Each agency head is urged to develop, and communicate to employees its leave policies, those employees who are designated to perform emergency services, and internal policies and procedures to be followed in case of:

  1. Emergencies (such as natural disaster, etc.)
  2. Evacuations (caused by fire, flooding, pandemic, etc.)
  3. Shelter-in-place (in response to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents)

At least annually, agencies should provide written procedures for such emergencies to employees working in the Chicago area. The notice should tell employees how they will be notified and include the text of any media announcements to be used and a detailed explanation of their meaning. The notice also should explain how an employee should contact their employer during an emergency.  For instance, the notice would state that if an “unscheduled leave” policy is announced, employees must contact their agencies to request to use annual leave, leave without pay, and/or previously earned compensatory time off or credit hours. As a general policy, if an “early dismissal” is announced, personnel should not be charged annual leave for the excused period unless already scheduled for a full workday of leave

At least annually, agencies should identify emergency personnel and notify them in writing that they are designated as “emergency employees.” The term “emergency employee” is used to designate those employees who must report for work in emergency situations.  The notice should include the requirement that “emergency employees” report for, or remain at work in emergency situations, and an explanation that dismissal or closure announcements do not apply to them unless they are instructed otherwise.  Agencies must be careful to designate which employees are “emergency employees” for the purpose of notice events such as adverse weather conditions and other emergency situations.  If an agency determines that a situation requires employees other than those who are designated as “emergency employees” to report for, or remain at, work during an emergency, the agency should establish a procedure for notifying them individually.

Agencies are responsible for determining closure, dismissal, and leave policies for employees on shift work and alternative work schedules (i.e. flexible or compressed work schedules) and for informing employees of these policies.