Time Reporting & Leave

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Time Reporting

UT System Administration has established practices for accurate time and attendance reporting to ensure compliance with overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Texas Government Code (Sec. 661.908) and UT System policy (HOP 3.4.3 Time and Attendance).

All employees are required to report time weekly.

Currently, time reporting is a multi-step process. Employees submit and managers approve in ETS. Time is manually transferred from ETS to PeopleSoft by the department timekeepers. PeopleSoft processes timesheets and manages leave balances.

  • Please review Time Reporting Guidelines to learn about OHR’s recommended approach for time reporting.
  • Employees should report hours worked in quarter hour increments. (Ex: 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. = 8.25 hrs)
  • Hourly staff are paid based on reported time in PeopleSoft. Additionally, they are paid on a semi-monthly basis. Please ensure hourly staff submit timesheets in accordance with the Semi-Monthly Payroll Schedule for on-time payment.

Salaried, FLSA exempt employees may be eligible to participate in exception-based time reporting. Exception-based time reporting requires the completion of a timesheet only when the employee takes leave or when hours worked in a single week exceed the employee's scheduled hours. For weeks in which there are no exceptions, the week must be marked as No Exceptions to Report in the Electronic Timesheet System (ETS). This button appears in ETS for salaried, FLSA exempt employees only.

Manager Timesheet Approval

Manager approvals occur in the Electronic Timesheet System (ETS). On the Home page, expand "Pending My Approval", which is immediately above My Timesheets. From the Home page, you may Approve or Return timesheets. You may also click on the timesheet workweek start date to view the actual timesheet.

  • Timesheets should be reviewed on a weekly basis to ensure the employee’s current leave balances are available and accurate.
  • Please ensure hourly staff timesheets are approved in accordance with the Semi-Monthly Payroll Schedule. Timesheets must be entered in PeopleSoft by the deadline in order to pay the employee correctly and on-time.
  • Managers do not currently have access to employee leave balances. Contact your department timekeeper for assistance in determining employee leave balances.
  • Please review the Manager Time Reporting & Leave Balances Manual for detailed instructions on various manager actions.

Leave

Please visit All Leave Types to learn about the various leave options .

Managers should communicate their preferred method for submitting leave requests to employees. The two most common methods are the Leave Request Form and email. Leave requests should be reviewed and responded to promptly. Leave approval is at the manager's discretion and should take into account business needs and legal rights of the employee.

Additionally, a manager should consider:

  • Accommodating an employee’s request to the extent feasible;
  • The financial impact of an employee’s leave request and available leave balances;
  • Applicable laws and policies;
  • Procedures set forth by UT System Administration as defined in HOP 3.3.1 Leave Policy; and
  • Consulting with the HR Business Partner for complex or extraordinary situations.

OHR must be notified when an employee’s absence exceeds three consecutive days for any medical reason. Intermittent or patterned sick absences should also be reported to OHR. Reports may come from the employee, manager or timekeeper. Once notified, OHR will contact the employee to determine which leave type(s) are applicable and initiate the applicable leave process.

Unique leave situations which require managers to pay special attention:

FLSA Overtime

FLSA overtime is commonly referred to as overtime or OT. Salaried, non-exempt staff are eligible for banked overtime. For these individuals, overtime is banked when the employee works more than 40 hours in a single workweek. Leave and holiday time are not included in this calculation. Time worked in excess of 40 hours is banked at 1.5x. For example, if an employee worked 41 hours, 1.5 hours would be banked as overtime.

Hourly staff are paid for overtime at 1.5x their hourly rate of pay. This payment is automatic and is generated directly from the PeopleSoft timesheet.

Employees must have their manager’s prior approval before working hours that may result in earning overtime. If a manager allows an employee to work overtime, it is considered the same as ordering or authorizing overtime. In other words, if a manager is aware that a non-exempt employee works through lunch, starts early or stays late, and works more than 40 hours in a workweek, the employee must be compensated for that overtime.

There are earning limits that must be observed. For the majority of staff, the limit is 240 hours of banked overtime. Employees engaged in public safety, emergency response or seasonal activity may bank up to 480 hours of overtime.

Banked overtime balances are paid only under the following circumstances:

1. Overtime exceeds maximum limits. An employee must be paid all or a portion of accrued overtime when the employee’s balance exceeds the maximum accrual limit.

2. FLSA exemption status change. If an employee’s FLSA status changes from non-exempt to exempt, the employee will be paid all accrued overtime.

3. Transfer between UT System Administration departments. An employee who has an overtime balance and transfers from one UT System Administration department to another will be paid all accrued overtime by the department from which the employee transfers.

4. Annually. Departments will pay employees any accrued overtime no later than the fourth quarter of each fiscal year.

5. Separation or transfer of employment. When an employee leaves UT System Administration employment, including transfers to another state agency or institution of higher education, any accrued overtime will be paid. Overtime will not transfer between state agencies or institutions of higher education.

To comply with earning limits or to limit the payout amount, managers may require an employee to take overtime time off in lieu of receiving accrued overtime pay. Managers may also require an employee to use overtime before vacation.

HOP 3.2.1 Fair Labor Standards Act – Overtime

Emergency Leave

Only the Chancellor or his/her designee may grant emergency leave for situations such as emergency closure or other reasons determined to be for good cause, such as an unplanned situation requiring immediate attention that requires the employee to exhaust all available and applicable paid leave balances. Please submit requests for emergency leave to leave@utsystem.edu.

HOP 3.3.1 Leave Policy, Sec. 12

Family & Medical Leave

The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides job protected leave (FML) to an employee who has been employed for 12 months and has worked for at least 1,250 hours within the 1 year period immediately preceding the commencement of leave.

The FMLA is a federal law which entitles an eligible employee for up to twelve unpaid workweeks (480 hours) of continuous or intermittent leave for qualifying events such as:

  • New child (birth, adoption, foster care);
  • Serious health condition (employee, spouse, child, parent);
  • Military related
    • Exigency (deployment)
    • Care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness

Managers must notify OHR immediately when an employee's absence "triggers" a potential need for FML. This need could be evident when an employee:

  • Notifies the manager of pregnancy (employee or spouse), that his/her family will be adopting a child or that the family will be receiving a child from foster care;
  • Is absent for more than three continuous days of work;
  • Is absent due to a chronic health condition (i.e., diabetes, migraine headaches, etc.);
  • Is absent due to hospitalization or placement in a day care facility for any length of time;
  • Is absent to care for a child, spouse or parent suffering from a serious health condition; and/or
  • Needs to care for a covered member of the armed forces, or has to be absent from work due to a covered member being called to active duty.

The FMLA mandates we act in a timely manner after one of these triggers becomes evident. Managers may not seek medical information from the employee. Medical information is confidential and is maintained solely between the employee and OHR. If there is any uncertainty as to the nature of an employee’s absence, please notify OHR at leave@utsystem.edu.

Once an employee receives approval for FML, all related absences within the stated award limits are considered pre-approved. Managers are copied on the approval email and will know the award limits. The employee must maintain communication with the manager with regard to absences and the anticipated return-to-work date. However, managers may not deny the absence.

Upon returning from an approved FML absence, the employee must be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position with the same pay, benefits and terms of employment.

FML is not paid leave. All accrued paid leave (vacation, sick, floating holiday, comp and overtime) runs concurrently with FML and must be used prior to the commencement of unpaid leave (LWOP). If all accrued paid leave is exhausted, the employee will be automatically placed on approved leave without pay.  Health benefits (employer contributions/premium sharing) will be maintained during any period of unpaid FML provided the employee continues to pay the employee portion of premiums.

Employees are required to report FML absences using a leave type that begins with FML, such as FML-Sick, FML-Vacation and FML-Leave Without Pay.

    HOP 3.3.1 Leave Policy, Sec. 13

    Unpaid Leave (LWOP)

    Unpaid absences not related to family and medical leave (FML), parental leave, military leave or workers’ compensation require the following actions:

    • The employee submits a leave request for unpaid leave (leave without pay) including absence dates, number of hours requested and the reason for leave.
    • The manager reviews and approves or denies the request.
    • If the request is approved and if the requested hours exceed 40, the manager forwards the request to the department head for consideration.
    • The department head will approve or deny the request and copy leave@utsystem.edu.
    • If approved, the employee will record LWOP absences on the timesheet using Leave Without Pay under “Leave Types Requiring OHR Approval.”

    For LWOP absences not exceeding 40 hours, OHR will use the manager’s timesheet approval as documentation.

    For LWOP absences that do exceed 40 hours, OHR requires an emailed copy of the department head’s approval.

    Please contact leave@utsystem.edu to discuss instances of unapproved LWOP.

    HOP 3.3.1 Leave Policy, Sec. 16