Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQ) on Employee Obligations during Severe Weather Conditions and Emergencies and under Executive Order 77 (EO 77).

A: The Governor, or Governor's designee, has the sole authority to excuse employees of the Executive Branch from reporting to work during extreme weather conditions or other emergencies. In appropriate circumstances, the Governor shall issue an announcement stating that, because of expected or existing conditions, certain employees (as designated in this policy) are excused from reporting to work. Unless such an announcement has been issued, all employees of the Executive Branch shall report to and remain at work for their regularly scheduled hours or shift.

The announcement may apply to all Executive Branch employees or be confined to a specific geographical region or a combination of geographical regions.

A: Executive Order 77 applies to Executive Branch employees only. Legislative and Judicial branch employees are governed by separate policies and should contact their respective personnel representatives or administrators for specific information.

A: "Essential Employee": An employee who is indispensable to the emergency service function of his or her employing agency or department and is required to assist the department or agency in meeting its operational needs.

Essential employees are designated by each cabinet/agency head. Essential employees must report to work as scheduled, even if State offices are closed due to severe weather or other emergency.

Many Essential employees provide direct care at one of the State's facilities that operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some employees are "Report when Contacted." They may not normally be considered "Essential" but may be required to work at specific times.

For example, if State offices are closed and the SWCE falls on a day when payroll must be processed, it's likely that payroll specialists, data entry clerks, and human resource professionals could be designated "essential" for that particular emergency. Employees should speak to their supervisors to find out their particular designation.

All "Essential" and SHOC/DFS employees shall be notified accordingly in writing, and a list of such employees and/or classifications shall be posted in a conspicuous location and distributed to the appropriate Exclusive Bargaining Representatives.

A: Essential employees are compensated at their regular hourly rate of pay, plus equal time off for their scheduled shift. If they are required to work additional shifts or hours in excess of the normal work schedule, they are compensated according to existing rules governing overtime, as set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Merit Rules.

A: The essential employees would receive additional compensation only for the hours the State offices were closed. For example if State offices are closed from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the essential employee's shift is 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., the essential employee would receive 1.5 additional hours of compensation for working from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A: As a non-essential employee, you should not report to work unless you have supervisory approval. State buildings and parking lots are often closed during an emergency.

A: No. It is important to check the various media sources as described in #8A for accurate, up to date information. For on-line updates go here. You can also sign up to receive an e-mail notification whenever the State's weather advisory is changed by going to here

A: Prior to making a decision to close State offices, open offices late or close offices early, the Governor may consult with many people, including the State Police, DelDOT, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, and other senior staff members. It is not always possible to make the decision to declare SWCE as early as everyone would like but information is promptly provided to the local news media for broadcast. Employees with long commutes to work or unique problems that occur during inclement weather, such as school or day care closings, are encouraged to speak to their supervisors to determine the best way of handling unique situations. Making arrangements with your supervisor in advance may be helpful both for you and your supervisor.

A: If the Governor makes the decision to close State offices due to SWCE which affects State employees and in any way alters their work schedules, the Governor's Press Secretary immediately notifies all local radio and television stations. Media have constant access to a recorded message, updated hourly, which details any State closures, as well as any applicable emergency planning activities. Additionally, media outlets receive faxed copies of announcements from the Delaware Emergency Management Agency.

Employees are encouraged to listen closely and carefully to their local radio and/or television stations for pertinent information about cancellations or late openings among State agencies. You can also check here.

Information pertaining to delays or closings due to adverse weather is provided to the listed local media sources. While every effort is made to provide this information to the media as quickly as possible and in an accurate format, we cannot guarantee the timeliness or method of posting that the various local media uses. The State's current advisory website is kept up-to-date with information pertaining to delays or closings due to adverse weather. For those without computers we recommend that you check with your agency to determine if it has a back-up or other recommended methods to obtain this information. (Please remember to refresh your computer when viewing the website.)

Note: Stations below are linked to the their official website
Radio Television
WJBR - 99.5 (FM) WMDT - TV 47
EAGLE - 97.7 (FM) WBOC - TV 16
WRDX - 94.7 (FM)
WSTW - 93.7 (FM)
WGMD - 92.7 (FM)
WILM - 1450 (AM)
WDOV - 1410 (AM)

A: Employees on paid annual, sick, or compensatory leave during al State office closing for SWCE, and work an 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. regular business hours schedule, will have their leave records adjusted upon return to work. Employees are not charged leave time during a State office closing for SWCE with the exception of employees who work an alternate/flex schedule as covered in 11A.

A: Casual/seasonal employees are paid for hours worked and are not compensated unless they report to work. These employees should speak to their supervisors to determine what they should do during a closing due to SWCE. Supervisors are encouraged to have them make up the hours during the same pay period if operationally possible.

A: All Report When Contacted or Non-Essential employees on an alternate or compressed schedule, working 37.5/40 hours in 4 days instead of 5, shall have their time adjusted in accordance with that schedule and other applicable rules and regulations whenever there is a SWCE.

If an employee is scheduled to work less than the 7.5 or 8 hours that day, then they do not get credited anything extra if the State closes. If they are scheduled to work more than 7.5 or 8 hours and don't have to report to work, then they get the benefit of being off all day. The only time adjustments are necessary around flexed or compressed schedules is when the employee was already on approved leave for the day.

An example would be an employee on an alternate work schedule reports at 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. rather than 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, but the Governor issues an announcement for the State to be closed that day during normal working hours. The employee who reports at 7 a.m. is not expected to come to work at 7 a.m. and leave at 8 a.m. On that day, the employee gets the benefit of the entire day off without being charged leave. However, if the employee is already out on approved leave, they are charged leave for the first hour, but not for the rest of the day.

A: Essential employees must notify the police or other emergency personnel that they are on their way to work and are "essential" employees. If they are still unable to report to work, they must notify their supervisor and will not be charged for the absence.

A: Yes, employees are required to use appropriate accumulated leave. Employees must notify their supervisors immediately anytime they anticipate arriving late and/or if unable to make it to work. Failure to do so in a timely fashion could result in the denial of a leave request and, possibly, corrective action.

A: The Governor only closes State Offices if there is a specific need to do so. In general, if you live or work in the affected area and encounter difficulty getting to work due to the disaster or emergency you are to contact your supervisor, inform your supervisor of the impending lateness and state the expected time of arrival for work. Reasonable delay (not to exceed two hours) in arriving at work due to poor travel conditions will not be a basis for charging annual leave.

There are three levels of State of Emergency regarding driving restrictions. Level 1 does not prohibit the operating of a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways. Levels 2 and 3 restrict and ban, respectively the operating of a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways with the exception of essential personnel. (See definitions below.)

A declared State of Emergency does not necessarily mean that State offices will be closed. Please check the previously mentioned media sources for closings/delays. In particular, a Level 1 State of Emergency, since it is advisory, may be declared that would be separate from an announcement to close State offices and the time period that State offices are closed/delayed. Level 1 is a Driving Warning: requiring any person operating a motor vehicle when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated to exercise extra caution in the operation of their motor vehicle.

Level 2 is a Driving Restriction, restricting the operating of a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways to persons designated as essential personnel including operators of snow removal equipment employed or contracted by a public or private entity and those employees and/or personnel who are necessary to maintain the core functions of a government body or entity, and to maintain the health and safety of the people in Delaware by providing services provided by public utilities as defined in ' 102(2) of Title 26 healthcare services, and food and fuel deliveries.

Level 3 is a Driving Ban, restricting the operating of a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways to those persons designated as first responders and essential personnel, including public utilities.

A: No, the Governor of Delaware only has jurisdiction and control over Delaware. If the Governor of Delaware has not closed the Delaware State office where you work you are expected to report to work as scheduled. If you are unable to do so you are expected to notify your supervisor and follow standard call out procedures. You may request to use available annual leave or compensatory time.

A: If the Governor has not closed the roads to non-essential employees in the county in which you live or work, then you are expected to report to work as scheduled. However, if in the course of driving to work an employee is specifically prevented by the police or other emergency personnel from traveling to his/her work site due to a natural or man-made emergency, the employee shall immediately notify his/her supervisor of the obstruction and shall be excused from reporting and not charged for the absence.

Employees who are required to work but who do not report to work for any other reason shall immediately notify their supervisors and shall not be paid for the absence. Employees in this category may request approval to use annual leave, accumulated compensatory time, if any, or have their pay docked. Employees should not assume leave will be granted and may be subject to disciplinary action if approval is not received for the absence.

Additionally if a natural or man-made emergency forces any employee to be late for work, the employee shall contact his/her supervisor, inform the supervisor of the impending lateness, and state the expected time of arrival for work. Reasonable delay (not to exceed two hours) in arriving at work due to poor travel conditions will not be a basis for charging annual leave.