Emergencies

Policy on Library Operations in a Declared Local Emergency

Citizens perceive the Library as a safe haven and may turn to the Library in times of emergency.

When an emergency arises within the community, careful consideration should be made to determine if continuing library services will  help or hinder the response and recovery of the community and its citizens.

Public Health Emergency

During a declared local public health emergency the library will continue operations as long as an adequate number of employees are available to maintain operations and provide services. Library operations may be supplemented  with volunteers and operations and / or hours may be reduced or restructured to accommodate reduced staffing
.
Work schedules:Schedules may be adjusted so that the library can continue to operate. The adjustments will depend on the severity of the emergency and the types of services deemed to be essential.

Work duties: During the emergency, employees may be assigned duties outside of their normal functions. These temporary work assignments will not change the employee’s grade or pay status. An employee with a disability or a chronic medical condition may request to use accrued leave in these circumstances if such absence is a medical necessity due to the conditions of the emergency and re-assigned duties, (e.g. an employee without an underlying medical condition who “wants to remain at home” may be asked instead to undertake duties that do not require contact with the public or exposure to emergency conditions).

Emergency Closures

The library will close without advanced notice if ordered to do so by Public Health or Emergency Management officials or, if in the opinion of the Board of Trustees, the closure is prudent to limit risk to the staff and the public. If such a  closure occurs , the employee will be paid for the first seven days of closure based on their scheduled work week for that pay period . Benefits and accruals of leaves for those employees regularly scheduled for 20 or more hours will continue.

If the Library is closed to the public, some operations may, of necessity continue, and some employees may be expected to work.

Employee Absences

An employee who is unable to work regular or re-scheduled hours

  • because the employee is under individual public health investigation, supervision or treatment related to an extreme public health emergency; or,
  • because the Library is acting in accordance with an extreme public health emergency order during the period of emergency,

is expected to use all available paid leave before requesting leave without pay.

Employees who must be absent to care for an ill immediate family member(s) (child, spouse, or parent) are covered under the Maine Family Sick Leave and are entitled to use earned paid time off for absences from work to care for  their ill family members.

The child may be an adult child and there is no requirement that the “immediate family member” actually live with the employee. Maine’s Public Health Emergency Leave law requires that an employer grant a reasonable and necessary leave from work, with or without pay, to an employee in an “extreme public health emergency” under certain conditions.

If the Library is open and schools are closed and / or child care is unavailable, the circumstances will be reviewed on a case by case basis upon request for leave.

In the event of a prolonged closure, the situation will be re-evaluated.

This policy applies only to emergencies declared by local Public Health or Emergency Management officials or the Library Board of Trustees.

MRS: Title 26: LABOR AND INDUSTRY
Chapter 7: EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
Subchapter 2: WAGES AND MEDIUM OF PAYMENT
§636. Family sick leave


MRS:Title 26: LABOR AND INDUSTRY
Chapter 7: EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
Subchapter 10: EMPLOYMENT DURING EXTREME PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY HEADING:
PL 2005, C. 383, §23 (NEW)
§875. Employment leaves for caregivers and persons affected by extreme public health emergency

 

Policy approved 1/21/2010