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Emergency Release of Employees

Applies to:Original Policy Date:Date of Last Review:Approved by:
All Florida Tech Employees December 1, 2014 May 2024 Dr. John Nicklow

Policy Owner: Office of Human Resources

Policy Purpose

This policy outlines authority, responsibilities, and compensation related to release of employees during shutdown and/or closure of the university, campus, or university facilities due to emergency or other appropriate situations.

Policy Scope

All employees

Policy Statement

The President or Provost may release university employees in cases of civil or natural disaster and other emergencies or events which could threaten safety or significantly disrupt the worksite, or for national or state mourning.  Education Center directors have this authority in cases where such events or issues are local to the Center. Employees in some positions may be required to work when the university or campus, or their usual work site, is closed. When appropriate, employees may be allowed or required to temporarily work remotely to ensure continuity of operations. Employees will be compensated in accordance with policy guidelines.


Shutdown Closure

A Shutdown Closure is when the university, campus, or site is closed, and shutdown pay for the closure has been authorized by the President or Provost. Typically, this would be due to an emergency with broad impact such as a hurricane (university or campus shutdown) or if an individual facility is shut down and the nature of the situation or the work precludes work from an alternate location. Employees may be required to work during a shutdown closure when it is a requirement of their position or necessary and appropriate, at the discretion of their department head, to maintain continuity of operations. 

General Guidelines

  • The period of the closure will be based upon the announced closing and opening times of the university.
  • Released time will not be charged against an employee’s leave time. However, emergency release does not apply to employees that are on approved paid or unpaid leave of absence such as FMLA or Military Leave, who will remain in their current leave status.
  • Time spent securing and preparing the work area for the closure prior to the actual closure is not considered part of the closure for purposes of emergency release pay (e.g., packing supplies and/or records, disconnecting and moving equipment, spreading protective covering, etc.).
  • Pay for employees not scheduled to work on an emergency-release day will not be affected by a shutdown or closure.
  • Once hours are submitted and approved by the supervisor, no retroactive corrections that reduce the employee’s earnings should be made.
  • Employees who have pre-approved time off (vacation, personal floating holiday, sick, anniversary) during a shutdown closure will not be charged for this time. This time off will be converted to shutdown pay.

Non-exempt/Hourly Employees

  • If working during a shutdown closure:

    Full-time, part-time, and temporary hourly/non-exempt employees required to work or who work with appropriate approval during a shutdown closure will receive compensation during the closure for:

    • Their regularly scheduled hours, paid at straight time as Shutdown Time Off Pay
    • Hours worked during the shutdown closure, paid at straight time using Emergency Pay

    If a part-time or full-time non-exempt employee is required to travel to perform an emergency assignment for the university, all time spent on such travel is considered worked hours.

    Non-exempt/hourly employees who can complete job functions remotely may be asked to do so during a shutdown if conditions permit, with the approval of their department head, and will be compensated as described above.

  • If not working during a shutdown closure:

    Full-time, part-time, and temporary non-exempt employees who do not work during a shutdown closure will receive pay for their regularly scheduled hours during the closure, utilizing Shutdown Pay.

Exempt/Salaried Employees

Full-time salaried/exempt employees receive regular compensation during a shutdown closure as Shutdown Pay.

Exempt/salaried employees who can complete job functions remotely may be asked to do so during a shutdown if conditions permit.

Student Workers

Student workers may work during a shutdown closure only in limited circumstances, with the written permission of their supervisor, and with their supervisor on site. 

College role student employees required to remain on campus and work will receive compensation for:

  • Their regularly scheduled hours, paid at straight time as Shutdown Time Off Pay
  • Hours worked during the shutdown closure, paid at straight time using Emergency Pay

Shutdown Time Off Pay or Emergency Pay for student workers must come from the employing department’s budget as Federal Work Study funds cannot be used for this purpose. Shutdown time off must be included in the student time entry as a shutdown absence for scheduled hours.

Non-shutdown Closure

In a Non-shutdown Closure university, campus, or Education Center facilities are closed but university business is expected to continue, and shutdown pay does not apply. Typically, this would be in situations such as pandemic, individual building closure for maintenance or construction, etc.

If it is necessary to close university facilities without a shutdown, employees may be required to work from an alternate location within the university or remotely, as possible and appropriate; regular policies for compensation and time off apply.


Department heads are responsible to ensure, as possible, continuity of operations by requiring, requesting, or allowing remote work during a shutdown closure when necessary and appropriate. They are responsible to create and maintain in the HRIS a record of employees required or allowed to remain at the worksite and work during a shutdown closure.

Human Resources is responsible to ensure Shutdown Pay and Emergency Pay are appropriately recorded in the HRIS.


Employees who remain on campus or at the worksite without authorization during a shutdown closure may be subject to disciplinary action.

A non-exempt employee who works during a shutdown closure without being directed or approved to do so by an appropriate department head will be paid for time worked but shutdown pay will be adjusted accordingly; the employee will not receive compensation beyond that approved for employees released from work who do not work.  

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