SECTION INDEX:    Emergency/Disaster: Reporting to Work

1    Purpose

2    Reference

3    Application

4    Guidance

4.1    Where and When to Report

4.2    Family Needs

4.3    Emergency Shelter

4.4    Compensation


The City of Olympia has the responsibility to protect the peace, health and safety of the public during times of disaster or emergency. The City operates on a 24/7 basis and because of our unique responsibilities, the City expects all employees to be available during their normal working hours to the citizens of the City. City employees are expected to report to work as required by their department. The City will try to provide assistance to employees and their families to facilitate their reporting to work.


City of Olympia Emergency Management Plan; RCW 38.52.110.

“Emergency or disaster” as used in this policy shall mean an event or set of circumstances which:

1)    Demands immediate action to preserve public health, protect public property or to provide relief to any stricken community overtaken by such occurrence, or

2)    Reaches such a dimension or degree of destructiveness as to warrant the Governor declaring a state of emergency.


This Policy applies to all individuals employed by the City of Olympia. Department Directors have the authority to establish who shall report and the priority of reporting based on department need during times of emergency. Failure to comply with this Policy may result in disciplinary action including termination from City service.



Department Directors will establish a staffing plan for essential functions which will be needed during an emergency/disaster. Employees should be informed in advance of where and when to report. Employees are expected to make every effort possible to get to the assigned work site. If, due to road closures, the employee is unable to get to the assigned job site, the employee should report to the nearest City facility.

Employees who are unable to report should contact the designated department representative as soon as possible.


If at home at the time of an emergency, an employee’s first responsibility is to care for him/herself and his/her family’s immediate needs, then report to work. If at work, the City will make every effort to establish contact with the family to determine status and assist where possible.


Shelter at City facilities for employees’ families will be limited to no more than the first seventy-two (72) hours following the emergency/disaster, and will be subject to availability. Employees will be responsible for supplying their own food, bedding and other needs for their family in this sheltering arrangement.


Employees will be paid in accordance with state law, the City’s Policies and union contracts.

In the unlikely event that the Mayor declares a City emergency, City employees will be compensated for their regularly scheduled work hours for the first forty-eight (48) consecutive hours of a declared emergency if the employee is unable to get to work because of family urgency or travel conditions. After the first forty-eight (48) hours, the City’s policies regarding sick leave, vacation leave and leave without pay will be used.

Any time a City employee misses from work for other than a declared emergency will be charged against vacation or compensatory leave time (sick leave may also be used if appropriate).

Revision history: October, 2013; September, 2011; April, 1995. Superseded: Administrative Guideline Duty to Report to Work in Disaster/Emergency”.