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Division of Human Resources

Hazardous Weather and Emergency Leave

The safety of our University faculty, staff, students and guests is always one of our biggest priorities, and it's a responsibility that we take very seriously.  

The University of South Carolina's Columbia campus is a residential community and needs to remain open at all times. However, occasions may occur when weather-related conditions or other emergency situations may require closings or delayed openings.


As a State entity, the University must follow the delay and closing determinations made by the county government officials where the University and its campuses are located. For example, if Richland County Government decides to delay the opening or close government offices, the University’s Columbia campus would follow the same schedule. (Please note this is not school districts.)

Any closings or delayed opening of state government offices are posted on the South Carolina Emergency Management Division's website. The University will send notifications using the Carolina Alert system which includes text messages, email, social media and gateways. We will also notify local news outlets to include our delays and closings with their announcements. You can register for Carolina Alert or update your contact information at

Reporting to Work

Employees who are designated as “Essential Personnel” can be required to report to work. However, employees must use their best judgment in determining their own safety when traveling to and from home. If you feel it is unsafe to drive to work or if the UofSC campus where you work is open for business, but the state office in the county you reside in is closed for business, call your supervisor to explain the conditions in your area. 

Regardless, if you miss work because you feel it is unsafe to drive or because there is an official closing or delayed opening announced for your campus, employees are required to account for the time missed at work by either taking annual leave, compensatory time or leave without pay. Your supervisor may also allow you to work from home or make up the lost time at a later date.

If the Governor declares a state of emergency for the county in which your campus is located AND authorizes leave with pay, you are not required to account for the time missed at work and may use hazardous weather and emergency leave with pay.

Please remember, employees should always obtain supervisory approval before taking any time away from work. All leave must be reported through the University’s time and attendance management system (ITAMS) or other applicable time recording system. For more information about entering time, or for additional details about hazardous weather and emergency leave, please visit the Policies and Procedures or Frequently Asked Questions section of this site.