Winter Weather: Your Questions Answered about Policies
Check out our Winter Weather stories on CookNet for other tips on how to prepare for and navigate inclement weather, including what you should have in your emergency go-bag and how to request sleeping accommodations.
By Kaley Johnson
We hope everyone is staying safe and warm during this week’s chilly weather. We’ve compiled a quick look at some questions and answers about inclement weather policies and procedures at Cook Children’s.
P.S. Did you make use of sleep accommodation resources this week due to the weather? We would love to hear how the process worked for you. Send us your feedback at InternalCommunications@cookchildrens.org.
Q: Will Cook Children’s send out alerts about dangerous weather and travel conditions?
A: During emergency weather situations, we will post the latest information on our Connect Newsroom (access it anywhere) and the CookNet (must be connected to the network to access). For weather alerts, subscribe to your local alert service and check local news. Road conditions can be found at www.drivetexas.org.
Q: Is there childcare available in emergency weather?
A: For employees who need childcare during inclement weather, the Cook Children’s child development center “Kid’s Place” may have spaces available for drop-in care for staff at the current day rate. Bright Horizon’s Care Advantage is also available for employees.
Q: What should I do if I do not think I can safely travel to work?
A: Contact your department leader. Employees who do not report to work as scheduled or who do not call in according to department policy will be considered absent without pay. In such cases, the employee cannot use PTO.
Q: Can I use sick time or PTO if I don't want to come in during bad weather?
A: Sick time cannot be used unless an employee is sick. You should call your supervisor if you do not think you can safely make it to work. Department leaders may authorize the use of accrued paid time off (PTO) pay for any part of a shift if staffing permits. It will be the department leader's responsibility to evaluate the department's needs and to determine whether sufficient staff is on duty to provide services.
Q: What if I am late because of weather-related travel delays?
A: In emergency weather situations, tardiness due to inclement weather will not count as a violation under the attendance policy. Non-exempt employees who are late will be paid for hours worked.
Q: Do any Cook Children’s clinics or offices ever close due to weather?
A: Decisions to close or modify the hours of an office, department or clinic will be made by that area’s administrative staff in consultation with their executive. Your department leader should contact you if this happens.
If an office or clinic is closed for the day because of the weather, staff will have the option of using PTO or going without pay for the day.
Q: How long can I stay if I cannot safely go home?
A: In Fort Worth and Prosper, accommodations are available for as long as staff need due to unsafe travel conditions caused by inclement weather. Just make sure you talk to your manager each day that you need to stay past your shift accommodations can be coordinated for you.
Q: What will be provided if I need to stay due to bad weather?
A: We encourage you to prepare any needed items from home if you anticipate you might stay. Otherwise, your manager can help you access resources. In Fort Worth, resources like air mattresses or cots, linen, toiletries and snacks can be picked up after your shift at the Emergency Disaster Resource Center. In Prosper, the Nursing Supervisor’s office will provide you instructions on obtaining these resources after your room has been assigned.
Q: What should I do with items I borrowed?
A: In Fort Worth please return your borrowed air mattress to the Employee Disaster Resource Center as soon as possible. It is located in the EVS Classroom 0210 in the Medical Center-Fort Worth basement across from Central Stores. Linen can be returned in appropriate linen bins.
In Prosper, all items can be returned at the location you picked them up.