Skip to Content

Division of Human Resources

Hazardous Weather and Emergency Leave FAQs

Determining Closures 

As a State agency and in accordance with State Human Resources Regulations Section 19.712.01 K.1., the University of South Carolina must follow the delay and closing determinations made by the county government officials where the university and its campuses are located. There is also an exception to allow the immediate evacuation of a facility by an individual in a supervisory capacity in the interest of personal safety. Typically, the agency head or a designee is responsible for making this decision.

Any closings or delayed openings of state government offices are posted on the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s website. The university will send notifications using the Carolina Alert system which includes text messages, emails, social media and the gateways. The university will also notify local news outlets to communicate delays and closings. UofSC Columbia employees may register for Carolina Alert and update contact information through Employee Self Service.

Designating Essential Employees

The president, provost, vice presidents, chancellors and regional campus deans identify and notify essential employees, and a roster is maintained. Managers and department directors play an important role in communicating this information. To the extent possible, no change of the essential employee roster should be made after the notification of a closing.

Reporting to Work

The department supervisor should send the employee home unless the employee's personal safety would be jeopardized. If an employee ignores a directive to leave the work site, time worked must still be counted as work time, but the employee may be subject to discipline in accordance with the progressive discipline policy.

If the employee’s safety is jeopardized, the employee should contact a manager and request leave. Employees are expected to use their best judgment.

The department supervisor should clearly communicate to the employee that they are considered non-essential and should not work.

Recording Time or Leave

The Governor has been given authority to provide State employees up to five days of leave with pay for absences from work due to a declared state of emergency for hazardous weather. If granted, the Governor issues an Executive Order after the hazardous weather emergency has ended.

Hazardous weather leave should be utilized for those planning to work. As a result, anyone planning to take leave for the day should not be granted hazardous weather leave. If you feel there are extenuating circumstances surrounding the leave taken, please consult the Employee Relations Office within the Division of Human Resources.

All exempt and non-exempt leave earning employees who did not work due to the hazardous weather event should document the hours missed in their timesheet using one of the following codes that will show based on their pay group:


The State Human Resources Regulations provide three options for employees to account for the lost work time. Employees are:

  1. allowed to use annual or compensatory leave,
  2. allowed to take leave without pay, or
  3. allowed to make up time lost from work.

The options regarding the use of leave with or without pay are only available to employees who accrue leave. However, because of the personal financial impact this may have on temporary employees, the university strongly encourages departments to allow employees in temporary positions to make up time missed.

Departments should work diligently to try to accommodate employee solutions and apply consistently throughout the work unit. Temporary employees may be allowed to make up missed time, but it is at the discretion of the department, unit or supervisor for which they work.

The department should work with the employee and have them involved in offering viable solutions, such as, shortening lunch periods or extending work hours during high workload periods which might occur within the timeline given for using this option.

The 90-day period is a calendar day period and includes holidays.

Non-exempt employees will be paid based on hours worked. However, if the time actually worked is less than the planned schedule, hazardous weather time should be entered in the Time and Absence System to allow only for the balance of scheduled work time required. 

In the event of an expected hazardous weather event, supervisors may monitor time worked to determine which employees have sufficient time to leave based on related workload and scheduling needs.

Compensatory Time

Non-exempt leave earning essential employees who are required to work onsite or at home during the hazardous weather event will earn compensatory time on an hour for hour basis for the hours worked.

The Division of Human Resources will send a spreadsheet template to College/Division/Campus HR Contacts to identify the employees and the total number of hours that should be received as hazardous weather compensatory time. The total number of compensatory time hours will be loaded into the Time and Absence System for employees to use at their convenience.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.