Emergency / Disaster Leave – Library Branches

In the event of a manmade, technological, or natural disaster/emergency the Director is authorized to close any or all libraries.

During the disaster, salaried employees will be paid regular pay rate and will not be required to use personal leave benefits. The Director may reassign staff to any branch during these circumstances at his/her discretion instead of assigning emergency/disaster leave benefits.

Paid leave benefits are not available for hourly employees.  However, hourly employees will be allowed to make up hours of lost work, if possible, within the same pay period.

Emergency / Disaster Leave – Employee Residential

In the event of an employee’s residential disaster the Director can authorize paid emergency leave for up to five calendar days. The number of leave days allowed will be determined by the Director, based on individual circumstances surrounding the disaster.  Proof of disaster circumstances may be required.

Salaried employees will be required to utilize all personal leave benefits before emergency/disaster leave benefits are awarded for employee residential emergencies.  The Director may reassign staff to any branch or adjust employee’s standard work schedule during these circumstances in order to offset the overall emergency/disaster leave needed.

Paid leave benefits are not available for hourly employees.  However, hourly employees will be allowed to make up lost work hours, if possible, within the same pay period.

Certified Disaster Volunteers

For employees who are certified disaster volunteers of the American Red Cross participating in disaster relief in Mississippi or its contiguous states, the Director can authorize paid leave up to five calendar days per calendar year. The number of leave days allowed will be determined by the Director, based on individual circumstances surrounding the disaster.  

Use of personal leave will not be required for disasters that directly affect the operations of the Copiah-Jefferson Regional Library system.  For all other disasters, salaried employees will be required to utilize all personal leave benefits before emergency/disaster leave benefits related to Red Cross service are awarded. The Director may reassign staff to any branch or adjust employee’s standard work schedule during these circumstances in order to offset the overall emergency/disaster leave needed.

Paid leave benefits are not available for hourly employees.  However, hourly employees will be allowed to make up lost work hours, if possible, within the same pay period.

Policy’s Procedural Implementation

Given the variety in events and extent that a disaster can cause, it is impossible to define a single communications outlet that will always be reliable.  Should the Director determine that a branch needs to be closed, he/she will attempt to establish contact with the branch manager and possibly the individual workers.  The Director will post information on the staff blog whenever possible.  Should a branch manager or on-site staff have to address an emergency situation on an individual basis, then once the emergency is addressed, the individual should make continued and varied attempts to contact his/her supervisor, the Director, or a Board member for additional guidance.

Requesting Leave – Personal Disaster/Certified Disaster

Given that the need for disaster leave can seldom be anticipated, employees should follow the following guidelines when the need for personal/certified disaster leave arises:

The employee must contact either the Director or their immediate supervisor by phone or in person to notify of the need for personal disaster leave.  Supervisors notified of personal disaster leave situations must notify the Director as soon as possible in order to obtain verification of leave benefits.

Reporting Leave

Emergency leave should be recorded as personal leave on the employee’s monthly leave chart, with the words “emergency leave” recorded in the associated notes.  Approved emergency leave will not be charged against the employee’s annual sick leave but must be noted on the leave chart to indicate agreement between the employee and the Library that the employee did not physically work during the hours/days indicated.

Leave charts are to be signed by both the employee and the employee’s supervisor.  Only original and properly signed copies of leave charts will be processed. By signing the leave sheet, the employee and the employee’s supervisor are agreeing that the leave time reported accurately reflects the leave time used by the employee during the previous month.  When discrepancies occur between the employee’s leave sheet and the Director’s records, the employee and/or the employee’s supervisor will be contacted via e-mail in order to obtain an explanation for the discrepancy.

After all discrepancies have been resolved, the Director will update the employee’s annual leave chart and e-mail a copy to the employee or employee’s supervisor.  Any questions regarding the employee’s annual leave chart should be sent to the Director via e-mail.

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