to provide guidelines in the event the University is closed officially by the President; or if a campus of the University is closed by the chancellor or chief executive officer or dean of that campus; or if the Director of Penn State Extenstion closes a Penn State Extension office.


When a "weather day" occurs, usually some employees make it to work and others do not. The University does not give free time off for such absences, unless the President, chief executive officer, chancellor, or dean of a campus, or if the Director of Penn State Extension officially closes the facility; no one else may authorize free time off. Time missed is accounted for by permitting the employee to elect to be paid for the absence by charging the time to accumulated vacation or personal holiday, if applicable.

Similarly, if employees are given permission to leave work early, the work time missed is accounted for either as vacation or personal holiday, if applicable.


If the President of the University officially closes the University, or if a campus of the University is closed by the chief executive officer or dean of that campus, the following conditions apply, unless otherwise specified by the President at any time during the period of the official closedown:

Employees in other than essential services, as determined by the supervisor: 

  1. An employee shall receive pay for the part of the work schedule missed during the official closedown period in the following circumstances:
    • Employee is at work until the closedown officially begins, irrespective of the time of arrival to work.
    • Employee is informed not to report for work during the closedown 
  2. The status of an employee on a regularly scheduled day off, layoff, or leave of absence without pay does not change because there is an official closedown. However, an employee who had requested to use vacation, personal holiday, or sick leave time shall not have such time charged for the period of the employee's regular work time encompassed by an official closedown.

Employees in essential services, as determined by the supervisor:

  1. An employee who is required by the supervisor to work on essential duties during that employee's regular shift shall be granted equivalent time off only for the hours worked during the official closedown period. Hours worked before and/or after the closedown do not qualify for equivalent time off.
  2. Equivalent time off shall be scheduled at another time mutually agreeable to the employee and the supervisor.
  3. Equivalent time off shall not be granted for hours of overtime worked during the closedown if the employee is eligible for overtime pay.

Employees in the Applied Research Laboratory will follow the ARL HR500 Weather Related Closure Supplemental Policy. 

Date Approved: 

December 13, 2022

Date Published: 

December 13, 2022

Effective Date: 

December 13, 2022