Faculty & Staff :: Faculty Handbook

Office Closings & Inclement Weather Policy

As inclement weather creates situations when the college finds it necessary to make adjustments in its class schedules and normal operating hours, it is important to understand the announcements made on local radio/television stations. Announcements will also be posted on the college’s telephone information system at 857-VWCC (8922) and the website at www.virginiawestern.edu. However, it is strongly suggested that you pay greater attention to the announcements made through radio and television outlets as the phone system and the website may, at times, be delayed in making the information available. An excellent method to directly receive office closing notifications is through VW ALERT. This is the text messaging system installed as part of the VWCC Emergency Alert System. If you have not already done so, enroll in the VW ALERT system right away to receive the text message alerts regarding office closings and other emergency alerts. These alerts may also be sent to your work and/or home computers. You may enroll in the VW ALERT system at https://alert.virginiawestern.edu.


While Virginia Western is explicit in its announcements to the media, the media in turn may announce information differently and it may be confusing. Be sure to listen often to these outlets to ascertain the college’s status. It is important that all college personnel be alert to radio and television announcements when any doubt exists concerning college closings or delayed openings:

  1. Notice of closing/cancellation for day classes will normally occur prior to 6:00 a.m.
  2. Notice of closing/cancellation for evening classes will normally occur between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Please pay particular attention to the announcements as they pertain to delayed openings. It is expected that employees be fully aware of the official opening time and be at their workstations promptly to serve our students and others. (See the end of this memorandum regarding "Designated Employees".)

The following announcements of delayed openings and college closings will govern the status of employees.

For Delayed Opening of the College

"Virginia Western will open at {time}."

Designated employees report on the regular schedule. Non-designated employees and teaching faculty are to report and be prepared to work by the official delayed opening. Classes will be held according to the inclement weather delayed class schedule.

For the inclement weather delayed class schedule, visit: http://www.virginiawestern.edu/about/inclementweather.php.

For Closing of the College

"Virginia Western is closed."

Designated employees are to report to work on the normal schedule. Non-designated employees do not report.

"Virginia Western will close at {time}."

Designated employees shall remain on duty, unless released by the immediate supervisor. Non-designated employees shall be released from work as of the official closing time.

"Virginia Western day classes are canceled."

Designated employees are to report to work on the normal schedule. Non-designated employees do not report unless they are scheduled to work after 5:00 p.m.

"Virginia Western evening classes are canceled."

Designated employees are to report to work on the normal schedule. Non-designated employees do not report unless they are scheduled to work prior to 5:00 p.m. (Designated employees may be required to work during times they are not regularly scheduled to work.)

It is very important for employees to use good judgment during times of inclement weather. When the college is open and inclement weather is prevalent, employees must ultimately decide for themselves whether conditions are safe for them to report to work. In instances where individual judgment dictates that you should remain at home rather than travel, you should notify your supervisor and charge your time away from work to accrued leave. For part-time hourly/wage employees, no leave is available to apply to missed time due to inclement weather travel concerns. There will be times when employees must exercise personal responsibility to determine when it is safe to travel.

Off-Campus Locations

VWCC off-campus sites at the Roanoke Higher Education Center, the Greenfield Center, the Franklin Center, the Claude Moore Center and any other remote locations that may be utilized from time-to-time shall officially close when the main campus is officially closed. When delays in opening the main campus occur, the same delayed opening provisions shall apply to the off-campus locations. In the event that conditions are such that a need arises to cancel classes at an off-campus site where conditions are not the same as the main campus, the Vice-President of Academic and Student Affairs may authorize classes to be cancelled at the affected site or the site may be closed. For WDS-related classes at any of the above off-campus sites, the Vice-President of Workforce Development Services may authorize class cancellations or site closure.

VWCC and WDS Contract Classes and/or Pre-Arranged Visitations/Appointments on Company Sites: In the event delayed openings occur or the college is closed at the main campus, classes and/or pre-arranged visitations and appointments that are delivered at company sites specifically for a particular client, shall continue as normal unless the company itself chooses to delay or cancel the class or appointment. Instructors of contract classes at company sites shall meet these classes as normal even though the main campus may have a delayed opening or is officially closed. The respective company shall inform the Vice-President of Workforce Development Services, the Coordinator of Workforce Services or the specific Workforce Development Specialist of any adjustment in contract class meetings, appointments and/or visitations as soon as possible when the event occurs.

Designated Employees for Inclement Weather Office Closings

For a current list of designated employees for inclement weather office closings, as of October 1, 2013, refer to this document on VW Connect.

Designated employees are exempt and non-exempt employees who are required to work during an authorized closing because their positions have been designated by their agencies as essential to agency operations during emergencies. (Designated employees may be required to work during times they are not regularly scheduled to work.)

There are varieties of risks that may affect college operations and require emergency closings. The listing below is specific to inclement weather closure situations. These emergency closings respond to and address access, ingress and egress to college facilities and property, including buildings, parking lots, walkways, and safety of people and property.

Employees listed as "Designated Employees" (full-time and part-time) must be prepared to report during their normal operating hours. Full-Time Designated Employees will be credited with compensatory leave during such closings for hours worked during their normal work schedules. Part-Time Hourly/Wage Designated Employees will be paid hour-for-hour during such closings for hours worked and are not eligible for compensatory leave. Hours worked beyond the normal work schedule will be treated according to the "Fair Labor Standards Act" for those positions identified as non-exempt.

The "Designated Employee" listing reflects those who are required to work during an office closing because their positions have been designated as necessary or essential to agency operations during emergency conditions. An employee's "non-designated" status may be changed to "designated" as managers/supervisors determine the necessity. Employees must be notified of their status as soon as practicable after any such change in status.

You may discuss the matter of "Designated Employee" with your immediate supervisor.

If you have any questions about the "Office Closings Policy", please contact the Human Resources Office.


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