UNT Policy 05.062 Change FAQ

When can exempt employees earn compensatory time under the new policy?

Effective June 6, 2021, exempt employees may only earn compensatory time for each hour that they are required to work on a UNT System Board of Regents designated holiday. In addition, compensatory time also may be approved by the President only under extraordinary circumstances, and only if total hours worked plus holiday or other paid leave exceeded forty (40) hours (or the standard hours for part-time employees) in a workweek to provide services that protect, maintain, or restore operations.

Some exempt staff have a current balance of compensatory time that was earned prior to June 6, 2021. Will they be allowed to utilize that compensatory time?

Yes, all compensatory time earned by an exempt employee prior to June 6, 2021, will remain in their accrued leave balances and available for them to use within the 12-month period from the date that the compensatory time was earned. For example, if an employee earned 4 hours of compensatory time on April 5, 2021, it must be used by April 4, 2022. Previously earned compensatory time lapses after 12 months from the date earned.

How are employees being notified of the policy change?

An Official Notice from the President regarding the revision to UNT Policy 05.062, Compensatory Time and Overtime, was emailed to all UNT employees on June 4, 2021.

Can exempt employees be paid for their balance of 1.0 compensatory time due to the policy updates?

No. Texas Government Code does not allow for payment of 1.0 compensatory time.

What hours are exempt employees required to work and what timekeeping procedures should exempt employees follow?

Full-time employees are required to work 40 hours per week, however, there are times that additional hours may be required beyond the normal 40-hour work week to meet operational needs. Exempt employees are required to report “exceptions,” which means that any time away from work should be submitted via eLeave requests, and in the two situations where exempt employees are eligible to earn compensatory time, the exempt employees will enter the actual hours worked during the work week for which compensatory time was approved only. Exempt employees are not required to record a weekly timecard during normal work weeks in which absences did not occur (less than 40 hours were worked) or compensatory time was not approved.

Are there changes to non-exempt employees earning compensatory time?

No. Non-exempt employees will continue to be eligible to earn 1.0 and 1.5 compensatory time, in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the Texas Government Code.

What is the process for a non-exempt employee to receive pre-approval to work overtime and earn compensatory time?

All overtime and compensatory time must be approved in advance by the department official who has the designated authority to approve overtime. In many cases, the designated authority is the staff member’s supervisor, but may differ by department. Please consult with your department head regarding the approval authority for your specific work unit. Pre-approval should be documented according to normal department procedures.

Can a non-exempt employee earn compensatory time if they are working from home?

A non-exempt employee may only accumulate compensatory time for hours worked at the employee’s personal residence if the employee obtains the advance approval of the President or designee. Therefore, the pre-approval request must be routed up to the division Vice President’s office through normal administrative channels and be approved at all levels prior to the time being worked.

Why are some staff positions classified as exempt?

Positions are classified as exempt or non-exempt in accordance with the provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Human Resources conducts a review of position responsibilities to determine whether a position should be classified as exempt or non-exempt. If you receive questions regarding the exemption status of a position, please reach out to your HR Business Partner to discuss in detail.

As a supervisor, what should I do if a non-exempt employee does not obtain pre-approval but still works more than 40 hours in a week and thus earns unauthorized compensatory time?

Pre-approval is required for non-exempt employees to work additional hours and earn compensatory time. However, non-exempt employees must be compensated for all hours worked. This means that the non-exempt employee would earn the compensatory time but is subject to disciplinary action for violation of university policy in accordance with the staff employee discipline policy. Please contact your HR Business Partner to discuss a particular situation and obtain guidance.

What if I need to schedule one of my exempt staff to work additional hours to meet business needs? Do I have any flexibility options?

Supervisors should make efforts to arrange work schedules in such a manner that exempt employees are not required to work beyond the normal work schedule when possible, but there are times that business needs may require exempt employees to work beyond 40 hours per week. In some instances, flexing hours within the same workweek may be feasible and appropriate. For example, if an exempt employee were required to work a graduation ceremony on a Saturday for 8 hours, the supervisor may alter their schedule that week to allow time off earlier in the week. Flexing may not always be feasible but is an option available; however, flexing may not extend into a different workweek.