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Emergency Essential Roles Policy

On-site roles policy

Policy purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide the duties and responsibilities for university department heads and administrative staff regarding non-deferrable services and essential functions during an emergency and/or administrative closures (including partial closures).

To whom the policy applies

This policy applies to all staff positions at the university except staff covered by a Union Collective Bargaining Agreement. Where the terms of this policy are in conflict with Union Collective Bargaining Agreements, such agreements shall govern. 

Policy statement

All employees are essential to maintaining Stanford University's mission and operations. Certain essential services and/or non-deferrable services are required to be maintained in any emergency and/or administrative closure. In an emergency, certain Essential (or Key) employees are designated by Stanford as performing Emergency Essential Roles, including Essential Reporting, Essential On-Call, and Other Emergency roles defined below.

As part of their disaster preparedness planning process, schools and business units should designate specific positions as Essential Reporting,  Essential On-Call (including On-site and Off-site roles), or Other Emergency roles. Please refer to the Definitions section below for more information about these types of roles.

During response and recovery, the university may realign work assignments to manage incidents while also preparing proactively and strategically to mitigate impact to the university community.  

Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, the terms below have the following definitions:

Non-deferrable Services/Operations: A service or operation that is necessary to maintain or protect the health, safety, or physical well-being of the University's students, staff, and faculty, critical administrative functions, academic mission, facilities and/or assets (including research projects).

Emergency Essential Roles: Emergency Essential roles include both Essential Reporting and Essential On-Call roles.  These roles are designated as critical because their responsibilities include non-deferrable services that must be performed despite an emergency and/or administrative closure. Positions may be designated as essential on an academic year, seasonal or situational basis, e.g., in the event of a weather emergency or a public health crisis. In addition, any position may be designated as essential at any point during an emergency, even if not designated as essential prior to the emergency.  An employee serving in an Emergency Essential role may have to report to work even if the emergency and/or administrative closure occurs during a time that he/she is not regularly scheduled to work.

Essential Reporting roles are those who oversee, manage or execute Priority 1 projects or programs, services or administrative tasks within the first 48 hours of an emergency as outlined in the chart below. These are activities that must continue uninterrupted.

  • Essential Reporting employees may also include other staff designated by the leadership of the school or unit, who have the defined skills and knowledge needed to support and implement the critical project or program, service or administrative task. These roles typically:
    • work on tasks that must continue uninterrupted and may also be reassigned to emergency response and recovery tasks, and
    • are required to continue to report for work on-site at a Stanford designated location during the emergency and/or administrative closure (or partial closure) and throughout the recovery process as needed, either as a On-site role in person at their usual workplace, at another designated facility, or in an Off-site role (see definitions of On-site and Off-site roles below).
  • The Dean, Vice-Provost, or Vice President of the school or unit must provide authorization for Essential Reporting roles. 

Essential On-Call roles are those who oversee, manage or execute Priority 2 projects or programs as outlined in the chart below. These activities must continue uninterrupted after the first 48 hours of the emergency/ and or administrative closure (or partial closure) and throughout the recovery process as needed. Emergency Essential On-Call employees may also include other staff designated by the leadership of the school or unit who have the defined skills and knowledge needed to support and implement the project or program, service or administrative task. These roles typically:

  • are required to continue to be on-call for the duration of the emergency, and to check in at least regularly as agreed upon with their supervisor or manager, and
  • at any time during an emergency and/or administrative closure, staff in these roles may be called back to work on-site either at their usual Stanford workplace, at another designated location, or in an Off-site role (see definitions of On-site and Off-site roles below).

There are two types of Emergency Essential roles, On-site and Off-site roles, defined below: 

  • On-site: An individual in an Emergency Essential On-site role is required to report to their normal Stanford workplace (or an alternate site if necessary) for work that must be physically performed at a Stanford designated facility during an emergency and/or administrative closure. The Dean, Vice-Provost, or Vice President of the school or unit must provide authorization for Essential On-site roles. Any individual authorized to work on-site must follow all university required health and safety training and adhere to all health and safety requirements in effect during the crisis or emergency.
  • Off-site: An individual in an Essential Off-site role is required to perform non-deferrable work during emergency and/or administrative closures, and due to the nature of the work, it may be performed off-site from home or from another non-Stanford location. If a school or unit head designates an Emergency Essential role as an Off-site position, the school/unit must coordinate with Computer and Information Services to ensure the employee has the appropriate computer access and security to telecommute, if required. In addition, a new Telecommute Agreement must be completed reflecting the new work arrangement (days per week and telecommuting location). See AGM 2.1.20 for Staff Telecommuting and Remote Working Policy. The Dean, Vice-Provost, or Vice President of the school or unit must provide authorization for Off-site roles designated as Essential.

Other Emergency Roles include individuals who are not directly associated with Priority 1 or 2 programs, projects, services or administrative tasks as outlined in the chart below.  

  • All other staff, while not required to work in person or by telecommuting during an emergency, is expected to stay in regular contact with their supervisor or manager throughout the emergency/administrative closure because they may be called upon to report to work for an emergency assignment, if needed.
  DESCRIPTION TIME FRAME TO RESUME & RECOVER DESIGNATION

PRIORITY 1 TASKS

ORGANIZATION CRITICAL FUNCTIONS 

  • Tasks undertaken to ensure continuation and/or restoration of critical operations during response
  • Mobilized to protect life, prevent injury or protect property
  • Critical to control or stabilize life safety, building, data or networked systems
  • Mobilized in support of the university’s response
  • Critical to ensure the continuation of the University’s research or teaching mission
  • Critical to the financial stability of the university.

Critical Functions mobilize within the first 48 hours or as designated by state, local governing authorities and/or ordinances

Emergency Essential Reporting (includes both on-site and off-site roles)

PRIORITY 2 TASKS

CRITICAL UNIVERSITY SERVICES

  • Programs, projects, services, and administrative tasks that must continue, if possible, in a reduced or modified capacity.
  • Pausing completely will have significant consequences.

Priority 2 Tasks may resume between 48 hours and two weeks following the emergency (or longer as designated by state, local governing authorities and/or ordinances)

Emergency Essential Reporting and On-Call (includes both On-site and Off-site roles)

PRIORITY 3 TASKS

  • Programs, projects, services and administrative activities that may pause, if forced to do so, but must resume in 30 days or sooner.
  • Examples include:
    • resumption of classes,
    • critical research projects,
    • food services
    • student financial aid
    • non-deferrable administrative and financial services (i.e., payroll and accounts payable),
    • human resource activities (i.e. investigations, hiring, terminations, benefits, compensation, etc.)

Priority 3 Tasks resume within 30 days following the emergency or when the University resumption plan calls for these roles to resume

All Emergency Essential roles

PRIORITY 4 TASKS

  • Programs, projects, services and administrative activities that may pause or may be deferred without significant adverse consequence and resume when conditions permit
  • Examples include:
    • Research (non-critical)
    • Events (i.e. development, student activities, staff recognition)

Priority 4 Tasks can be deferred and resume and recovered within 30+ days following the emergency

All Emergency Essential roles

Checking your eligibility

To check your eligibility,  please contact your local head of Human Resources or Director of Finance Operations (DFO) who may grant access to the On-site Role Management System (ORMS). For more information, please visit the ORMS website.

Responsibilities

All individuals to whom this policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy. University supervisors and managers are responsible for promoting the understanding of this policy and for taking appropriate steps to help ensure compliance with it.

Department head responsibilities

  • Ensure that their department is appropriately staffed during an emergency and/or administrative closure. Determinations of appropriate staffing may vary based on the academic calendar, season or situation.
  • Obtain required approvals from the Dean, Vice-Provost, or Vice President and maintain the list of Emergency Essential Positions using the On-site Role Management System. Lists should indicate whether the position is approved as Essential Reporting, Essential On-Call, On-site or Off-site positions including the timeframe for such designations.
  • Notify employees in writing that they serve in Emergency Essential Positions.
  • Direct supervisors and their employees to define, document, and keep up to date a list of meaningful work that must be completed during an emergency and/or administrative closure.
  • Create, maintain and communicate Business Continuity Plans to staff.
  • Plan for and provide flexible work arrangements during emergency and/or administrative closure to the extent possible.
  • Communicate work expectations to staff regularly and repetitively.
  • Provide timekeeping instructions to employees.
  • Implement directives from University administrators and civil emergency or medical authorities.

Emergency essential position responsibilities

Employees in Emergency Essential Positions are expected to continue to work during an emergency and/or administrative closure unless specifically directed by their department or by civil emergency or medical authorities not to report to work. An Emergency Essential employee may be required to report for an unscheduled shift, reschedule vacation leave and/or work more than their regularly scheduled hours during an emergency and/or administrative closure. In addition, an essential employee must:

  • Maintain updated emergency contact information and primary work location in StanfordYou, AND
  • Discuss alternative work arrangements with their supervisor in advance of an emergency, AND
  • Understand work assignments that must be completed during an emergency and/or administrative closure, AND
  • Comply with all required health and safety training and requirements prior to returning to work and each day you work on-site, AND
  • Continue to work during emergency and/or administrative closures whether on-site, at another designated location, or off-site based on their designated Emergency Essential role.

On-Call position responsibilities

Employees in On-Call positions should not report to On-site locations during an emergency, but should remain in contact with their manager or supervisor and wait until they receive instruction as to when and how they are required to work.

Consequences for Violating this Policy

Failure to comply with this and related policies is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or association with the University, in accordance with applicable disciplinary procedures.

Get help

For policy questions, please email the Essential Roles Systems Team at essential_roles_systems_team@lists.stanford.edu.

To get help using the On-site Role Management System, please submit a Help Ticket.