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Essential Employees

Essential employees provide vital support to the University of Florida in the event of an emergency or disaster resulting in the official suspension of classes and/or closing of offices. When the University officially closes or suspends classes due to an emergency, essential employees may be required to report to work if directed to do so by a supervisor or official from their department.

Considerations include:

  • Continuation of critical and essential services
  • Maintaining integrity of infrastructure, property or systems
  • Staffing or functions needed at any point during a period when offices are closed
  • Response or assessment immediately following an emergency event

Essential employees also have a responsibility to monitor official University of Florida communications related to an emergency, including UFAlert and www.UFL.edu, as well as maintain up to date contact information in myUFL.

Designation of Essential Employees

Colleges and Departments are responsible for identifying essential employees and notifying them when they are required to report to work (despite a University closure). Essential employees should receive and acknowledge written designation of their essential employee status from their college or department. The written designation remains in effect until the essential employee designation is rescinded in writing.

Essential Employee Emergency Closing Compensation

If non-exempt employees are required to work during an emergency closing, in addition to their normal pay, they will earn one hour of compensatory leave for each hour worked during the emergency closing. For example, if a non-exempt employee works during an emergency closing for eight (8) hours, the employee will earn eight (8) hours of regular pay (unless they are in overtime status for the workweek), plus they will be granted eight (8) hours of compensatory leave.

If the compensatory leave is not used by the employee within six (6) months following its accrual, the employee will be paid for the leave.

Exempt staff employees are eligible for compensatory leave at the discretion of the supervisor. If a supervisor elects to provide compensatory leave, the same rules that apply to non-exempt employees will apply to exempt employees.

Faculty and graduate assistants are not eligible for compensatory leave under this policy.

If you have any questions, please call Employee Relations at (352) 392-1072.