Weather-related Leave

As a residential college Williams must continue to support its students regardless of inclement weather or other emergency situations. The college, therefore, does not close. Williams is, however, concerned with the safety of its employees in extreme weather conditions. It relies on each person’s discretion in determining whether to come to work or leave early in bad weather. In these circumstances, time taken must be charged to vacation, unpaid time, or work from home where possible, with manager’s approval.

In extreme circumstances, the college may decide to close administrative offices not directly associated with the essential functions of the college. The decision to do so will be made by the Vice President for Finance & Operations, in collaboration with the Executive Director of Facilities, the Director of Campus Safety Services, and the Chief Human Resources Officer. In this event employees who are sent home or are not required to report to work will continue to be paid.

A decision to close administrative operations are announced on the HR website, the college’s weather line 413-597-ICEY (4239), college email, and local television stations.


Essential staff required to work when administrative offices are closed will receive premium pay for the time they work. Premium pay equates to pay for hours worked plus emergency overtime. If a weather-related emergency falls during an evening or weekend shift premium pay will be applied at the department head’s discretion. This applies to essential staff who work first, second or third shift, and weekends.

Staff who can do their work remotely should do so during a weather emergency to the extent possible (allowing for power outages, etc.). Support staff who work from home should record your hours as usual.

If you are not able to work from home and a weather emergency is declared, you will be paid according to the college’s weather-related leave policy.

There will be times when the college remains “open” during light or manageable snowfall, it is New England after all. In these circumstances, time taken must be charged to vacation or unpaid time. We understand individual situations may require exceptions for an employee and we ask you to address those directly with your manager. 

Please take time to become familiar with standard operating procedures in your respective departments, and feel free to contact Amy Russell, Payroll Systems Manager, with payroll questions.


As a reminder, the college has an arrangement with the Williams Inn to make a limited number of rooms available to faculty and staff at a discounted rate in case of inclement weather. That option will continue to be available at the new Inn from November 1, through March 31, annually.

Our goal is to help faculty and staff stay safe when severe weather makes traveling dangerous or in other emergencies. Here are the details:

  • The discounted rate is $79 a night.
  • Rooms are intended for personal use by faculty or staff. They are not to be used to house college guests or for other official business. We will review the program periodically to see if it is meeting the anticipated need.
  • The special rate is available from November 1 through March 31, for midweek stays only (Monday through Friday nights).
  • Rooms may not be reserved more than 24 hours in advance, and all requests are subject to availability.
  • You must pay for the room with your personal credit card or cash. College purchasing cards may not be used for this program.

We hope this opportunity will help faculty and staff stay safe during the months when bad weather is most common. To make a special storm-related reservation, please contact the Williams Inn reservation desk directly at 413-458-9371.