Requesting exempt employee compensatory time accrual

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Dear UNT Staff and Faculty,

We have received feedback from many of you following last week’s UNT System announcement of changes to the Compensatory Time and Overtime Policy (UNT Policy 05.062), which prohibits accrual of compensatory time by exempt employees except on a UNT System Board of Regents designated holiday or under extraordinary circumstances.

We hear your concerns, and I want to assure you that exempt employees will be pre-approved to accrue compensatory time under “extraordinary circumstances” that protect, maintain, or restore university operations. Examples include unit workload surges directly linked to business needs, like processing an unanticipated number of international enrollment applications or staffing annual events such as Orientation, Homecoming, First Flight Week, or Mean Green Move-In when it is impossible for employees to flex time within the week.

As managers identify times when exempt employees may need to work pre-approved compensatory time, the department head should provide their division’s vice president with the following information: list of exempt staff names/positions/EMPILDs, dates of anticipated extraordinary circumstance, estimated hours requested for compensatory time approval per week, a description of why the situation constitutes an extraordinary circumstance, and how these positions protect, maintain, or restore university operations. Vice presidents will advance supported requests to the Office of the President for approval or denial.

We know emergency situations, like a server crash or inclement weather near campus, may require unplanned attention, and we expect teams to continue acting in the university’s best interest. In those unanticipated instances, the Office of the President and Human Resources will advise employees on how to document time.

Vital work is accomplished year-round in every division to drive enrollment and best support our students. This policy change is not intended to significantly alter your employment, but remove any expectations that compensatory time is regularly expected, and to align the compensatory time policy across UNT System institutions. We must ensure that we work efficiently and staff at levels that eliminate the need for regular accrual of compensatory time. Managers must also evaluate business needs and aid staff in prioritizing job duties. If certain positions require regular accrual of compensatory time, we must consider what can be done to provide the employee with greater work-life balance.

We appreciate your patience as we navigate this policy change, and focus on cultivating a workplace that prioritizes work-life balance while minimizing regular compensatory time accruals. University operations are sustained by the important work of each valued faculty and staff member, and I thank you for the unparalleled dedication you display each day.

Sincerely,

Neal Smatresk

UNT President