University Closure Scheduled for December 27-29, 2021

The Ohio State University is invoking its Weather or Other Short-Term Closing Policy 6.15 to support the health, safety and well-being of the university’s workforce. The university will close all campuses December 27-29, 2021.

In accordance with the policy, this closure does not include the Health System. The College of Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center are included in the university’s closure.

This one-time closure means only critical services will remain open, such as safety and security, meal preparation and dining services, utilities to university buildings and properties, Veterinary Medical Center and health science clinics, law enforcement and public safety, snow removal, transportation, critical research initiatives and others determined as critical.

Your manager and college/unit HR partner will provide information about who will work during the closure if your area is considered a critical service.

Deans and vice presidents are asked to operate at a critical need staffing level and make every effort to allow most employees to take the time off.

Non-exempt employees who work during the closure will be paid and receive hour-for-hour compensatory time for the time they work to be used at a future date. Compensatory time for non-exempt employees will be documented in Workday and administered per university policy and applicable collective bargaining agreements.

Managers of exempt employees who are required to work during the closure should work with these employees to find time to flex their schedules at a later date within the next year.

While this is a one-time closure, the university will evaluate the potential implementation of a winter recess in December 2022.

Additional details about the closure on December 27-29, 2021, will be shared on this web page as they become available. However, please note:

  • For timekeeping purposes, the closure will be applicable to employees who work any shift that begins after 12 a.m. on Monday, December 27, 2021, and through any shift that begins before 12 a.m. on Thursday, December 30, 2021.
  • Faculty and staff with pre-approved vacation, sick time, parental leave, or any other paid leave that falls during the closure will not be charged for usage.

For college or unit-specific requirements, including who is staffing critical services during the closure, contact your HR partner. For questions about closure details or documenting time and absence, contact HR Connection at, (614) 247-myHR (6947) or

HR Connection will remain available to employees during the university’s short-term closure from Monday, Dec. 27 through Wednesday, Dec. 29. On these three days, the HR Connection phone line will be available with reduced hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. However, the HR customer service lobby will be closed.  On Thursday, Dec. 30, regular phone and walk-in service will resume from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. HR Connection will be closed for the holiday on Friday, Dec. 31. Regular HR customer service hours and operations will resume Monday, Jan. 3. Employees are encouraged to visit HR Connection online at 24 hours a day to get answers to common questions and initiate requests for assistance.

While the policy offers detailed FAQs, the questions below address the most relevant topics for this short-term closure.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will student, intermittent, term and non-exempt temporary employees be paid for the closure period?

Per the university’s short-term closing policy, student, intermittent and non-exempt temporary employees will not be paid during the winter closure.

Per university policy, term employees and graduate associates will be paid for the closure.

2. Can my unit change my essential designation for purposes of this closure?

Yes, deans and unit vice presidents may determine who is critical to work for purposes of this closure. Deans and vice presidents are encouraged to identify only those who must work to complete critical work during this time.

This includes, but is not limited to, services that provide safety and security, prepare and serve meals, provide utilities to university buildings and properties, hospitals, law enforcement and public safety, snow removal, transportation and critical research initiatives. If you have questions about your designation contact your manager or HR business partner.

3. I am a 9-month faculty member who has planned to receive off-duty pay over the closure. How does this impact me?

You may continue your off-duty pay, but you should not be on campus during the closure unless absolutely necessary. The university will be closed for business December 27-29, 2021.

4. Do employees who work an alternate schedule and were not scheduled to work on a day the university closes get paid for the day?

No. If a full or part-time employee’s schedule does not normally include the days the university closes, the employee is not paid for those days.

5. Can managers call in an employee in who is not working to replace someone who had been deemed essential but is no longer available to work?

Yes. The employees will be paid accordingly and will receive compensatory time based on the above guidance.

6. If I am scheduled to work and call off, will I receive compensatory time?

No. Compensatory time is available only for those who work on the closure day.

7. If I have already arranged for paid time off (e.g., vacation, sick or parental time off) during the closure dates, will that time be deducted from my time off balance?

If you are eligible for the short-term closure, you will not be charged accrued vacation, sick or parental time off during the closure. Pending time off requests can be cancelled in Workday or denied by the approver. Any time off for eligible employees approved by Friday, December 10, will be removed centrally by Monday, December 13.

Non-exempt employees will be required to enter “short-term closure benefit” on their timesheet in Workday. The timesheets for that week will open on Monday, December 13, earlier than normal. Instructions on how to add this benefit to your timesheet will be added at a later date.

Exempt employees do not need to take further action.

8. Can I take vacation time on December 30, 2021?

Yes. You may take vacation on December 30, 2021, if the time off is planned and approved by your manager in accordance with the university’s paid time off policy.

9. If I am on an unpaid leave of absence during the closure will I be paid for those days or receive the equivalent number of days after my leave is over?

No. In addition, if you were scheduled to begin an unpaid leave of absence on a day the university closes, you should not be paid for the day. If you were scheduled to return to work on a day the university closes following an unpaid leave, you should be paid for the day.

10. What happens if an employee calls in sick on a day the university closes?

Employees who are deemed critical to work during the closure and call in sick must follow their unit’s policies and procedures regarding the reporting of an absence. They will have the time charged to their sick leave balance. Employees who are not required to work during the closure do not need to call off work for illness and will have their time recorded as regular hours.

11. Can employees work partial days?

Yes, however it is recommended that only those who are working are required to do so to perform essential services. Non-exempt employees need to record actual hours worked via timekeeping.

12. What is the timekeeping process for non-exempt employees to reflect the short-term closure?

For detailed timekeeping steps related to the short-term winter closure, use the timekeeping job aid developed for this closure.

13. I work third shift and my standard shift crosses over two calendar days. How will the short-term closure be applied to me?

The benefit will apply to any shift starting on the following days: Monday, December 27; Tuesday, December 28; and Wednesday December 29. You will still be eligible for up to three days of time off, the same as any eligible employee. For any shift you actually work starting any of those days, you will receive hour-for-hour compensatory time. For any shift you are able to take off that would have started those days, you will receive the closure time.

14. If a non-exempt employee receives compensatory time for working during the short-term closure and exceeds the amount of compensatory time allowed, how will the additional time be treated?

The university’s Scheduling Work and Overtime Policy states that non-exempt staff may not maintain more than 240 hours of compensatory time. However, for purposes of this closure, an employee who reaches the maximum 240 hours will still earn compensatory time for each hour worked during the closure, and it will not be paid out in the next pay period. Further, the earned compensatory time must be used within 365 days from the day it was earned. Any earned compensatory time that is not used within 365 days will be paid out on a regular paycheck. If compensatory time earned during the closure is not used within 365 days, those hours will be paid out per the policy.

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