What is Liberal Leave?
"Liberal leave" is defined as the leave taken by an employee from the start of the work day to the time the employee actually reports to work following an official announcement that the College is open and liberal leave is in effect. The Liberal Leave Policy may be invoked due to inclement weather, civil disorder, or other emergency circumstances. This policy recognizes that MICA employees may believe that in such situations, it would be dangerous for them to drive or ride to work, or it would be dangerous for them to drive or ride home unless they left before the end of the workday. In such cases, employees should notify their supervisors and request time off for all or part of the day, using either vacation or personal leave (or, if no vacation time is available, unpaid leave). MICA staff are strongly encouraged to earmark a portion of their leave banks for these purposes. Supervisors are advised to abide by each employee's judgment when the Liberal Leave Policy is in effect. Supervisors of "required attendance employees" as defined by the policy are responsible for determining which employees must report to work even when the Liberal Leave Policy is in effect.
How do I know if I am a "required attendance" employee?
Required Attendance employees, formerly referred as essential personnel, are notified of their designation through their job description. Required attendance employees include but are not limited to:
- Campus Safety
- Facilities Maintenance (including Building and Grounds)
Will I be paid if MICA closes while I am usually scheduled to work?
If the College closes due to inclement weather, regular full-time and part-time employees will be paid for the time they were regularly scheduled to work. You may verify if you are a regular employee, by viewing your pay advice or contacting HR.
The notification regarding closings and delays are not posted until 6:00 a.m., but I usually have to leave my home before 6:00 a.m. to be at work on time. Can MICA communicate its decision earlier?
Because weather conditions may change at any moment, the decision to close or delay opening will be made between 5:30 am and 5:45 am in order to provide enough time to communicate the decision. If the forecast is calling for inclement weather, you may wish to speak with your supervisor about the possibility of arriving late the following morning.
I do not have internet access, how can I find out if MICA is closing/delaying opening?
Please call (410) 669-9200 for information regarding closings/delays.
May I work from home?
If the College is closed:
If request is approved by the supervisor, hourly employees may work from home. Time worked must be accurately reported and employees must be paid for all time worked. Hourly employees may not clock-in from off-campus. An hourly an employee will report their hours to their supervisor and the supervisor will enter these hours as "Work off Campus."
If approved by the supervisor, salaried (exempt) employees may work from home. The College does not acknowledge a formal "comp time" policy. Time worked from home during inclement weather should be treated the same as time worked when the office is open.
If the College is open:
Supervisors may provide employees the opportunity to work from home if the College is open during inclement weather. A specific plan should be put in place prior to working at home, so both the employee and supervisor are clear on the deliverables expected from the day's work. The employee should communicate the accomplished work/progress completed at the end of their work day. Hourly employees will be paid for the hours they worked towards completing the work. Salaried (exempt) employees, will not be paid extra or provided comp time for the work completed.
My supervisor is asking me to work from home, do I have to?
Exempt employees are responsible for completing their work during the allotted time. There may be times where a project or assignment cannot be delayed due to inclement weather. In this case, a supervisor may ask an employee to work from home to complete this project.
If an employee has concerns about their ability to work from home, they should communicate those concerns with their supervisor to see if expectations can be adjusted. The employee may choose to make up for time lost by staying later or coming in earlier to complete their assignment/project in time.
Weather conditions near my home are not safe, but MICA is open?
Your safety is the number one priority. If you do not feel safe commuting as a result of weather conditions:
- Periodically check the road conditions by your home.
- Ask your supervisor if you may complete a project or task from home.
- Use your leave and take the day off.
Other schools have closed and I do not have a child-care alternative. May I bring my child(ren) to work?
Guests may be disruptive to the workplace. Bringing children to the workplace is discouraged unless it is an emergency.
If you do not have a child-care alternative, you may consider:
- Asking your supervisor if you may complete a project or task from home.
- Using leave and taking the day off.
The local schools have closed, why hasn't MICA closed?
MICA does not close or delay opening solely as a result of local school's decisions. Historically, K-12 schools have closed or delayed opening more frequently than colleges. Factors such as the age of student population and transportation needs may influence schools to be more conservative in their decision-making.
What is the best way to stay in communication with my supervisor when there is inclement weather?
There is not a campus-wide communication policy. Our office recommends that you meet with your supervisor prior to inclement weather to determine the best way to communicate (email, text, phone call, etc.).
Who will enter the inclement weather leave in TimeForce?
Supervisors are responsible for entering inclement weather leave into TimeForce. Inclement weather should be entered for hourly and exempt employees.
The buildings are closing as a result of inclement weather and I don't feel safe commuting home, what can I do?
Your safety is of utmost importance. If you do not feel safe leaving campus after MICA has closed the buildings, we ask that you walk to the Meyerhoff House. You are able to wait in the lounge area until the weather improves. Housing will likely not be available, if you may need to stay overnight.
Why were classes canceled at 4 pm but offices remained open?
The College core office hours are from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. At times, the College may announce that evening classes and events are canceled at 4 pm in order to prevent commuters from traveling to campus for a short period of time and then having to leave shortly after 4:30.