Friday, June 4, 2021

Dear UNT Staff and Faculty,

Yesterday, Chancellor Roe announced changes to the Compensatory Time and Overtime Policy (UNT Policy 05.062) that will affect Exempt employees. The changes do not impact how Non-Exempt employees earn, report, or use compensatory time or overtime, though I must reiterate that prior approval of the overtime and compensatory time is required.

Beginning Sunday, June 6, 2021, Exempt employees can only earn compensatory time one of two ways:

  • One for one for each hour worked on a UNT System Board of Regents designated holiday, as governed by the Holiday policy 05.607, or
  • Time approved by the Office of the President under extraordinary circumstances (such as this year's catastrophic winter storm) IF the total hours worked plus holiday or other paid leave exceed the standard 40-hour (or the standard work hours for part-time employees) work week and are necessary to provide services that protect, maintain, or restore operations.

Although the payroll system still will allow an employee to input overtime and compensatory time, the hours will not be processed by the Payroll Department without prior approval from the Office of the President as noted above. The Payroll Department will be notified when requests are approved and will process time accordingly. Consistent with the previous policy, unused compensatory time will expire if not used within 12 months of the time it was earned.

For 14 months, we have transitioned in and out of remote and in-person work, while simultaneously dealing with a worldwide pandemic, changes in childcare and remote learning for our children, and a natural disaster. The resilience of our staff in their ability to adjust when and how they work in order to provide a quality educational experience for our students has been remarkable. With work and home blending together during that time, it's natural for many of us to forget to take time away for ourselves throughout the workweek.

Supervisors should make every effort to arrange workloads across their departments so employees are not required to work beyond their normal schedule whenever possible. I realize there will be times that business needs may require exempt employees to work beyond 40 hours per week, and I encourage you in those situations to consider flexing hours within the same workweek whenever feasible and appropriate to protect employee work-life balance. 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. 

If you have questions, you can learn more about the policy and how it impacts you here. If you are unsure whether you are classified as an Exempt or Non-Exempt employee, you can find your status at the top of your paystub.

Thank you for all of your hard work. Our entire leadership team appreciates the time, creativity, and heart you put into making UNT such a special place for us all.

Neal Smatresk
UNT President