Inclement Weather Policy

I. Effective Date 

June 12, 2017 

II. Last Revision Date

March 2024 

III. Responsible Party 

Human Resources 

IV. Scope

All University employees, students, and visitors. 

V. Purpose

To provide direction to the University community during times of University Closure, Delay or Reduction in Service due to inclement weather.   

VI. Policy Statement

During inclement weather, the safety of employees, students, and visitors is paramount and the University must maintain continuous and effective business operations. With due consideration to inclement weather conditions, the University will remain open and operate normally to the greatest extent possible. Employees, students, and visitors should evaluate their own circumstances carefully, exercise appropriate judgment, and take responsibility for their own safety when making decisions related to the University during inclement weather. 

This policy may be used for other closures, delays or reduction in service not related to weather. 

VII. Definitions


The University will not be opened for non-critical business during the day or be closed before the end of the regular workday. 


Opening the University and beginning classes/labs and/or University business, will commence at a later time than regularly-scheduled start times. A Delay will be communicated to the University community in a Delay Announcement. 

Reduced Operations

Safety risks or logistical challenges are severe, and there is substantial interest in having a relatively limited number of individuals travel to or remain on campus. 

Remote Operations 

Current conditions may not pose severe safety risks or logistical challenges, but an event has significant potential to negatively affect – or already is affecting – local area commuting, important campus services, or the efficient functioning of campus buildings and grounds. 

Operations Decision Team

The Operations Decision Team includes the following or their designee: 

  • SVP Academic Affairs and Provost 
  • AVP of Facilities and Operations 
  • AVP Human Resources 
  • Director of Communications 

Essential Employee 

An employee of a facility who has been designated as vital to the operation of the facility, whose presence is required regardless of the existence of an emergency condition, and whose absence from duty could endanger the safety and wellbeing of the campus population and/or physical plant.  Examples of such employees are Campus Safety, Facilities Maintenance, Residence Life, Dining Staff, etc.  

VIII. Policy

A.  Inclement Weather Decisions

  1. The Operations Decision Team will determine if the University will cancel classes, close, have a delayed opening, or reduction in service.  The Operation Decision Team can adjust the University’s normal operation status to the following statuses:  Closure, Delayed, Remote Operations, and Reduced Operations.  Some critical business of the University such as Campus Safety, Housing and Facilities and Maintenance will remain open, even during a Closure, due to their critical business functions.
  1. In a non-weather-related situations, the decision to modify the university’s academic or operating schedule will be based upon the unique circumstances of the event.
  1. The factors that will be considered by the Operations Decision Team prior to making its decision include but are not limited:  
  • Current weather and national/regional weather forecasts 
  • Current and future road conditions surrounding the University 
  • Current and future closures/suspensions of public transportation 
  • Current and future status of region and university utilities (i.e., power, water, and sewage) 
  • Current and future conditions of roads and walkways on campus 
  • Current and future operating status of public services, public schools, peer institutions, and governmental agencies 
  • Recommendations from public safety, public health, and government officials 
  • Sentiments and concerns raised by university community members and the public 

B. Announcement

  1. Each employee of the University is expected to report to work as scheduled, even if classes are canceled, unless the employee has been notified through established campus procedures not to report.
  1. Employees and students should observe official announcements through the following channels, including 
  1. The announcement will state information about a Closure, Delay, or other status in the University start time of classes/labs and/or University business, and may include some or all of the following notifications: i) employees who work in non-critical business functions will not be expected to report to work, or until the delayed start time specified in the announcement; ii) classes/labs normally scheduled to begin and end before the time specified in the announcement will not be held; iii) classes/labs normally scheduled to be in progress at the time specified in the announcement will begin at a delayed start time and end at their normally scheduled time; and/or iv) classes/labs normally scheduled to begin at or after the delayed start time specified in the announcement will meet as usual.

C. Critical Business Areas

  1. In the event the University experiences a Closure, Delay, or other status, certain critical business areas will remain open.  Each vice president will determine business continuity and operational functions in their division:
    1. Managers of activities in critical business areas will clearly and timely communicate to their employees what their work attendance requirements are, regardless of what other messages are announced to the larger University population. For example, critical business areas such as Facilities and Maintenance, Campus Safety, and Dining Services, remain open when the University experiences a Closure due to inclement weather, and they will open at regularly-scheduled or modified times when there is a Delay announced, see  Section VIII (I)(University Services) of this Policy.
    2. If you are a manager of a critical business area where employees must report to or remain at work even during a Closure or Delay, you must confirm the  following prior to the arrival of the inclement weather: 
      1. Ensure that these employees are designated as “critical business function” essential employees and that these employees are aware of their designation. 
      2. Job postings and job descriptions for essential employees will include a statement regarding this designation and responsibility. (Sample at the end of this policy). 
      3. Verify that each critical business function employee who needs to report to work during a Closure or Delay understands the timing of their shift and has an opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns in advance. 
      4. Develop protocols for each department to perform during a Closure or Delay. 
      5. Overnight accommodations for essential employees may be available through 
      6. All non-exempt hourly essential employees who work during a Closure or Delay will be paid for hours worked at 1.5 times regular rate.  Employees enter hours worked using the time code of “Inclement Weather Worked.” 

D. When the University is Not Closed

  1. During periods of inclement weather, in the absence of a Closure or Delay and when University offices are expected to remain open, employees are expected to be at work as scheduled but should still take reasonable and safe measures in attempting to meet their employment obligations. Knowing this, the University recognizes:
    1. An employee may need to arrive late or leave work early to avoid hazardous driving conditions. 
    2. Employees who work in non-critical business areas who need to take annual leave or leave without pay  should notify their supervisor as quickly as possible via telephone or email. Whenever possible, the supervisor should be flexible and understanding with the employee’s request. These decisions should be made on an individual basis, taking into consideration the employee’s specific situation and the business needs of their division. 

E. Absences and Pay Due to Closure or Delay

  1. When a Delay has been announced that specifically includes business operations, employees in non-critical areas will be expected to report to work at the delayed start time indicated by the University’s Announcement specified in Section VIII (B)(2) of this Policy. 
    1. If a Closure or Delay is announced that includes business operations and not Remote Operations as described in Section VIII (G) of this Policy, directors should advise all employees in non-critical business areas to leave work early or not come into work. Non-Exempt Hourly employees should record this time as “Inclement Weather Time Off.” 
    2. Employees absent due to previously-approved sick or vacation leave or who are on a shift assignment not affected by the Delay or Closure are ineligible for “Inclement Weather Time Off” as a result of the Closure or Delay. 
    3. After a Closure, employees are expected to return to their regularly-scheduled shift or work schedule beginning the following business day, unless otherwise specified in an Announcement or email from the employee’s supervisor. 
    4. Employees on shift assignments should review the online Marymount homepage two (2) hours before the start of their shift to see if the University has reopened following a Closure. 

F. Closure

  1. The University is closed. Conditions pose the most severe risks to health and safety or present the most difficult logistical challenges that will severely impede the efficient and effective functioning of the University. (Examples of such conditions include excessive snow, ice, downed trees and/or power lines, uncontrolled flooding over a significant portion of the local commuting area, risks to building stability or safety, or loss of critical utilities). 
  1. When the University is closed, all classes during that time are canceled and all university offices and non-essential services are closed, unless specifically noted. Essential Employees in Critical Business Areas must report to or remain at work.  See Sections VIII(G)(Remote Operations) and (H)(Reduced Operations). Impacts to University services are outlined below Section VIII(I).

G. Remote Operations

  1. When the University is in Remote Operations, each vice president will determine business continuity and operational functions in their division:
    1. All employees with prior manager approval for Remote Work arrangement are to work from home or alternate sites when, at the manager’s discretion, it is feasible and safe for this to occur. Employees working away from campus do not use leave. Even so, such arrangements may not be practicable for all types of employees or during every type of adverse weather or emergency event.
    2. Non-essential employees without a prior Remote Work arrangement may report to work late, leave early, or may not report to work.  These employees must use available vacation leave time to cover any time away from regular work hours.

H. Reduced Operations

  1. All non-essential operations are suspended; only essential employees in critical areas are to report to or remain at work during the reduced operations time.  When the University is in Reduced Operations, each vice president will determine business continuity and operational functions in their division, see Section VIII(F)(Closure) and 4.0 Remote Operations.

I. University Services

  1. Following are services that may be affected by a University Closure, Delay, or Reduced Operations.  All other campus buildings and services will be closed until the university resumes normal operations. 
    1. Residence Life: When the University is closed due to inclement weather, residence halls remain open, however, Resident Life administrative offices are closed. Resident students who need assistance should contact their residence hall service desk to contact on-duty Resident Life staff. In an emergency, residents should contact the Arlington Virginia Police Department immediately by calling 703-558-2222. Residents should monitor email and LiveSafe updates regularly for any pertinent residence hall updates.
    2. Dining Services: In the event of a campus closure, Dining Services operates on a modified schedule. For up-to-date information, monitor emails and LiveSafe updates from Dining Services with updated hours.
    3. Students Health Services (SHS): The Students Health Services hours may vary during weather-related campus closures. If the SHS can open during a campus closure event, they will only be available for urgent visits and will operate with limited hours. Appointments may be rescheduled or canceled if the SHS cannot open during a campus closure event. For life-threatening or mental health emergencies, call 911 or the Arlington Virginia Police Department at 703-558-2222. 
    4. Counseling Center & Services: The Marymount Counseling Center & Services is closed whenever the university is closed, including closures for inclement weather.  In the case of an emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.
    5. Libraries: The University Library & Learning Services follow the same closing schedule as the university. Access to online resources will be available.
    6. Transportation: Live updates for the shuttle service & parking will also go out with LiveSafe.  Contact the Shuttle for more information and questions at 202-680-2780 (5am – 1pm) or 202-510-0553 (1pm – 9pm). For information regarding parking in the case of inclement weather, be sure to monitor emails and LiveSafe updates from parking services concerning garage closures.
    7. Athletic Events: Check the Marymount Athletics main webpage and follow @MarymountSaints on Twitter (X) for the status of athletic events
    8. Housekeeping Services: Housekeeping services will be reduced during the limited operations time. Normal operations will begin once the university opens for normal business.