859 Human Resources Emergency Procedures
Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office: Human Resource Services
Responsible Officer: Assistant Vice President, Human Resource Services
This policy establishes the criteria and process regarding human resource procedures in the event of a declared emergency for employees at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University).
A. When it is declared that emergency conditions exist, it is the intent of MTSU to protect students, employees, facilities, systems, other property, and normal operations to the greatest extent possible.
B. In the event that normal operations cannot be maintained, the goal will be to maximize the continuity of essential services in order to minimize the adverse impact of the emergency. It will further be the intent of MTSU to return to full operations and services as quickly as possible.
C. This policy specifically addresses human resource procedures necessary to support the above goals.
D. Emergency situations covered by this policy include, but are not limited to, natural disasters, the spread of communicable disease, financial crises, terrorist attacks, or other acts of war.
III. Declaration of Emergency
A. Upon the occurrence of an emergency situation, the President or designee shall issue a Declaration of Emergency. This Declaration shall trigger the implementation of the provisions of this policy.
B. In the event that disruption of services is to the extent that communication with the President cannot be established, the President’s designee may trigger the provisions of this policy through a temporary Declaration of Emergency until communications have been restored.
C. When the emergency has abated to the point that normal operations may be resumed, the President shall so note through a second declaration.
IV. Suspension of Personnel Policies
When a Declaration of Emergency has been issued, the following MTSU Personnel Policies shall be suspended and replaced by the provisions of this policy:
V. Emergency Response Personnel
A. Any employee, who is identified by MTSU as essential to meeting critical needs during an emergency, will be designated as Emergency Response Personnel.
1. To the extent possible, MTSU should identify and train these personnel through their process of emergency response planning.
2. When personnel are identified, a Human Resource Officer, designated by the President, should be notified through memo.
B. The designated Human Resource Officer will identify the key personnel necessary to process payroll and maintain continuity of employee benefits for the University. These key personnel must be able to perform their essential functions from a remote location.
C. The designated Human Resource Officer will provide a list, with contact information, for these key personnel to the President and those the President designates. The designated Human Resource Officer will be expected to keep this list up-to-date if there are changes in personnel.
VI. Emergency Leave of Absence
During an Emergency Declaration, any employee, who is not designated as Emergency Response Personnel, will be placed on Emergency Leave of Absence (ELOA) for the duration of the Emergency Declaration.
VII. Payroll and Benefits
A. For the duration of the Emergency Declaration, those employees identified as Emergency Response Personnel will continue to receive regular pay. In addition, Emergency Response Personnel will receive compensation in accordance with Policy 802 Hours of Work for the time spent on duty during the period of emergency.
B. Employees, who are placed on ELOA and were scheduled and available to work during the Emergency Declaration, will suffer no loss of pay during the emergency period.
C. Employees placed on ELOA, who had requested leave time prior to the Emergency Declaration, will be considered to be not available for work during the request period and will be charged for the leave previously requested.
VIII. Sick Leave Bank
A. During an Emergency Declaration, employees, who are members of the sick leave bank, who have exhausted all leave time, and are in a period of unpaid leave, may be able to request a withdrawal from the sick leave bank depending upon the availability and approval of the sick leave bank trustees. Employees requesting access to the sick leave bank must be able to document, through physician records, a period of illness during their period of unpaid leave.
B. If the sick leave bank trustees determine that the number of hours on deposit are not sufficient to meet the approved requests, they may suspend operation of the sick leave bank until the Emergency Declaration has passed.
C. Sick leave bank members may not be assessed for further hours until the Emergency Declaration has been lifted.
Last Reviewed: March 2022.
References: Policies 225 Appointment of Graduate Assistants; 800 General Personnel; 801 Personnel Transactions; 802 Hours of Work; 803 Holiday, Administrative, and Emergency Closings; 808 Compensation Reporting and Approvals; 809 Salary Increase for Attaining Certified Administrative Professional Status; 825 Leave Policies; 826 Educational Leave; 829 Educational Assistance: MTSU Employee Tuition Waiver; 830 Faculty and Staff Support for Educational Expenses; 831 Educational Assistance: Student Fee Discounts for Spouses and Dependent Children of MTSU Employees; 854 Faculty Sick Leave Bank; 855 Staff Sick Leave Bank.