UFIT Standard: Attendance & Leave

Attendance is an essential aspect of every position in the University.  The UFIT Attendance and Leave Standard follows the University’s published Human Resource Services (HRS) guidelines for attendance and leave while articulates requirements and standards for all employees of University of Florida Information Technology (UFIT).

Leave is a benefit available for employees to attend to personal needs.  All UFIT employees are expected and encouraged to take personal responsibility for their attendance and appropriate use of available leave benefits as a part of their work and family life balance.  Supervisors will make every effort to accommodate leave requests that are submitted appropriately and in a timely manner.  However, abuse of leave, or failure to report to work as scheduled, or a pattern of unscheduled and/or excessive absences or tardiness will not be tolerated.  These constitute unsatisfactory attendance for which appropriate disciplinary action may result.  Time worked and leave must be accurately entered in the both the payroll and PPM systems.  Falsification will not be tolerated under any circumstances, and will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

UFIT values its employees and their efforts towards achieving the goals and missions of the University.  We hope these guidelines will help employees understand the expectations of the University pertaining to attendance and leave usage.

 

Attendance:

When you were hired by the University of Florida, you accepted the responsibility to work every scheduled day. If you must be unavoidably absent from your job (that is, other than planned vacations or personal business times that been approved in advance), it is your responsibility to let your supervisor know as soon as possible on the first day of absence why you must be absent and when you expect to return.  If your anticipated return date changes, keep your supervisor informed.

Working Hours

For full-time employees, the University’s normal schedule is a five-day, 40-hour week.  Most UFIT employees will work this schedule with possible alternate schedules.  Where we must maintain continuous operations, additional work shifts are scheduled by your supervisor or team lead to meet this objective.

  1. The normal scheduled work week for a full time employee is Monday-Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
  2. Work day schedules shall be determined by your supervisor or team lead.
  3. A scheduled work day for a fulltime employee will typically include a meal period, as noted below, and may include rest breaks.
  4. Employees are expected to adhere to their specified work day schedule, report to work on time every scheduled workday, and be at their workstation ready to begin work at the start of their shift.
  5. All modifications to work schedules including overtime, “make-up” or “flextime”, must be approved by your supervisor in advance.
  6. All “flextime” and alternative work schedules are subject to periodic supervisory review to ensure compatibility with UFIT Operational objectives.
  7. Many classifications in the USPS and TEAMS pay plans are designated exempt from FLSA overtime payment provisions. All hourly USPS and TEAMS classifications are designated as non-exempt; and as such, require that time worked be recorded on an hourly basis (Web Clock or Weekly Punch Time).
  8. In compliance with Federal Law (FLSA), non-exempt employees are not permitted to work during their meal breaks, must accurately report actual time worked, and must be compensated for all hours worked.
  9. 7 x 24 Operations specific guidelines
    1. Shift Leads are scheduled 07:45 to 16:15 with a 30 min meal break for first shift and similarly, 15:45 to 00:15 or 23:45 to 08:15 for second and third shift respectively.
    2. Staff Operators are scheduled 08:00 to 16:00 for first shift, 16:00 to 00:00 for second shift, and 00:00 to 08:00 for third shift.
    3. A specific Unanticipated Absence Notification process applies to this team.

Rest Periods

UFIT recognizes that employees work better and enjoy their work more when they are rested and refreshed.

  1. During each four hours that you work, you are permitted a 15-minute rest period whenever possible. When an employee goes on rest break, the employee does not need to clock in and clock out since it is considered time worked.
  2. During this period, we encourage you to leave your workstation and relax. Your supervisor will advise you of particular arrangements necessary for breaks in your department.
  3. Rest-period time may not be accumulated for later use that is, to extend your lunch hour, arrive late, or leave early. You also may not combine breaks to allow a half-hour break, or prolong a lunch period during an eight-hour shift.

Meals

Typically, a scheduled meal break is minimally 30 minutes long; and your meal break is set by your supervisor or team lead.  Employees at the University work a variety of schedules and are permitted varying amounts of time for a meal period depending upon their regular working schedule.  For example, if you work from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, you typically will be scheduled for a one-hour meal break.  If, on the other hand, you work from 8 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, you typically will be scheduled for a half-hour meal period.

  1. Employees are expected to take their scheduled meal break at the designated time and for the scheduled duration.
  2. Meal breaks are unpaid and not included as part of an employee’s paid work time.
  3. Non-exempt employees are never to be permitted to work during their meal breaks.

Unanticipated Absence Notification

It is the employee’s responsibility to let his/her supervisor know as soon as possible on the first day of absence why you must be absent and when you expect to return.  If your anticipated return date changes, keep your supervisor informed.

  1. In the event of an unanticipated absence, the employee must e-mail a notification to his/her immediate supervisor (and Team Lead where appropriate). E-mail is the required form of notification of your absence within UFIT.  In accordance with University guidelines, if the absence is FMLA-qualifying you must notify your supervisor at this time.
  2. 7 x 24 Operations specific process:
    1. In the event of an unanticipated absence, the operator must call the Data Center Operations Center (392-2291), as soon as possible prior to the start of their shift. This is essential due to the need to find a replacement for the shift.
    2. E-mail is then required for notification of your absence to the department lead within UFIT. In accordance with University guidelines, if the absence is FMLA-qualifying you must notify your supervisor at this time.
  3. The employee notification to the immediate supervisor shall be as soon as possible, but no later than thirty (30) minutes after the scheduled start of the shift.
  4. In the event e-mail is unavailable to the employee, the employee must telephone the supervisor or the next higher supervisor if your immediate supervisor is unavailable.
  5. It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure the email notification is actually sent by the e-mail system.
  6. Failure to follow proper notification procedure may result in disciplinary action including unauthorized leave without pay for non-exempt employees.

Tardiness

  1. Tardiness is defined as reporting to work late at the beginning of the work shift, leaving early or returning late from a rest break or meal, or leaving work early at the end of the work day, all without approval.
  2. Tardiness will result in leave without pay, unless leave with pay is approved by your supervisor for extenuating circumstances.
  3. The University’s system of “rounding time” does not excuse tardiness nor applies to beginning of or end of the work shift. It only applies to the way leave is reflected in the system.
  4. Excessive Tardiness (defined above) may result in initiation of progressive disciplinary action.

 

Leave

Vacation Leave

Vacation leave is earned each pay period and credited on the last day of that pay period. There is no waiting period for using vacation leave. An employee may only use vacation leave that has been credited into his or her balance.

Vacation leave is typically used for the purpose of going on vacation; however, it may also be used for personal business. In unusual or unavoidable situations, your supervisor may require you to take a portion of your vacation leave at a specified time.

Regardless of the amount of vacation leave originally approved by your supervisor, vacation leave may be used only in the amount necessary to bring you to your regular FTE, not to exceed the 40-hour workweek. An employee who uses vacation leave in an amount which is less than a full hour shall be charged to the closest quarter of an hour.

  1. Vacation leave may only be taken after approval is received from the employee’s immediate supervisor.
  2. When vacation leave has been properly requested and approved, employees may use it for any personal reason including medical appointments.
  3. Vacation leave is not permitted when an employee calls in sick. The only permitted exception is if the notification of absence states the absence is a FMLA-qualifying absence.
  4. Except for emergencies, employees should submit requests for vacation in advance. Vacation request for more than one day should be submitted at least 14 calendar days in advance.  Requests for one day or less should be submitted at least 3 days in advance.
  5. The granting of vacation leave is at the supervisor’s discretion based on departmental needs and workload; many UFIT teams utilize a leave calendar to assist employees with scheduling.

Sick Leave

Sick leave-accruing personnel begin earning sick leave from the time they are employed; it is credited on the last day of each pay period.  Employees may only use what is in the balance prior to future accrual.
Regardless of the amount of sick leave approved by your supervisor, sick leave may be used only in the amount necessary to bring you back to your regular FTE, not to exceed the 40-hour workweek.

  1. Sick leave may be used for an employee’s illness, or injury, or exposure to a contagious disease, medical appointments, including disability caused, or contributed to, by pregnancy. Additionally, sick leave may also be used in reasonable amounts for an immediate family member’s illness, or injury, or medical appointment or death.
  2. Employees must follow unanticipated absence notification procedure to notify their supervisor when they are absent due to illness. If the employee is not able to notify the supervisor directly on the first day of the absence, they must do so as soon as possible thereafter.
  3. Employees may be required to submit documentation from a health care provider after each occurrence of Sick Leave if their usage is considered excessive as defined above. The supervisor and unit director will jointly determine excessive leave decisions.
  4. When possible, employees should try to schedule routine medical appointments for times that are least disruptive to the team. Employees shall notify and obtain approval from their supervisors prior to scheduling and using leave for routine medical appointments.
  5. Employees who follow unanticipated absence notification after a requested and denied vacation leave will be required to submit documentation from a health care provider upon returning to work.
  6. Where an employee has exhausted their accrued sick leave, future unscheduled absences will result in Leave Without Pay, unless the absence is FMLA-qualifying (for which accrued vacation leave can be used, see FMLA information below).

Medical Certification for Sick Leave:

In accordance with UF policy (5/13/15), at the discretion of the immediate supervisor or other appropriate authority, medical certification of sick leave use may be required under the following circumstances:

  1. When Academic Personnel, TEAMS or USPS employee’s absences are excessive.
  2. When a pattern has emerged (an example would be employees who consistently call in sick on the Friday prior to a three-day weekend)
  3. When an employee has been absent three times in any 30-day period. These absences need not be full days.
  4. When an employee has a single occurrence of three or more days absence.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA):

Employees are entitled to up to 12 workweeks or 480 hours of unpaid leave per fiscal year for absences relating to birth of a child or adoption or foster care; or when an employee or his or her spouse, parent, or child has a serious health condition.

  1. An employee requesting leave under the FMLA must submit a Certification of Health Care Provider form completed by their physician. The form is available online at: http://www.hr.ufl.edu/forms/benefits/healthcarecertification.pdf
  2. Employees may use any type of leave towards their FMLA-related absences, however, when overtime compensatory leave is used during FMLA-related absence, it does not count toward the 12 weeks entitlement.
  3. FMLA-related absences must be properly reflected in the system using the appropriate time reporting code.

Compensatory Leave

USPS and non-exempt TEAMS employees are eligible to earn compensatory leave in certain situations.

Upon reasonable notice, supervisors or other appropriate University of Florida administrators may require employees to use any part of accrued overtime, special, or regular compensatory leave at any time deemed advisable. Employees who have accrued compensatory leave may be required to use such leave before using vacation leave.

Overtime Compensation

Overtime is defined as work that is required or permitted beyond the 40 hour University workweek. It is a supervisor’s responsibility to insure that unauthorized overtime is not worked. The work schedule should be arranged so that overtime usually is not required. In situations where the department’s mission cannot be carried out unless overtime work is authorized, overtime work may be allowed. UFIT supervisors must follow procedures established by the UFIT CIO for obtaining prior authorization for use of overtime.

  1. Exempt TEAMS employees are not eligible for any compensatory time. Supervisors are encouraged, when possible, to adjust the workweek to compensate for additional hours worked by these employees.
  2. Exempt USPS employees who are required to work more than 40 hours in a workweek are eligible for regular compensatory leave on an hour-for-hour basis, not to exceed 120 hours.
  3. Overtime worked by employees in non-exempt USPS and TEAMS positions must be paid in one of two ways.
    1. The employee may be paid one and one-half times their regular hourly rate of pay for each hour of overtime worked.
    2. As an alternative, if the employee and supervisor so agree in advance, the employee may be compensated by crediting the employee with up to 120 hours of overtime compensatory leave; i.e., 80 hours of overtime work, on the basis of one and one-half hours of leave for each hour of overtime worked. Upon reaching the 120-hour limit of overtime compensatory leave, employees must either receive cash for additional hours of overtime worked or use accrued overtime compensatory leave before receiving further overtime compensatory leave credits.
  4. No other “arrangements” are allowed, as they constitute falsification of time records.
  5. UFIT Supervisors are encouraged to make a reasonable effort, based on departmental needs and mutual agreement, to encourage employees to specify a preference between overtime compensatory leave and cash payment. Cash payment is the default option, however it is the employee’s choice.
  6. Employees who have accrued overtime, regular, or special compensatory leave, must use such leave prior to using vacation leave.
  7. Employees must request and receive supervisory approval prior to using any type of compensatory leave.

Administrative Leave

An employee may be granted administrative leave for death in the immediate family or other situations as approved by appropriate university authorities.  Full-time employees may use up to 2 days of administrative leave for each occurrence of death in their immediate family.  The 2-day benefit is prorated for part-time employees.  When requested, the employee must provide their supervisor with the name of the deceased and the affiliation with the employee.

Jury Duty and Court Appearances

Jury Duty

An employee who is summoned to jury duty will be granted paid leave for all hours required for such duty, not to exceed the number of hours in the employee’s normal workday. Such paid leave shall not be reduced.* As a result, any hours to be compensated over the USPS and non-exempt TEAMS employee’s FTE in the UF workweek shall be compensated via special compensatory leave. Exempt TEAMS employees may adjust their work schedules as appropriate.

If the jury duty does not require absence for the entire workday, the employee should return to work immediately upon release by the court. The university will not reimburse the employee for meals, lodging, and travel expenses while serving as a juror. However, any jury fees paid may be kept by the employee.

If a USPS or non-exempt TEAMS employee’s jury duty does not coincide with his or her regular work schedule, the employee typically still shall be granted paid leave based on the total hours served on jury duty, not to exceed the number of hours in the employee’s regular workday. The employee’s work schedule may be adjusted to avoid accrual of special compensatory leave.**

Approval

This type of administrative leave is approved by the department. If an employee is called for jury duty, a department is obligated to provide the employee with time off from work.

* For example, if a USPS or non-exempt TEAMS employee serves 8 hours on jury duty and subsequently works four ten-hour days at the university, his or her 8 hours of administrative leave shall not be reduced to zero. Instead, the employee will be entitled to 8 hours of special compensatory leave:
8-hour administrative leave benefit (benefit provided to cover time spent on jury duty) + 40 hours physically worked (four 10-hour days) = 48 hours for which employee needs to be compensated.

Because the employee did not physically work more than 40 hours, he or she is eligible for special compensatory leave (hour-for-hour benefit) for all hours over 40. (To be eligible for overtime compensation, an employee must physically work more than 40 hours during the UF workweek.)

** If an employee is scheduled to work a night shift the day before (or after) he or she is scheduled to report for jury duty, the department should adjust the employee’s work schedule so that he or she can have adequate rest surrounding the jury duty. Special compensatory leave would be provided in the event an employee’s work schedule could not be adjusted.

Documentation

UF Information Technology employees are required to provide the department with the court certified proof of jury service.

Court Appearance

An employee subpoenaed as a witness in a court or administrative hearing, not involving personal litigation or service as a paid expert witness, shall be granted court appearance leave, not to exceed the number of hours in the employee’s regular workday, and any witness fees may be kept by the employee. In the case of such court appearance, leave provided shall not be reduced. As a result, those hours to be compensated over the USPS and non-exempt TEAMS employee’s FTE shall be compensated via special compensatory leave. Exempt TEAMS employees may adjust their work schedules, as appropriate.

If the court appearance does not require absence for the entire workday, the employee should return to work immediately upon release by the court. The University of Florida will not reimburse the employee for meals, lodging, and travel expenses. However, any witness fees paid may be kept by the employee.

If a USPS or non-exempt TEAMS employee’s court appearance does not coincide with the employee’s regular work schedule, the employee typically still shall be granted administrative leave for the total hours served as a court witness, not to exceed the number of hours in the employee’s regular workday. The employee’s work schedule may be adjusted to avoid accrual of special compensatory leave.

Approval

This type of administrative leave is approved by the department. If an employee is subpoenaed, a department is obligated to provide the employee with the time off from work, unless it is for personal litigation. “Personal litigation” is when the employee is cited as the plaintiff or the defendant. In these instances, the employee should use vacation leave, compensatory leave (if USPS or non-exempt TEAMS), or leave without pay. A department is obligated to provide the employee with time off from work but is not obligated to approve paid leave.

Questions regarding whether the court appearance is for personal litigation may be directed to UF Benefits at 392-2477.

Documentation

UF Information Technology employees are required to provide the department with proof of the subpoena.

University Employee Appearance

An employee subpoenaed in the line of duty to represent the University of Florida as a witness or defendant will have his or her appearance considered part of the employee’s job assignment and, thus, time worked. The employee shall be paid per diem and travel expenses but shall not keep any fees received from the court.

Personal Litigation/Paid Expert Witness

An employee who is engaged in personal litigation or service as a paid expert witness will not be granted administrative leave for court attendance. However, that employee may request to use vacation leave or unpaid leave. Employees who serve as paid expert witnesses must comply with the university’s policy and regulations on extra state compensation, outside employment/activities, and conflict of interest to include the provisions of University of Florida regulations.

Approval

Again, the university considers “personal litigation” to be circumstances where the employee is cited as the plaintiff or the defendant. In these instances, the employee should use vacation leave, compensatory leave (if USPS or non-exempt TEAMS), or leave without pay. A department is obligated to provide the employee with time off from work but is not obligated to approve paid leave.

Leave without Pay

Leave without pay will result where employees who have exhausted their accrued leave balance have their supervisor’s approval for their absence.  Leave without pay can also be used to make an employee’s FTE whole where an employee with an FMLA qualifying event uses intermittent leave during an extended leave of absence.  Leave without pay must be approved in advance by the supervisor.

Unauthorized Leave without Pay (Non-Exempt Employees)

Unauthorized leave without pay may result in the following situations:

  1. Failure to follow call-in procedure to report an absence or tardiness
  2. Failure to submit medical documentation when requested
  3. Where the employee’s tardiness is not justified or approved by the supervisor for paid leave
  4. Failure to report to work as scheduled, and/or call in to report their absence (“No call no show”)
  5. Unauthorized leave without pay will result in initiation of progressive disciplinary action.

Personal Leave Days

Leave-accruing Academic Personnel, USPS, and TEAMS employees are eligible for ten paid holidays each year. All full-time leave-accruing Academic Personnel, TEAMS, and USPS employees earn eight hours of holiday pay as long as they are in pay status for a reasonable portion of their last regularly scheduled workday before the holiday.  Part-time employees are entitled to holiday time in proportion to their FTE.

Certain UFIT Teams have been designated as “essential.”  “Essential” employees will be notified if they are required work during the Winter Break.  UFIT policy for “essential” personnel is personal leave days shall be used prior to vacation leave in order to ensure the personal leave days are used in a timely manner.   Unless otherwise notified by UF Administrative Memo, “essential” employees will have until June 30th of the current fiscal year to use their personal leave days.

 

References:

Key UFIT Department Definitions

Excessive Sick Leave:

Three or more occurrences of sick leave in any 30-day period.

Excessive Tardiness:

Three or more tardy occurrences in any 30-day period.

Job Abandonment:

A USPS or TEAMS employee who is absent without authorization for three or more consecutive workdays may be considered to have abandoned his or her position or to have resigned from the University.

Reasonable Portion of the Workday:

Four (4) hours

Sick Leave Occurrence:

An unanticipated absence/sick leave consisting of consecutive time periods.

Example: An employee goes home ill after lunch on Thursday and returns to work the following Tuesday, the absence is by definition a single occurrence even though two different work weeks are involved
(Note this occurrence could require medical certification as the illness was for three days).

Tardy Occurrence: 

A single calendar day instance of a tardy.