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Harvard-HUCTW Inclement Weather Policy

Union members sometimes have to make challenging decisions about balancing work and safety concerns when planning their commutes during winter weather. We encourage you to read the Harvard-HUCTW inclement weather policy, pasted below, and discuss it with your supervisor. HUCTW representatives would be happy to talk with you about how you might approach this conversation.

Additionally, on pages 17 – 19 of the Harvard-HUCTW Agreement, you also can find contract language on flexible schedules, which includes working from home (telecommuting), as an example:


Given that employees commute to the workplace from varying distances, under differing circumstances, decisions regarding travel during adverse weather conditions need to be made on an individual basis. Employees are expected to make every effort to come to work consistent with safety and prudence. When a concern for safety makes travel inadvisable, a paid absence may be appropriate. Decisions as to when to travel should include Department of Public Works and State Police travel advisories for the Cambridge and Longwood areas as well as for those areas through which an employee travels. In cases where staffing is vital under most conditions, each unit should cooperatively formulate an appropriate policy for dealing with inclement weather which should be communicated in advance to each employee.

The University and HUCTW agree that it would be useful to clarify how the parties will apply the Inclement Weather Policy in the Personnel Manual, cited above, in instances where the University remains open in adverse weather conditions. It is expected that, when the University remains opens in such circumstances, employees who do not report to the workplace due to concern for their safety will ordinarily be paid by accumulated vacation and/or personal leave. On a local level, and by mutual agreement between a staff member and supervisor, an employee may be paid through regular pay in some instances. In determining whether regular pay will be used, supervisors may consider factors such as the following: (1) Whether the employee’s job duties may be performed at home, (2) Particular health concerns of the employee, (3) The availability of public transportation for that employee, (4) The geographic location of the employee, and (5) The geographic location of the workplace.

As mentioned above, you can also find contract language on telecommuting (working from home) in the HUCTW Agreement, under the section on flexible schedules: