Personnel who provide essential services (The delivery and performance of essential services)
Cornell University is committed to minimizing the impacts of disruptions or emergencies and maximizing the effectiveness of the campus community in responding to and recovering from such events.
Continuity of Operations (COOP) is a campus effort that maximizes the continuation and performance of essential services during and after a wide range of emergencies and events, including localized acts of nature, accidents, utility disruptions, and other related emergencies. In order to achieve that goal, representatives in Colleges/Divisions, units, and departments should identify their essential services and the personnel resources needed to continue those services throughout, or resumed rapidly after, a disruption of normal activities.
Essential Services is defined as those services that:
Are critical to the functioning of the University and the well-being of students, faculty, staff, and facilities.
Support specific mission essential functions (things that need to get done) of each individual College/Division, unit, or department (e.g., research, teaching, feeding and housing students).
Can be a regular and ongoing need
Provide utilities services, safety and security, IT, medical needs, dining and housing, research animals, plants, or equipment.
Can be situation specific
Must be maintained even when the normal operating status of the University is modified or suspended such as during a steam outage, extensive absenteeism during an infectious disease outbreak, or weather related event.
Supervisors at all levels should perform the following steps with their employees who may provide essential services:
Notify employees that they provide essential services and the responsibilities and expectations associated with the delivery or performance of those services.
Clarify how the unit’s essential services are to be provided. For example, do employees have to report to campus regardless of conditions (e.g., during a snowstorm), can employees provide essential services remotely, or will employees be held over or called in early than their normal shift hours. The applicable compensation policies will apply.
Provide each employee with an opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns. For example, safety concerns while driving during poor road conditions, long commute times.
Identify essential services and employees who may provide those services in the unit continuity plans (www.coop.ehs.cornell.edu).
Provide suitable language in employee’s job descriptions that they may be called upon to provide essential services and expectations within the unit.
If a county or municipality announces that you should "avoid unnecessary travel" but no change to university operating status has been announced, all employees are expected to make reasonable efforts to report to work as usual (travel to and from work is considered necessary travel), but are advised to avoid undue risks in traveling.
All travel to and from work, regardless of conditions, is only addressed by the employee’s personal auto insurance. Employees are encouraged to contact their insurance providers if they have questions.
Essential Service Identification Cards
There is no longer a distribution of essential service identification cards. These cards are not a valid form of ID and they have no bearing on enforcement of vehicle and traffic law by state or local police agencies.
Continuity Planning (C-COOP)
Cornell University’s Emergency Management program has developed a web-based continuity tool called C-COOP that allows colleges and major administrative units to create comprehensive continuity plans. The C-COOP tool focuses on the essential functions each unit performs and captures critical information about resources, personnel, and facilities needed after a disruptive event. More information can be found here.
Policy 8.2, Inclement Weather can be found on the University Policy Office web page. More information can be obtained by contacting Environmental Health & Safety at 255‐8200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions about compensation during absences related to inclement weather should be directed to your supervisor or to the local college/unit Human Resources representative. Questions about personal auto insurance coverage can be directed to Risk Management 607-254-1575.