01.01.1981.10

EXECUTIVE ORDER 01.01.1981.10

Employee Release Under Emergency Conditions

A. Definitions. As used in this Order, the following terms have the meanings indicated:

(1) "Emergency Conditions" means circumstances that would expose State employees to harm or unsafe conditions. Examples of potential emergency conditions may include, but are not limited to:

(a) Extreme weather conditions such as flooding, icing conditions, blizzards, hurricanes, and tornadoes;

(b) Civil disorders, such as riots and war.

(2) "Emergency Release Time" means time with full pay that is granted to employees during an emergency condition.

B. Application to Employees and Agencies; Exceptions.

(1) This Order applies to all agencies in the Executive Branch.

(2) Emergency Release Time may be granted under this Order only to employees in the geographical area or facility affected by the emergency condition, as determined by the appropriate Secretaries or their designees.

C. Authority to Determine and Declare Emergency Conditions.

(1) Secretary of Transportation. Based upon information received under Subsection (5) of this Section, the Secretary of Transportation or his or her designee may declare the existence of emergency conditions arising from extreme weather conditions which, in his or her judgment, result in dangerous traffic or highway conditions; and thereupon, he or she may grant emergency release time to affected employees following consultation with the Secretaries of Personnel and General Services (or their designees).

(2) Secretary of General Services. Based upon information received under Subsection (5) of this Section, the Secretary of General Services or his or her designee may declare the existence of emergency conditions arising from a fire, a physical plant failure, or other unsafe conditions in the Baltimore or Annapolis State Office Building complex; and thereupon, he or she may grant emergency release time to affected employees following consultation with the Secretaries of Personnel and Transportation (or their designees).

(3) Secretary of Personnel. Based upon information received under Subsection (5) of this Section, the Secretary of Personnel or his or her designee may declare the existence of emergency conditions arising from circumstances other than those set forth in Subsections (1) or (2) of this Section; and thereupon may grant emergency release time to affected employees following consultation with the Secretaries of Transportation and General Services (or their designees).

(4) Heads of Facilities Other than Baltimore and Annapolis State Office Building Complexes. Based upon information received under Subsection (5), the head of any facility other than one in the Baltimore or Annapolis State Office Building Complex may recommend that emergency conditions arising from a fire or a physical plant failure or other unsafe conditions exist, and may grant emergency release time to employees of the facility with the approval of the Secretary of the affected department and the Secretary of Personnel.

(5) Determination of Emergency Conditions. The individuals enumerated in Subsections (1)—(4) shall contact the proper local police, fire, highway, weather service, or civil defense personnel, or other appropriate local personnel, to obtain information concerning existing conditions, and shall evaluate the information to determine whether an emergency condition exists.

(6) Limitation on Time Period. The individuals enumerated in Subsections (1)—(4) may not grant emergency release time exceeding one normally scheduled work day per emergency unless authorized by the Governor.

(7) Evacuation in Acute Emergencies. Nothing contained in this Order precludes the necessary, immediate evacuation of a facility by an individual in a supervisory capacity in the interest of personal safety.

D. Administration.

(1) Responsibility of Cabinet Secretaries and other State Agency Heads. The administration of this Order is the responsibility of the several cabinet secretaries and other heads of State agencies, except as set forth in Section C above.

(2) Extreme Weather Conditions. If extreme weather conditions appear to cause dangerous traffic or highway conditions, agency heads shall contact the Secretary of Transportation or his designee for a determination of whether, in his or her judgment, there exists an emergency sufficient to warrant a declaration of an emergency condition and the granting of emergency release time to affected employees.

(3) Fires and Physical Plant Failures. If a fire or a physical plant failure in the Baltimore or Annapolis State Office Building Complex appears to cause an emergency condition, agency heads shall contact the Secretary of General Services or his designee for a determination of whether, in his or her judgment, there exists an emergency sufficient to warrant a declaration of emergency condition and the granting of emergency release time to affected employees. The head of a facility other than the Baltimore or Annapolis State Office Building Complex shall follow the procedure set forth in Subsection C(4) above.

(4) Other Circumstances. If circumstances other than those set forth in Subsections D(2) and (3) above, appear to cause an emergency condition, an agency head shall contact the Secretary of Personnel or his designee for a determination of whether, in his or her judgment, there exists an emergency sufficient to warrant a declaration of an emergency condition and the approval of emergency release time to affected employees of the agency.

(5) Guidelines for Employees Release Time and Approval. When, as a result of emergency conditions, any facility is closed after the start of normal work hours or shifts and the employees assigned to the facility who have reported for work are dismissed, there shall be no loss of pay or charge to leave of any kind. Employees who have not reported to work and are not on prior approved paid leave, are to be given the option of the use of annual, personal, or accrued compensatory leave or approved leave without pay.

When any facility is closed prior to the start of normal work hours or shifts, employees, with the exception of those on prior approved paid leave, are to be considered on release time with no loss of pay or charge to leave of any kind.

Employees who are required to perform duties after an emergency condition is declared shall be compensated by compensatory time or additional pay as declared eligible and specified under Department of Personnel regulation and/or policy concerning work hours and overtime. Such additional compensation shall be equivalent to the release time of those employees who are released from the same facility.

Employees reporting late to work because of extreme weather conditions, dangerous traffic or highway conditions, or civil disorders, not yet declared an emergency condition, may be excused at the discretion of the appointing authority.

Effective date: December 4, 1981 (8:26 Md. R. 2077)