CalTime (OE Timekeeping Initiative)

This page is a list of all frequently asked questions for the CalTime (OE Timekeeping Initiative) section. Please click on the appropriate question to view its answer.

Biweekly Pay Conversion

Where should I go if I have questions?

  • The Payroll and HR websites – for answers to question about the details of biweekly pay cycles and the Transition Assistance Plan
  • Your HR representative – for questions about non-exempt status, and overtime reporting
  • Unit managers – for questions about the impact on processes in your units

How is the campus preparing employees for this transition?

  • Informational resources will be provided in the form of a biweekly toolkit on the web.
  • To help bridge the transition weeks, a Transition Assistance Program will provide eligible employees with the option of a short-term, no interest loan of $100 to $1,000 from the University and/or a cash out of up to 80 hours of leave from employee’s existing accrued vacation time and/or accrued compensatory time.
  • CalTime will provide an automated tool for employees to record time worked via computer or time clock, depending on the job and the unit.

Will there be ongoing communications about the biweekly pay cycle conversion?

Yes. Announcements will be posted on the Central Payroll website. If you have questions for which you need immediate assistance, please email biweekly@lists.berkeley.edu.

Why are exempt employees remaining on a monthly pay schedule?

Exempt employees receive a predetermined salary each pay period, regardless of the amount of time worked, and are not eligible for overtime. Exempt employees are required to report only non-productive time, such as vacation or sick time.

What do "nonexempt" and "exempt" mean?

  • Nonexempt employees are eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and record their actual time worked.
  • Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime.
  • If you are unsure of your exemption status you can

Can I choose not to go to the biweekly pay schedule?

No. All nonexempt employees will be making the switch to biweekly pay. For union-represented employees, the change is subject to collective bargaining.

What is the advantage to employees?

  • Employees will receive overtime pay more frequently.
  • Employees, including students, will be paid every other week.
  • The campus will reduce the number of pay cycles from 9 to 2, and standardize the pay period reflected in the employee’s paycheck.

Why is UC making this change?

The transition is part of a system-wide plan to bring employees at all UC locations onto a standardized pay schedule, with the goal of improving the quality and efficiency of UC's business processes. The new system provides several benefits, including:

  • A systematic approach to payroll time reporting
  • Standardized payroll cycles across all UC locations
  • More efficient and effective time reporting
  • Fewer manual adjustments

Background Check

General Information

What is the relevant policy?

Background Check Policy located here.

Does a background check include checking into a person's credit rating and personal finances?

Whether or not a credit rating is required for the job depends on the nature of the work. Most positions do not require this check.

Who determines which positions are "sensitive?"

The hiring manager, in consultation with Human Resources, will determine which positions should be designated as critical, or "sensitive," based on the duties and responsibilities of each position.  The type of position will determine what background checks are required.  For example, only those who drive for the job will need a DMV check.

When are background checks required?

Background checks are required of an employee who moves into a critical, or sensitive, position as a new hire, transfer, promotion, reclassification, or changes in job duties that move a position into a critical or "sensitive" category. This includes career, limited, contract, per diem, student, and volunteer positions.

Where policies, work rules, and contractual provisions related to background checks for specific personnel programs currently exist, it is intended that the provisions of this policy be applied in conjunction with those provisions. Represented employees will remain covered by the relevant contractual provisions and the previous policy pertaining to background checks while collective bargaining obligations are completed. See Bargaining Agreements, and Labor Relations for more information.

Current employees do not have to undergo background checks unless a transfer, promotion, reclassification, or change in their job duties moves their position into a sensitive category, as defined by the criteria for designated critical positions in PPSM 21, section V.

Do current employees have to undergo background checks?

Current employees do not have to undergo background checks unless a transfer, promotion, reclassification, or change in their job duties moves their position into a sensitive category, as defined by the new criteria.

Why do we have this policy?

The university has an obligation as an employer to provide a safe learning and work environment, and as a steward of public funds to protect its assets.  To that end, individuals in positions that require, for example, handling cash, access to restricted spaces, working with children, or access to personal information are checked to ensure they have no conviction history relevant to their employment. Although this is no guarantee against criminal acts, it does reduce the likelihood of crime, and may reduce the university’s liability in the event a crime occurs. Such activity impacts morale and can have a significant financial impact on the institution.   If problems occur, assistance for departments may be available through the University's Employee Dishonesty Insurance Policy, available at: read the full text of the policy.

What exactly does this policy do?

The policy provides guidance on the criteria for determining when positions are sensitive and require background checks. It articulates the responsibilities of the department and other campus units, describes the process for background checks, including the notification process, and provides for the confidentiality of information gathered and the protection of privacy of individuals undergoing background checks.
 

Access and Privacy

How long will the background results remain on file at the UCPD?

The UCPD will keep the background check results on file at their office until the employee leaves the campus.  When an employee leaves and is not expected to return, departments can send an email to UCPD notifying them that the individual has left University employment. The UCPD Records Unit will destroy records after an employee leaves and will notify DOJ to discontinue the updates. Departments can send the email to this UCPD address: fingerprints@lists.berkeley.edu.

Where should departments file background check information?

Background check information should not be kept in an individual's personnel file. For current employees, this information should be kept in a separate file. For applicants who are hired, background check information should be kept in the recruitment file for that position. If someone is not hired, it is ok to keep all of the information in one file. Visit the following HR web site for other questions and answers about staff employee personnel files including a list of items that do not belong in the personnel files of an employee: Personnel Files.

How will the University protect an individual's right to privacy?

Conviction history background checks are conducted by the campus Police Department (UCPD) under the supervision of the Chief of Police. The UCPD will serve as the Office of Record for all conviction history background check results and will maintain confidentiality. Departments will not receive any details of a background check, only a notification of whether the background check has revealed any convictions relevant to the job duties. UC policy and state and federal laws recognize a subject's right to privacy and prohibit campus employees and others from seeking out, using, or disclosing personal information except within the scope of their assigned duties

Who will have access to the background check results?

The University of California Police Department (UCPD) will maintain the results of background checks. If there are no convictions, UCPD will notify the department to complete the hiring process. The original report will remain in the Police Department. If there are convictions within the last seven years, the UCPD will notify the Background Check Committee, which will review the results and make final determinations regarding the suitability of subjects for specific positions. In accordance with California law AB655, the UCPD will also provide a summary of the background check to the subject of the investigation, regardless of the results.

Funding, Costs, and Financial Liability

What are the costs for background checks, who determines the rates, and who pays for them?

The current rate (as of April 2016) for background checks is $94-105 for the combined Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports. The campus Police Department (UCPD) is responsible for coordinating the background checks and will recharge the department for this service. The rates were established and approved by the campus Recharge Committee, are subject to annual review and may be modified in accordance with campus recharge policy.

Since any potential liability is mostly to the campus, why must the departments be responsible for the decision to designate a position as sensitive and for providing the funding?

The policy places the responsibility on the department to determine which of their positions should be designated sensitive. Additionally, there can be financial consequences for a department when a crime is committed in that department. For financially sensitive positions: the University has an insurance policy for employee dishonesty, but the deductible is $1,000,000. The department would have to pay for losses under that amount. For other sensitive positions: although it is true that the General Liability Self-Insurance Program would pay for many of these liabilities, under certain circumstances the General Liability Program could compel departments to pay for the first $50,000 of any loss. The most common reason the General Liability Self-Insurance Program asks for department contributions is "violation of University or campus policy." Failure to conduct a background check when appropriate would fit under that category. Currently, there are no central campus funds available to help off-set this expense. The responsibility and cost of background checks may provide an incentive to some departments to structure their internal business processes with needed checks and balances to avoid the need for the background checks.

Time Issues

How long does a background check take?

The length of time needed to complete a background check varies by type of check.   Except for fingerprinting, other types of background checks are to be completed before appoint to a position. Since conviction history checks can take upwards of two months for UCPD to receive the DOJ and FBI information, an appointment can be made contingent on successful completion of this part of the background check.

The DOJ and FBI returns are generally received within 1-2 days of the fingerprinting. However if there are any issues it can take upwards of 1-2 months to receive both returns.

Hiring Issues

Can employees be hired before the background check has cleared?

Per UC policy, with the exception of fingerprinting, other types of background checks are to be completed prior to being appointed to a designated critical position (e.g. DMV, credit rating).  Since it can take longer for UCPD to receive the results from a DOJ and FBI check, appointments can be made contingent on successful completion of that portion of the background check.

Reclassifications

What about assignment of new job duties, including reclassification?

Per UC policy, with the exception of fingerprinting, other types of background checks are to be completed prior to being appointed to a designated critical position (e.g. DMV, credit rating).  Since it can take longer for UCPD to receive the results from a DOJ and FBI check, appointments can be made contingent on successful completion of that portion of the background check.

Transfers and Promotions

Why are we to advise UC employees who have applied for an internal position to provide notice to their current department only after the background check has cleared?

This is because there is no provision in the policy to hold or guarantee the old job if an employee gives notice and the background check subsequently precludes that individual from accepting the new sensitive position. The principle here is to preserve an individual's job rights.

When hiring an employee who claims to have already cleared a campus background check, how can departments accurately verify a previous fingerprint session?

To find out if an individual has already had a background check, departments can inquire by calling UC Police Department 642-6760 for instructions.

Student Employment Issues

Are background checks required each time students or other employees who are on semester assignments in sensitive positions leave the campus and return to start a new campus position?

As long as the student returns to the same sensitive position or one that is similar, background checks are not required each time students leave the campus and return to start a new position. If the employee has already cleared the background check for a particular sensitive position, the UC Police Department (UCPD) will continue to receive automatic updates from DOJ/FBI notifying them of any subsequent convictions. Subsequently, there is no need to obtain additional background checks unless the nature of the sensitive job duties change. These automatic updates will continue to come to UCPD until a department notifies them that the employee no longer works for the University. UCPD then has to notify DOJ/FBI to discontinue the updates.

When are student volunteers required to have background checks?

This will depend on the situation:

  • Background checks are required if a student is filling a position that falls under the definition of a designated critical position (See PPSM 21, section V).
  • If a student volunteers to work for a campus sponsored event or program which involves minors (individuals under 18 years of age), a background check is required, unless the student's interaction with these minors is supervised at all times.
  • If students will be donating time and effort in a manner that benefits others (non-UC sponsored opportunity), the agency or institution accepting the volunteer is liable. In this case, campus departments are not responsible for obtaining the background check.  Liability for actions of volunteers would reside with the organization using the volunteers, not the organization supplying the volunteers, unless there is an agreement to the contrary.
  • If a student volunteers to host a high school senior for a night as part of Cal's Senior Weekend activities, departments should transfer liability to the parents of the senior coming to campus. If this is done, a background check of that student volunteer would not be required. (Departments can call the Office of Risk Management to obtain a waiver of liability, agreement, or memo of understanding).

If you have questions about whether you need a background check for work-study students or student volunteers, consult with your HR Partner.

Can departments hire student employees and limited employees and allow them to begin working in sensitive positions before background check results are completed?

Since both student employees and limited employees can be terminated at will if the background check reveals relevant convictions, a department may at their discretion choose to let such employees begin working in some positions before completion of the background check. It depends upon the kinds of sensitive duties the employee would perform and the potential consequences of behavior. For example:

  • For a position that has been designated sensitive because of access to cash, the department may carefully weigh the University's business need against risk management considerations and decide that a student or limited employee whose job duties would include, e.g., part-time operation of a cash register in a low-volume gift-shop operation does not pose a significant financial risk of theft or embezzlement, and can allow the employee to begin performing the duties before the background check results have been received.
  • For a position that has been designated sensitive because of duties involving contact with children, the potential consequences of even a single act that caused harm to children would outweigh any business need considerations, and the individual should not be allowed to start working in the job before being cleared
  • For a position that has been designated sensitive because of access to keys, the decision of when a student or limited employee can begin work should take into account the nature of the theft or harm that could result from misuse of the keys. For instance, if the employee would possess keys to an office supplies storeroom, the department may consider that this does not represent a risk of significant theft. But if the employee possesses keys to dormitory rooms or to laboratories with hazardous materials, the consequences of misuse of the keys may represent too great a risk of harm.

DMV Pull Notice Program

Are departments required to use Fleet Services to get DMV Pull Notices for employees who will operate vehicles as part of their job?

Departments have the option of using the Fleet Services Pull Notice Program to order periodic DMV checks and be recharged, or Sacramento's DMV Pull Notice Program at no cost (UC is exempt from charges). To use the Sacramento Pull Notice Program, departments will need to apply for their own user codes and maintain their own records for audit purposes. For information about the Sacramento DMV Pull Notice Program, call the DMV Employee Pull Notice Unit at (916) 657-6346.

Inter-campus Transfers

Can background check information about a UC employee be transferred from one campus to another, in the case of a transfer from one sensitive position to another sensitive position on a different campus?

Fingerprint information and perpetual updates from DOJ/FBI cannot be transferred between campuses when a career UC employee in a sensitive position transfers from one campus to another. The UC Police Department (UCPD) has clarified that the agency that submits the fingerprints is required to use a unique identifying number issued by the DOJ; information cannot be transferred from one agency to another. (For example, if a person is transferred from UC Berkeley to UC San Francisco [UCSF], UCPD would drop him/her from their database. If UCSF wanted to track that individual, they would need to submit a new set of fingerprints to DOJ/FBI). Protection of privacy and confidentiality issues prohibit agencies from sharing data. Consequently, background checks should be obtained before hiring/promoting career employees who are transferring from another UC campus to fill sensitive positions, when there will be no break in service.

If there will be a break in service, in most cases this individual may begin work (provisionally) before the background check is complete, since s/he will serve a new probation period and can be released if s/he does not clear the background check.

Unions, Bargaining Agreements and Labor Relations

Will employees represented by Teamsters 2010 be subject to the background check policy?

The intent of PPSM 21 is that it will apply to represented as well as non- represented employees in defining designated critical positions and the processes associated with conducting background checks.   Existing work rules for represented positions are assumed to be consistent with these requirements of the policy.   Where they may differ, the collective bargaining agreement prevails.

Departments considering actions that may change employee terms and conditions of employment including reorganizations or changes in work rules, should consult with their HR Partner regarding a possible bargaining obligation.

Procurement Card Users

When are background checks required for people who use Procurement Cards (P Cards)?

The Background Check policy criteria states that background checks are required of those who have authority to commit financial resources of the University through contracts greater than the Low Value Purchase Authority. Therefore, if the Procurement Card user is only authorized for purchases up to the Low Value Purchase Authority maximum of $2,500 per transaction, no background check is required. Departments should make sure that the appropriate audit procedures are in place.

Identification Needed for Live Scan

Can a UC employee use a UC-issued photo ID for identification for background checks/live scan?

No. The UC- issued photo ID (Cal 1 Card) cannot be used as identification for background check/live scan service. The UC Police Department has clarified that the State of California DOJ and the FBI only accept the following types of ID to conduct a fingerprint scan: driver's license, passport, or birth certificate with a picture ID.

Review Committee

Can I appeal a decision by the Background Check Committee to reject my employment?

Yes.  If you receive a letter from the Background Check Committee that you are not recommended for employment, it will contain instructions on the appeal process.  It does happen that there is additional information that was not available to the committee at the time of the initial decision.  We give potential employees an opportunity to provide that information through the appeal process, and will carefully consider it.

Are there certain kinds of convictions that will automatically preclude hiring or promotion into a sensitive position?

Individuals with convictions for theft, embezzlement, identity theft or fraud cannot be hired into positions with fiduciary responsibilities. Convictions for child molestation and other sex offenses will automatically preclude an individual from employment that involves direct unsupervised contact with students, outreach programs, or access to residence facilities. Workplace or domestic violence, or other convictions for behaviors that would be inappropriate for specific jobs may also be grounds for denial of employment/promotion. This list is not inclusive, but serves to illustrate the decision-making criteria.

How long does it take for the Background Check Review Committee to make its decisions?

The Committee typically completes its review within seven days of receiving notification of a Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) background check with convictions, not seven days from being fingerprinted.  Occasionally there are delays in receiving DOJ and FBI information.

If there is a nexus between the conviction history and the job duties, the individual may not be recommended for employment.  Examples include convictions for theft, embezzlement, identity theft or fraud and job duties that have fiduciary responsibilities or access to personal information. Convictions for child molestation and other sex offenses will automatically preclude an individual from employment that involves direct unsupervised contact with students, outreach programs, or access to residence facilities.   These illustrate the decision-making criteria.

Does a conviction automatically preclude an applicant from employment or a current employee from a reclassification or promotion?

No. Berkeley does employ individuals with conviction histories.  If there is a conviction, the Background Check Committee will review it in the context of the job responsibilities and make the final determination regarding the individual's suitability for employment in the position. The Review Committee may recommend additional controls that a department would need to implement before employing, promoting, or reclassifying a person to the position. Consideration will be given to the specific duties of the position, the circumstances of the offense(s), and whether the convictions were disclosed in advance by the applicant.

Does the Background Check Review Committee have final decision-making authority regarding the suitability of an individual for employment in a sensitive position?

Yes. The Committee reviews all background checks in which convictions are found and makes the final determinations regarding the suitability of individuals for specific positions.

Convictions

What conviction history information is considered?

Your qualifications for the job are evaluated first.  Hiring managers will not see the information provided or have access to additional information you may provide.

If you are a finalist for a job, you will be required to supply information about any convictions for a felony or misdemeanor that resulted in imprisonment, probation, or fine over the past seven years.

You are not to report any of the following:

  • Traffic violations with an imposed fine of $500 or less, e.g. DUIs
  • Any offence that was finally settled in a juvenile court or referred to the Youth Authority.
  • Any incident that has been sealed under Welfare and Institution Code Section 781 or Penal Code Section 1203.45.
  • Any conviction in Health and Safety Section 11.361.5, which pertains to various marijuana offenses.

How far back does the check for convictions go? Will it include all convictions?

Only convictions within the past seven years will be considered by the Review Committee. The DOJ will report conviction results in the State of California, and the FBI will report national convictions.  However, the only ones the Background Check Committee reviews are those that occurred within the last seven years, and only those that are not restricted by law.

Process & Forms

What specific forms and documents are needed for this process, and where can they be obtained?

The following forms can be found on the UCPD website:

Sample Letters of Notification (to inform an individual that employment in a particular sensitive position is conditional upon the results of a background check) are available on the Background Check: Forms & Sample Letters page.

Diversity and Inclusion

This page is a list of all frequently asked questions for the Diversity and Inclusion section. Please click on the appropriate question to view its answer.

What's the difference between an affirmative action goal and a quota? Does the University of California have a quota system?

An affirmative action goal provides a target to strive for and to measure the success of your recruitment efforts.

A quota indicates that the result is pre-determined and inflexible.

The University does not set quotas. Rather, the University sets affirmative action recruitment goals with the expectation that hiring managers conduct inclusive recruitment when there is a job opening. It is the University's policy to select the best qualified person for the job and to document recruitment/selection efforts.

Can the University ask applicants to self-identify their status as a covered veteran or as an individual with disabilities?

Yes. Beginning in 2014, the University will begin to ask applicants to self-identify their status in these categories, following regulatory changes initiated by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

Why isn't underutilization determined at the departmental level?

In many cases, the work force numbers would be too small to be interpretable.

Why aren't American Indians or Blacks considered underutilized in Senior Management Group-Executives job group?

Utilization analysis (in the affirmative action sense) compares the percentages of minorities or women qualified and available for a given job group against their representation in the actual job group; when the representation is less than the availability, underutilization exists. The numbers of minorities or women in the actual job group is not compared against the numbers of women or minorities in the general population. Occupational parity is the criteria used for determining underutilization, not population parity. The availability for American Indians and Blacks in the Senior Management Group is 0.8 and 9.4 percent, respectively.

Doesn't underutilization show that the campus is discriminating against certain groups?

No. It is neither a finding of discrimination nor a finding of a lack of good faith affirmative action efforts. Rather, underutilization is a technical targeting term used exclusively by affirmative action professionals to measure affirmative action programs.

Do you still have to target recruitment for an underutilized position if there is good representation of that group otherwise?

Yes. Because there is underutilization, good faith efforts must be made to ensure that a diverse pool will be available.

Can recruitment advertisements for campus positions encourage minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply?

Yes. Advertisements must continue to state that the University is an "Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer." It is also recommended for advertisements to state that "all qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, including minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities."

Are there funds available to assist departments who do not have money to do inclusive recruitment?

No central funds are available. However, in many cases, inclusive recruitment does not mean the need for more money, but more creativity. For example, departments may send the posting to professional organizations or affinity groups. Or, departments with similar occupational job openings can share advertising costs. Contact your Employment Recruiter for ideas.

How can good faith efforts toward meeting affirmative action goals be achieved without considering race, ethnicity, or sex?

In hiring, departments may only consider Affirmative Action goals when recruiting for positions. Race, ethnicity and gender cannot be used during the selection process once the applicant pool has been developed. Affirmative Action goals are displayed in Talent Acquisition Manager (TAM) after the job title and department are input. When there are openings, departments can make good faith efforts by noting the affirmative action placement goals that are displayed in TAM, and supplementing general outreach efforts with inclusive recruitment to underutilized minorities and women. This helps ensure that a diverse applicant pool will be available. When there is underutilization, race, ethnicity and gender can be used in the recruitment process without violating Proposition 209. In training and development, departments can make career advancement/promotional opportunities available to interested and qualified employees, including minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Hasn't California Proposition 209 eliminated affirmative action?

No. As a federal contractor, the University is obligated to comply with federal laws and regulations regarding affirmative action and nondiscrimination in employment. These obligations include ensuring diverse pools of applicants for campus positions; developing and implementing affirmative action plans that identify areas of underutilization of minorities and women; developing and disseminating annual placement goals and demonstrating good faith efforts to eliminate underutilization. California Proposition 209 both contain provisions that require continued compliance with federal regulations to keep the University eligible to receive federal funds.

Will managers still need to be accountable for meeting affirmative action objectives?

Yes. Managers are responsible for making good faith efforts toward achieving affirmative action goals and objectives and should be evaluated on their performance in this area.

Employee Initiated Reduction In Time (ERIT) Program

What is ERIT?

The ERIT program allows eligible employees to voluntarily reduce their appointment  percentage and corresponding pay for a specified period of time.

Why is ERIT being offered?

ERIT is being offered as an optional tool the University can be used as a temporary cost savings resource. Check with your Human Resources Office and department head to find out if your location and department are offering ERIT.

Where will the savings from ERIT be allocated?

The cost savings will be retained by the departments of the employees who participate in ERIT.

Are exclusively represented employees eligible to participate in ERIT?

Participation in ERIT by exclusively represented employees is subject to agreement by the applicable union. Check with your local Human Resources Office regarding your eligibility to participate.

Does the reduced percentage of time need to be the same during each month of my ERIT contract or can it vary as long as the average percentage reduction over the entire period of my participation in ERIT is the same as the percentage reduction reflected..

Full Question: Does the reduced percentage of time need to be the same during each month of my ERIT contract or can it vary as long as the average percentage reduction over the entire period of my participation in ERIT is the same as the percentage reduction reflected on my ERIT contract?

You should have the same reduction in time and pay in each pay period of your ERIT contract. However, with your department head’s approval, your work schedule within a pay period may be flexible from week to week as long as the total time reduced during the pay period is the same as the percentage time reflected in your ERIT contract.

Is the minimum reduction of 5% of full-time equivalent to a specified amount of time?

Yes, based on a 40-hour week, 5% of full-time would be 2 hours per week, regardless of whether your previous appointment was 100% or some other percentage.

If I am already on a temporary reduction in time (voluntary or involuntary) before I have the chance to sign up for ERIT, can I still participate in the program?

Yes, if you have a temporary voluntary or involuntary reduction in time prior to the starting date of ERIT, you may request to participate in ERIT prospectively. If your request is granted, you may enter into an ERIT contract and you need not increase to your regular appointment prior to ERIT in order to reduce your time under ERIT. However, your appointment percentage under ERIT may not be less than 50%.

If I have a part-time appointment, can I participate in ERIT?

Yes, you may participate in ERIT by reducing your time at least 5% of full-time. However, your appointment percentage under ERIT may not be less than 50%.

I would like to enroll in a class next September. Can I sign up for ERIT beginning in September or must my ERIT contract begin on July 1, 2014?

Department heads may offer ERIT any time between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2017. Some departments may elect to offer the program for the entire period; others may elect to offer the program only during certain months (such as the summer months); while some may elect to not offer ERIT at all. Check with your department head regarding the availability of the program in your department during the period of time you are interested in reducing your time.

Must an ERIT contract begin only on the first day of a month and end only on the last day of the month?

For employees who are paid monthly, an ERIT contract must begin on the first day of a month and end on the last day of a month. For employees who are paid bi-weekly, time reductions are to be made in two bi-weekly increments, so an ERIT contract would begin on the first day of the bi-weekly pay period and end on the last day of the second bi-weekly pay period.

Can I continue my participation in ERIT if I transfer or if I am promoted to another position in the same or different department?

If the relevant department head approves, you may continue your participation in ERIT for the term of your ERIT contract when you accept another position in the same or a different department.

If I sign up for ERIT, will my workload be adjusted to reflect my reduction in time?

ERIT participants should review their assigned workloads with their supervisors to work out a corresponding reduction in workload or assignments.

Can an employee who has a variable appointment participate in ERIT?

Employees with variable appointments are not specifically excluded from participating in ERIT; however, because of the fluctuating nature of variable appointments, it would be difficult to determine the pre-ERIT appointment percentage on which time reductions and benefits under the program would be based.

Can an employee who works a 4/10 or 9/80 schedule participate in ERIT?

Yes, employees who work these alterative schedules can participate in ERIT. For example, an employee on a 4/10 schedule who wants to reduce to 90 percent time could work a 4/9 schedule by reducing each work day by 10% (an hour each day); while an employee on a 9/80 schedule can work a 9/72 schedule by working 8 hours per day (a 10% reduction).

How can an exempt (salaried) employee participate in ERIT, since the employee works whatever time it takes to get the job done?

An exempt employee may reduce his or her time and corresponding pay from 5% to 50% of full-time under ERIT. An appropriate workload reduction and a focus on working to meet job responsibilities rather than working a specified period of time are the intended approaches to ERIT for exempt employees. Because time records for purposes of pay cannot be kept for exempt employees who receive the same salary each pay period regardless of hours worked, exempt employees who participate in ERIT may find a schedule involving full days off useful. However, this would not preclude occasionally working some time on those days if necessary to meet a deadline.

Does my ERIT reduction in time affect the amount of vacation and sick leave that I earn?

No, you will continue to accrue vacation and sick leave at your pre-ERIT appointment percentage.

How does my participation in ERIT affect my holiday pay?

Under ERIT, you will receive holiday pay in proportion to your reduced time, in accordance with the applicable personnel policy or collective bargaining agreement.

How does ERIT affect my retirement service credit and retirement contributions?

Under ERIT, UCRP service credit will accrue in accordance with your ERIT appointment percentage, so if you reduce your appointment from 100% to 75%, you will accrue 75% service credit. Your retirement contributions under ERIT, they will be 75% of the prior 100% contribution.

Does ERIT affect my eligibility for health and welfare (medical, dental, vision) benefits?

No, your eligibility for health and welfare benefits will not be affected by ERIT because your percentage of time on pay status under ERIT cannot be reduced below 50% time.

Can I buy back the additional UCRP service credit that I would have accrued if I didn’t participate in ERIT?

Buyback of UCRP service credit applies to leaves of absence. There is no provision in UCRP for buying back service credit for reductions in time.

What effect will a lower salary under ERIT have on my current pre-tax contributions to the Defined Contribution Plan (DCP)?

The DCP requires contributions as a specific percentage of eligible salary; therefore, contributions will be lower.

Will my ERIT reduction in time affect my Highest Average Plan Compensation (HAPC) used for calculating my retirement benefit or my Final Salary used for calculating Pre-retirement Survivor Income or Disability Income benefits?

Highest Average Plan Compensation (HAPC), which is used to calculate UCRP Monthly Retirement Income or Lump Sum Cashout, is based on monthly Full-Time Equivalent Compensation and does not change as a result of participation in the ERIT Program.

Final Salary, which is used to calculate Preretirement Survivor Income, Death Benefits for Members who became active before October 1, 1990, and Disability Income, will be adjusted to reflect the average percent of time on pay status during the preceding 36 months if an employee dies or becomes disabled while participating in the ERIT program.

Does my lower salary under ERIT have any effect on my disability and life insurance benefits?

Disability benefit payments for both the Short-term Disability Plan and the Supplemental Disability Plan will be based on your pre-ERIT salary and your premiums will continue to be based on your pre-ERIT salary.

Supplemental and Dependent Life Insurance will not be impacted by participation in ERIT– premiums and coverage will continue to be based on your full-time salary rate. Basic Life Insurance will be calculated using your full-time salary rate and your pre-ERIT appointment percentage.

What is the impact of ERIT on my 403(b) Plan or 457(b) Plan contributions?

If your Tax-Deferred 403(b) Plan or 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan contributions are deducted as a percentage of your compensation, your contributions will be reduced if you participate in ERIT.

Are there other effects of ERIT that I should know about?

Refer to the list of “Important Considerations” in the ERIT Contract(U280)

What if I change my mind about reducing my time after ERIT begins?

Deciding to participate in ERIT represents a commitment. However, an unforeseen change of circumstances during your participation may occur that requires you to end your contract. If you wish to return to your pre-ERIT percentage of time, you may do so provided that you give your supervisor at least 30 days advance notice. Advance notice of termination will be waived if your request to terminate your contract is due to an emergency situation. You must complete the ERIT Contract Amendment (page 2) and return it in accordance with local ERIT procedures.

Can a department “call back” an employee to his or her original percentage of time?

ERIT is intended to be two-way commitment between the employee and his or her department for the benefit of both. However, when there is a business need, a department head may end an ERIT contract with 30 days advance notice.

Can I adjust my ERIT percentage of time after initial approval?

Since ERIT commitments will be used to project departmental savings and for planning purposes during the fiscal year, percentages of time should not be changed. However, circumstances beyond your control may warrant an increase or decrease in the percentage reduction. ERIT participants may change their percentage reduction once during the ERIT contract with 30 days advance notice. You must complete the ERIT contract amendment and return it in accordance with local ERIT procedures.

Can I be laid off while on ERIT?

With programs like ERIT, the University hopes to minimize layoffs. However, the current budget uncertainties make it impossible to guarantee protection from a permanent or temporary layoff for employees who volunteer for ERIT.

If I am laid off while on ERIT, are my recall and preferential rehire rights limited to positions at the same or lesser percentage of time as the ERIT position?

No, you will retain recall and preferential rehire rights to positions at the same or lesser percentage of time as your position prior to the ERIT reduction in time, in accordance with applicable personnel policies or collective bargaining agreements.

What happens to my seniority for purposes of determining the order of indefinite layoff while I am on ERIT?

Your seniority for the purpose of indefinite layoff will be treated the same as if you had not volunteered for ERIT. When calculating seniority for the purpose of layoff, departments will need to be sure ERIT participants are credited appropriately.

How do I sign up for ERIT?

After you have worked out an appropriate work schedule which has been approved by your department head, you and your department head must sign the ERIT Contract (U280) and return it, keeping a copy for yourself, in accordance with local ERIT procedures.

Flexible Work Arrangements: Myth/Reality

Myth: Productivity will decrease with flexible work arrangements.

Reality: Flexible work arrangements can function as a no-cost benefit that actually increases productivity. Most of the literature on flexible work arrangements indicates that morale and productivity improve when employees are permitted even a small degree of flexibility. Recruitment capability and retention rates improve as well, and absenteeism is often reduced.

For example, a 1995 survey of 200 'Fortune 1000' companies regarding telecommuting indicated that 58% of employers reported increased productivity (on the order of 20% more productive); 61% reported reduced absenteeism; 63%, improved retention; 64%, reduced costs for office space; 63%, reduced stress; and 79%, improved morale. (Source: Bureau of National Affairs, 11/6/95.) In a 1991 study of six major Bay Area corporations conducted by this campus's Institute for Transportation Studies, "Managers reported that flexible scheduling improved productivity, morale, and punctuality, and that absenteeism declined when workers exercised some choice in their work schedules."

Myth: Adequate communications (with supervisors, co-workers, and those whom the unit serves) will be difficult, if not impossible, if people are on a variety of schedules.

Reality: With proper planning, communications problems can be minimized. Some techniques and tools include sign-out boards, clear procedures regarding check-in times and hours of availability, emergency coverage, provisions for availability of and security for materials, and use of electronic tools (i.e., voice mail, e-mail, fax machines, and dedicated phone lines).

Myth: If employees are not at work when I'm at work, I won't know how hard the employees I supervise are working--or even whether they're working at all. It will be difficult to evaluate performance.

Reality: It is not effective - nor really even possible - to know how hard employees are working by watching them work. Employees who are closely observed often resent it and work less well as a result; it's not possible to stand over someone's shoulder anyway. Unless you are eavesdropping on phone conversations or staring at someone's computer screen, you can't know whether what they are doing is work-related. Thus, eyeball management is not useful, and needs to be replaced with a focus on results--regardless of what arrangement anyone has.

Myth: Employees have a right to flexible work arrangements.

Reality: Assignment of schedules and work locations is a basic management right. Employees may request consideration, but they do not have a right to any particular arrangement. Employees requesting changes in work arrangements should use the attached checklist, "Developing a Proposal: Checklist for a Flexible Work Arrangement," to try to address management's concerns before making a formal request.

Myth: If I'm on a flexible schedule, I can come and go as I please.

Reality: Supervisors can set reasonable parameters for flexible schedules (for example, core periods are strongly advised, and employees can be required to come in for emergencies). Also, attendance records must be kept, just as for employees on more traditional schedules. Finally, overtime compensation requirements remain in effect for employees who are non-exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and overtime policies under personnel policies and contracts must be followed. (For example, non-exempt employees must still request approval in advance before working overtime.)

Myth: If I approve flexible work arrangements for my staff, I will lose control of operations, and the workplace will become chaotic.

Reality: Flexible work arrangements are not a right; supervisors retain control. No supervisor is required to--and no supervisor should--approve any arrangement that will have a negative impact on the unit's ability to meet its responsibilities. (However, the supervisor should certainly keep an open mind in reviewing requests, and should make reasonable efforts to determine ways in which disruptions to operations can be avoided. As stated above, Human Resources staff and workshops are available to help you make this determination.)

Myth: If I approve a flexible work arrangement for one employee, I'll have to approve them for everyone.

Reality: Flexible work arrangement decisions must be fair; however, fairness is not the same as equality. It is true that all employees should have an equal right to request consideration for a flexible work arrangement. However, whether a particular flexible work arrangement is feasible for a particular employee depends on a variety of factors, including the nature of the work assignment and characteristics of the employee.

Examples:

  • Work which demands physical presence (for example, receptionist, maintenance, or food service) cannot be done while telecommuting.
  • An employee who needs close personal supervision (for example, someone in the probationary period, or someone with a poor performance record) may be required to be at work only when the supervisor is present.
  • An employee who needs to have constant, easy access to materials or to equipment may be required to be present when those materials or pieces of equipment are accessible.
  • No employee should be permitted to work in situations that are potentially dangerous, due to equipment or security concerns.

There are, however, ways to work around some of the above concerns. The Police Department, for example, can help address security concerns for employees working unusual hours; supervision can be exercised by means other than direct observations; and employees with duties requiring physical presence can sometimes share these duties with other employees, so that some of their job, some of the time, does not require physical presence. Your Employee Relations Consultant can help you determine what might be feasible.

Myth: Services will be reduced and costs will increase if we use flexible work arrangements.

Reality: With inadequate planning, this can indeed happen. However, well-planned flexible work arrangements sometimes enable departments to extend their service hours, and to make more effective use of space and equipment. In addition, flexible work arrangements can facilitate flexible staffing patterns that lead to real cost savings.

Myth: These arrangements represent major changes with a high potential for disruption in services.

Reality: Flexible work arrangements have been around in one form or another since the University was founded. What is new is the rapid expansion of their use for staff. A great many campus employees are already working in flexible arrangements of some sort - and most employees are happy with only very minor variations in the "old 8 to 5."

In other words,

  • These arrangements are not new, and
  • Small changes can produce big results in terms of retention, morale, and productivity.

Myth: Personnel policies and contracts (collective bargaining agreements) don't permit flexible work arrangements.

Reality: All of the flexible work arrangement possibilities described in this Guide are possible under personnel policies and contracts. (There may, however, be union notice requirements in some situations, so supervisors should contact their Employee Relations Consultant when proposing changes for employees covered by contracts, to determine whether notice is necessary.)

FMLA

Eligibility

Are Limited (appointment type 3) Employees eligible for the Step salary adjustment?

No, these Juily 1, 2014 step increases for CX and SX are not intended for non-career employees.

Notice and Certification

What information can the University request in the medical certification of a serious health condition?

You cannot request a diagnosis or description of the condition. Medical certification is limited to the following information:

  • Confirmation that the employee (or the employee's family member) has a serious health condition as defined by Federal and State law;
  • The date of the onset of the serious health condition;
  • The probable duration of the serious health condition;
  • A written statement that the employee is not able to perform the essential functions of his or her job; and
  • If intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule is being considered, a statement that it is medically necessary.

Is there provision for a second (and possibly a third) medical opinion if the University questions the adequacy of an employee's medical certification?

Although the University is not permitted to request additional information from the employee's health care provider if the employee has submitted a complete certification signed by the health care provider, a health care provider that represents the University may contact the employee's health care provider, with the employee's permission, for the purpose of clarifying and authenticating the medical certification.

Can an employee be required to provide a return-to-work medical certification when leave has been taken due to the employee's serious health condition?

Yes, under the following circumstances:

Certification of medical release to work may be obtained from staff employees who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement if the department has a uniformly applied policy requiring all employees who take medical leaves for similar purposes to obtain medical certification of their ability to perform the essential functions of their position.

Certification of medical release must be obtained from employees who are covered by system-wide collective bargaining agreements where family and medical leave has been negotiated, if the employee has been granted a medical leave for any reason except pregnancy-related disability.

Certification of medical release to work may be required from academic employees in accordance with local procedures.

Failure to provide a medical release to return to work when requested by the University may result in denial of reinstatement until after the employee submits the required medical release.

Is medical certification of a qualifying condition mandatory or discretionary?

Under law, medical certification is discretionary for both staff and academic appointees. Leave may be designated by the Department as falling under FMLA/CFRA if you know, or have reason to believe, a serious health condition exists (e.g., the employee is hospitalized). However, University policies and union contracts for staff and academic personnel differ on whether medical certification is mandatory in order to document a FMLA/CFRA qualifying event. Check the applicable policy or union contract, or consult with your Employee Relations Specialist or Office of Academic Personnel.

How often should a Department request medical re-certification?

The University may require medical re-certification of employees who are completely off work or on a reduced schedule leave once the originally specified leave period has ended. In cases where the leave period is indefinite, a request for re-certification may be made every 30 days.

An employee who is returning from an intermittent family and medical leave cannot be required to obtain a return-to-work medical certification. However, the University can seek re-certification of the underlying illness or injury once the leave period specified on the medical certification has come and gone or prior to that time if:

  1. The circumstances have changed (e.g., the employee is absent more
    frequently than the certification indicated); or
  2. The University obtains information casting doubt upon the stated
    reasons for the absence.

Is the University required to give written notice to an employee that his or her request for leave has been designated as family and medical leave?

Yes. Departments must provide the employee with notice of eligibility and designation of the leave as qualifying under FMLA/CFRA. The University's initial notice to an employee that a request for leave will be designated as family and medical leave must be given verbally or in writing within two business days of the date the leave was requested. If the notice is verbal, it must be confirmed in writing no later than the following payday (unless the payday is less than one week after the verbal notice, in which case the notice must be given no later than the subsequent payday). The written notice may be given in any form, including the "Leave of Absence Form."

Can a leave be designated as FMLA/CFRA retroactively?

Generally, leaves cannot be retroactively designated as falling under FMLA/CFRA. Any request to retroactively designate time off as FMLA/CFRA leave should be carefully reviewed with your Employee Relations Consultant. If an employee wishes to request that time off be considered as FMLA/CFRA leave, he/she should make the request within 2 days of returning to work.

Pay and Benefits Status

Who would not be considered a family member for purposes of FML?

Grandparents, grandchildren, in-laws or other persons that are not related but are residing in the employee’s household are not covered by FML.

What does it mean that an employee is “needed to care for” a family member?

An eligible employee may take FMLA covered leave in order to care for a seriously ill spouse, child, or parent as defined by the law, policy or contract. The health care provider must either certify that third party care is required or that the employee’s presence would be beneficial to the patient. Certification will be sufficient to satisfy this requirement and entitle the employee to FMLA time off. This provision is intended to accommodate needs for leave to provide psychological comfort for a seriously ill eligible family member, and to arrange “third party” care for an eligible family member.

If an employee's unpaid family and medical leave begins in the middle of the month, what is the employee's benefits entitlement?

Because health premiums are paid in advance for the entire month (e.g., August earnings generate September UC contributions for September coverage), premiums would have already been paid for the entire month even if the leave began in the middle of the month. If the leave lasted the full twelve weeks, it would also end in the middle of a month. UC contributions for Health insurance coverage would have already been generated at the beginning of that month for the entire month. As a result, the UC contribution may be generated for up to four months, although the actual entitlement is only 12 workweeks.

Is an employee required to exhaust paid leave (i.e., accrued vacation and sick leave) prior to using unpaid leave during a family and medical leave?

Yes, in most cases:

  • Staff employees who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement must exhaust all accrued vacation prior to taking an unpaid leave unless otherwise requested by the employee and approved by the department head, provided that the leave is not running concurrently with pregnancy disability or work-incurred illness or disability leave. At the employee's option, accrued sick leave may be used in the event that the employee is taking leave due to his or her own serious health condition or up to 30 days sick leave in the event that the leave is being used to care for the employee's family member.
  • The use of paid leave varies by collective bargaining agreement for staff employees who are covered by contracts. You should consult the applicable contract for details.
  • Academic appointees may exhaust accrued vacation and sick leave prior to an unpaid family and medical leave. Under no circumstance may the University require that an employee use accrued compensatory time off during family and medical leave. However, if the University allows an employee who is otherwise qualified for family and medical leave to use accrued compensatory time off, such time cannot be counted against the employee's entitlement to 12 workweeks of family and medical leave.

How does family and medical leave interact with leave granted for an illness or injury compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act?

If an employee receives temporary disability payments under the Workers' Compensation Act and the employee has a serious health condition as defined by Federal and State family and medical leave statutes, the first 12 workweeks of the leave should be designated as family and medical leave, provided that the employee meets the eligibility requirements and has not already exhausted his or her 12 workweek entitlement.

Record Keeping

Can an employee use compensatory time off during family and medical leave?

No. If the university allows an employee who is otherwise qualified for family and medical leave to use accrued compensatory time off, such time cannot be counted toward the employee’s entitlement to workweeks of family and medical leave. Further, under no circumstances may the University require that an employee use accrued compensatory time off during family and medical leave.

What if an employee refuses FML altogether?

The employer is responsible for designating the FML, not the employee. Leave may be designated by the university as FML if you have knowledge or reason to believe a serious health condition exists (e.g., the employee is hospitalized or off work due to an occupational injury or has communicated to you that the need for leave is to care for a seriously ill family member that is medically documented). It is critical that the University designate qualifying leave as family and medical leave for a number of reasons:

  1. to ensure that the employee gets the benefit and protection of the law
  2. to establish that we have complied with our notice and designation obligations
  3. to make sure that we are not obligated to give additional family and medical leave during that leave year simply because of a failure to properly designate the original leave

How should a supervisor or department chair report leave taken in less than full-day increments for FLSA exempt employees?

Under the FMLA, employers are allowed to dock the leave banks and pay of FLSA exempt employees for partial day absences without affecting the employee’s qualification for exemption under FLSA. Records of actual hours worked by FLSA exempt staff and faculty who are granted family and medical leave on either a reduced work schedule or on an intermittent basis must be kept to ensure that the employee or member of the faculty receives his or her complete entitlement to 12 workweeks of leave and so that the department knows when the family and medical leave ends.

How is a workweek counted for employees who take leave on a reduced work schedule or intermittent basis?

When an employee takes leave by working a reduced work schedule (e.g., reducing from 100% to 80%) or on an intermittent basis (e.g., a day here and there in different weeks), only the amount of leave actually taken is counted toward the 12 weeks leave entitlement.

Is an employee entitled to an additional day of leave if a holiday falls during the employee's family and medical leave?

No. The fact that a holiday may occur within the week taken as family and medical leave has no effect; the week is counted as a week of family and medical leave. However, if employees generally are not expected to report for work for one or more weeks (e.g., winter holiday closure), the days of the closure do not count against the employee's entitlement to family and medical leave.

How do periods of Active Service-Modified Duties (ASMD) interact with family and medical leave for academic appointees?

ASMD does not affect FML. ASMD is not a leave, therefore FML is not affected.

How is a workweek counted for employees who have an appointment of less than full time?

An eligible part-time employee is entitled to family and medical leave for a period not to exceed 12 of his or her scheduled workweeks. For example, an employee who has a scheduled workweek of four hours a day (five days a week) is entitled to leave for 12 workweeks each comprised of four hour days.

How is a workweek counted for an employee who works a variable schedule?

If an employee's schedule varies from week to week, a weekly average of the hours worked over the 12 weeks prior to the beginning of the leave period should be used to calculate the employee's normal workweek.

What is the significance of keeping complete and accurate records of all absences designated as family and medical leave?

The University is required to keep such records for Department of Labor inspections for a period of no less than three years. Failure to maintain records is a violation of FMLA and subjects the University to applicable sanctions. If complete records are not kept of all qualified family and medical leaves, the University may find itself in the position of granting additional time off (i.e., up to 12 workweeks) with health care benefits coverage for a qualified family and medical leave because records do not exist showing that family and medical leave had already been taken. Additionally, failure to properly document leave as covered by FMLA could result in disciplinary action being taken against an employee based on absences that were for protected family and medical leave purposes.

What happens to an employee's family and medical leave records when the employee transfers to another department or campus?

The employee's family and medical leave records must be transferred to the new department or campus.

Where should FMLA paperwork be stored?

FMLA paperwork should be maintained in a separate file like medical records. [Note: Medical records should not be kept in the employee's personnel file.]

How should the notification to employees be handled if the area responsible for producing the notice is not informed until several days (or weeks!) have passed?

FML generally cannot be retroactively designated/ therefore, it is important to provisionally designate leave as family and medical leave. According to the federal regulations, failure to designate a leave as family and medical means that the person may enjoy the protection of the Act for the period of the leave not properly designated and is still entitled to the 12 workweeks of FML form the date the leave is finally designated.

Who is the Office of Record for family and medical leave records?

Local procedures may vary, but in most cases, the home department has been designated the Office of Record, and therefore, has the responsibility for maintaining all documentation and records pertaining to the family and medical leave. It is also the department’s responsibility to keep the local employee relations, human resources, or academic personnel office updated regarding the status of a given employee’s family and medical leave.

Which office is responsible for determining and documenting eligibility for and usage of FMLA leave?

The home department is the Office of Record and therefore, responsible for determining and documenting eligibility.

Layoff Resources

Information for Employees: Employment Rights

If I apply for jobs on campus, can other departments see my personnel file?

Yes. Campus departments may review your personnel file before making a selection. It's a good idea to request a review of your personnel file so you'll know what is in it, so you can be better prepared for job interviews. You want to be able to give your perspective on anything that is in your personnel file, since the department may not review your personnel file until after the interview.

Can I accept a temporary or limited position on campus while I'm eligible for preferential rehire?

You may be able to work in temporary assignments during this period, depending on your skills, the type of assignments available, and other eligibility criteria, based on current policies and contractual agreements.

How does the preferential rehire process work if several laid-off employees apply for the same position?

If several employees apply for the same position under preferential rehire rights, the hiring department will review the resumes in the order in which they were received.

Can I work on my resume and go to interviews during work time?

PPSM and many of the labor agreements (Teamsters 2010, UPTE Research, UPTE Technical, AFSCME) provide for reasonable release time with pay for job interviews on campus (and comparable time for interviews on other campuses). Paid release time is provided for you to meet with a campus Employment Analyst to work on your job search efforts (including resume preparation). Talk to your supervisor about the possibility of working on your resume or doing other job search activities that are not disruptive during work time.

Is there a trial period for jobs I accept through recall or preferential rehire? Is this the same as the standard probationary period?

Trial employment applies to preferential rehire, but not to recall. The difference between trial employment and probation is that if you are released during trial employment, you are placed back on layoff status without any loss of time towards your preferential rehire eligibility period.

Is there severance pay?

You should refer to the appropriate contract or Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) to determine your rights to severance pay in a layoff. (See Policies and Contracts for links.)

How does the recall process work?

Recall rights are rights back to the same department and same classification title held at time of layoff.  The responsibilities and requirements could vary but if the department has a need for the classification title, it will refer to their recall list.

If I refuse a job offer, how will that affect my eligibility for recall and preferential rehire rights?

Refusing a job offer while you're on preferential rehire or recall status may cause you to lose your preferential rehire and recall rights. The number of refusals allowed varies by policy and union contract, so you should check the contract or policy that governs your employment for details. The recruiter in Employment Services will also give you a layoff checklist that will include this information.

If I accept a job off campus, do I still have preferential rehire rights?

If you accept a job off campus, you can still exercise your preferential rehire and recall rights during your eligibility period. Be sure to verify your eligibility period with your recruiter in Employment Services or your Department Personnel Manager.

How many jobs can I apply for under preferential rehire?

You can apply for as many jobs as you wish, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for preferential rehire under the contract or policies that govern your employment and as long as you meet the qualifications of the job.

What are my rights in a layoff?

All University employees have certain rights in relation to layoff, unless they are Managers and Senior Professionals in Salary Grades VIII and IX or in the Executive Management Program. Your rights may vary depending upon the union contract or personnel policy that governs your position. These rights may include preference for reemployment and recall to the job from which you are laid off. You may be eligible for severance pay. To learn what you are eligible for, read the union contract or Personnel Policies for Staff Members that covers your position, in the section(s) relating to layoff or reductions in time.

If you believe your layoff violates the union contract or personnel policy covering your position, you may file a grievance (under union contracts) or a complaint (under Personnel Policies for Staff Members). The grievance and complaint procedures are included in the union contracts and in Personnel Policies for Staff Members.

What types of jobs does preferential rehire cover? Do they need to be at the same level, hours, salary, etc.?

Preferential rehire covers any open, vacant position for which you are qualified and which is at the same salary or lower salary range midpoint as your former position. If you are covered by a bargaining unit, preferential rehire rights only apply to positions within that bargaining unit.

Information for Employees: Benefits

If I am eligible to retire, what steps should I take to maintain eligibility for health and dental insurance as a retiree?

If you meet eligibility requirements, (a University of California Plan member who is age 50 or more with 5 years or more of retirement service credit or a member of a reciprocal retirement plan) the University may continue to contribute toward the cost of your University-sponsored medical and dental coverage when you retire from the University. To be eligible, you must begin receiving monthly retirement income within 120 days of your separation from employment (your coverage in the medical and dental plan must be uninterrupted during this period). Your eligibility for this benefit also depends on the date you were hired and your years of service credit in UCRP or other retirement plan to which the University contributes. For more information, see the Retirement Handbook  (PDF), also available from your Department Benefits Counselor.

How will my retirement benefits be calculated if I accept a position at a lower compensation level?

The UCRP retirement calculation is based on your age and total service credit at time of retirement and your highest average plan compensation (HAPC), the full-time salary rate over any consecutive 36-month period. Therefore, accepting an appointment at a lower compensation level will not reduce your HAPC.

Are support groups or individual counseling available through my medical plan?

UC's health plans do have mental health coverage. For more information on how to access this coverage, contact your health plan directly or go to CARE Services, who can assist you with a referral.

What happens to my health and insurance benefits if I am laid off?

Some benefits can be continued through the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA). You and/or your eligible family members may be eligible to continue your UC-sponsored medical, dental, vision, and Health Care Flexible Spending Account (Health FSA) through COBRA continuation. Note: All payments under COBRA, including those for the Health FSA, are with after-tax dollars; you must apply within 60 days of receiving a COBRA notice or your layoff date, whichever is later.

Some coverage can be maintained for four months by paying premiums, and then converted: You may continue your Supplemental Life, Dependent Life, Accidental Death, and Dismemberment for up to four months after the month your layoff begins. To make arrangements, contact Angela Dizon (adizon@berkeley.edu or 642-0684) in the Central Payroll Office.

Some coverage can be converted: You may convert your Basic Life, Supplemental Life, and/or Dependent Life (each plan converts from group life to an individual policy) within 31 days of your coverage end date without proof of insurability. For more information, contact the Prudential Life Insurance Conversion Office at 1-877-889-2070, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, EST.

Some coverage stops: Group disability insurance, Business Travel Accident, and Workers' Compensation end on your last day actively at work.

Can I get Unemployment Insurance?

Generally, you are eligible for unemployment insurance if you are laid off. Contact your local Employee Development Department (EDD) or look on the EDD website to file a claim and locate Unemployment Insurance benefits information.

The EDD Unemployment Insurance booklet is located on the EDD website as follows:

  1. Go to the EDD website.
  2. Click on Forms & Publications in the left column under General Information.
  3. Find Unemployment Insurance Publications and click on Forms and Publications in this section.
  4. Scroll down to the DE2320 publication, For Your Benefit-California's Programs for the Unemployed, available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

Where can I get information about how my benefits are affected by a layoff?

The What To Do If You're Being Laid Off and Benefits Checklist Supplement, provide full information about how benefits are affected when an employee is laid off.

Information for Departments

What kind of an agreement should there be between the employee returning severance and the department?

The department and employee work out an arrangement for the payback. Payment can either be made in a lump sum or through payroll deduction. Lump sum payments should be made out to UC Regents. If payroll deduction is chosen, a reasonable payback schedule should be determined. For example, it may be reasonable to ask the employee to have one week of severance deducted from his paycheck for each upcoming month. This agreement should be in writing. Individuals should confer with their personal tax consultants regarding tax implications.

If someone is rehired after receiving severance pay from the University, what are the guidelines for the severance payback?

The department that is rehiring an employee needs to ask whether the employee has received severance from the University. If the employee has, and is still receiving severance, the department that originated the layoff calculates the amount to be refunded to the University. To determine repayment policy, consult the appropriate contract or policy.

In PPSM, for example, if an employee received 12 weeks of severance pay and returned to a career position two weeks after being laid off, at the same or higher salary and at the same percentage of time as the position held at the time of layoff, he would owe the University back pay for 10 weeks. The amount would be calculated based on gross earnings and would be submitted to payroll for processing.

What is the source of funding for severance payments when a layoff occurs and the employee elects severance pay?

Funding for severance payments when a layoff occurs will be made available through department funds. Departments will want to consider the potential obligation to make severance payments as a part of the budget planning process.

Can I give the employee severance pay?

Most contracts and policies specify whether or not severance pay is appropriate. For example the UC - Teamsters 2010 agreement specifies that severance pay can be given in lieu of preferential rehire and recall rights. First, read the appropriate contract or policy. Then if you have questions, contact your Employee Relations Specialist to determine whether severance pay can be offered in your layoff situation.

What are "special skills"?

"Special skills" are considered in out-of-seniority layoff actions. There may be situations where a position requires special licensing that the senior person cannot acquire. Or the position may require a credential that cannot be obtained in a reasonable amount of time (3-6 months). The same would hold true if special skills were needed that the senior person could not acquire within a reasonable period of time (3-6 months). Rationales for out-of-seniority layoffs should state that specific skills are required and why the senior person cannot acquire them in a reasonable amount of time.

When can I tell the employee that s/he is being laid off?

Your first contact when contemplating a layoff action should be with your Employee Relations Consultant. He/she will help you develop a time line for layoff notice to the employee and the union. In general, we want the employee to be informed as soon as the layoff date has been set.

It's important that you communicate with employees early and often. When you believe layoffs may be possible, keep the staff informed. When you are ready to provide information to the union about specific individuals, tell the employee(s) who are the most likely to be laid off that their position/work is targeted, but that it is in the proposal state. Employees should find out from you, not from the union, that they may be laid off. More detailed information about communications related to layoff may be found in the Communication Guidelines for Departments.

What is an out-of seniority layoff?

Generally, a layoff is by seniority, which means that the least senior person (amount of service with the University) in the classification is laid off. In some situations certain positions require very "special skills," which may require the retention of the employees in these positions. If this occurs, a more senior person may be laid off first. This is an out-of-seniority layoff. Please see Seniority Provisions Calculations for detailed information.

Who provides notice to the unions?

The Labor Relations unit provides the notice to the unions after you provide the information to your Employee Relations Specialist, who will coordinate with Labor Relations. The process for the final notice may take up to a week.

What information is required from a department when union notice is required?

Because contracts have different provisions, it is best to talk to your Employee Relations Specialist about exact requirements for your situation. However, usually the following is required: proposed layoff date, the reason for the layoff, budget information and other information used by management in reaching the decision, names, classification, seniority points for employees in the same classification, rationale for out-of-seniority layoffs, and "before" and "after" organization charts.

What is the difference between a temporary layoff and a furlough?

A furlough is that portion of a partial year career appointment during which an employee does not work, planned in advance as part of the schedule. For example, a unit may not need certain staff during the summer months and every year these employees are scheduled to be off for the months of July and August. Furloughs may not exceed a total of three months in a calendar year.

A temporary layoff, however, is usually due to unexpected loss of funding. Staff is laid off for a short period of time (not more than four months) and is then returned to work. Check the applicable contract or PPSM policy for details.

Is there a different notice procedure for laying off a group of employees (five or more) at the same time compared to laying off one or two employees at a time?

The notice procedure for laying off a group of employees at the same time, when they are covered under the same contract, may differ depending on the provisions of the contract. For example the UC Teamsters 2010 agreement specifies that for five or more full time equivalent (FTE) Teamsters 2010 employees being laid off at the same time, the University must notice the union at least 45 days before the layoff date. The union may use this time to meet with the department to discuss the impact of the layoff. Any meeting would be coordinated through the Labor Relations Unit.

Is reduction in time considered a layoff?

Yes. If a career employee's time is reduced, it is considered a layoff, and the employee is entitled to layoff rights. If an employee has a 100% appointment and it is reduced by 20% to an 80% appointment, the employee has layoff rights to a 100% position. This is true no matter what percentage of time this job is reduced to.

A reduction of time is a layoff only if the University tells the employee he must reduce his time. If the employee requests a reduction, it is not a layoff.

Mandated Reporters

What happens if a mandated reporter refuses to sign the acknowledgment forms?

For new employees, refusal to sign the mandated reporter acknowledgment forms can be the basis to revoke an offer of employment. For current employees, refusal to sign the mandated reporter acknowledgment forms can be the basis to prohibit the employee’s contact with children. Under the UC Policy on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect, this can lead to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

The current CANRA acknowledgement forms state that an employee must be advised about their reporting requirements prior to employment. How can an existing employee sign this if they weren’t advised?

OGC is aware of this and is working on revising the acknowledgment forms. In the meantime, OGC advises that current employees note the date when they received the acknowledgment form right on the form itself.

Do departments have to provide employees with copies of CANRA?

No. Employees are asked to sign forms acknowledging their responsibility to report known or suspected abuse in compliance with CANRA. The acknowledgement forms provide employees with a link the complete statute (California Penal Code sections 11164-11174.4) available at Official California Legislative Information.

How should departments track when an existing employee completes mandated reporter forms?

All current employees who are in mandated reporter positions must sign statements acknowledging that they have knowledge of CANRA and will comply with its provisions. If such statements are not on file, the department must obtain them from the employee.

A department’s HR administrator should indicate on HCM when an employee has signed and completed mandated reporter forms.

Steps to Track Mandated Reporter Form Completion in HCM:

  1. Navigate to Workforce Administration > Job DataBring up the employee's record.
  2. Do NOT click to add a new row. (This is the ONLY action in the Job Data section of Workforce Administration that does not require a new row.)
  3. Click on the Employment Data link at the bottom of the page.
  4. In the Mandatory Reporting Signature Date field, enter the appropriate date.
  5. Click the Save button.
  6. Place the form in the employee’s personnel file.

What should departments do when a new employee completed mandated reporter forms?

All new employees who are in mandated reporter positions must sign statements that they have knowledge of CANRA and will comply with its provisions. Campus departments will determine which positions are mandated reporters and obtain the signed forms as a prerequisite to employment. The HR administrator should enter the date the employee signed the STATEMENT ACKNOWLEDGING REQUIREMENT TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE and the STATEMENT ACKNOWLEDGING REQUIREMENT TO REPORT SUSPECTED ABUSE OF DEPENDENT ADULTS AND ELDERS  (PDF), then place the forms in the employee’s personnel file.

Do departments have to ask student employees how old they are?

No. The UC Policy on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect defines "children" as anyone under 18. A mandated reporter has the obligation to report abuse or suspected abuse of a minor. There is no added requirement that a mandated reporter has to be certain the person involved is a minor. The requirement if that the mandated reporter report the suspected abuse.

What should I do if I suspect abuse at a University facility but I am not a mandated reporter?

By UC policy, all University employees, contractors, volunteers or students who observe, have actual knowledge of, or reasonably suspect child abuse or neglect at a University facility or at official University activities are encouraged to promptly report their concern. The concern may be reported to their supervisor, to a University official, to the campus police department, or through the University’s compliance hotline.

What is considered having contact with children on a "regular basis"?

UC policy currently does not give a definition of what constitutes a "regular basis." Departments should identify job classifications or individual academic or staff employees who are or may be mandated reporters by virtue of their required job qualifications or their University duties or activities.

Do departments need to determine which of their staff members work with minors and designated those employees or administrators as mandated reporters?

Yes. Effective January 1, 2013, employees and administrators of the University are considered mandated reporters if their duties bring them into contact with children on a regular basis, if they have direct contact and supervision of children, or if they supervise other mandated reporters. They are required to report child abuse or neglect occurring on the University's premises or at official University activities or programs.

Are employees who are minors considered Mandated Reporters under CANRA?

An employee is considered a mandated reporter even if he/she is a minor if an employee's duties require contact with children on a regular basis or if their duties require direct contact and supervision of children.

Are University coaches considered Mandated Reporters under CANRA?

Yes. Effective January 1, 2013, athletic coaches are considered mandated reporters. This includes, but is not limited to, an assistant coach or a graduate assistant involved in coaching.

Are all faculty members considered Mandated Reporters under CANRA?

UC Berkeley faculty members are not generally considered Mandated Reporters under CANRA, even when students under the age of 18 enroll in their classes. However, some faculty members may be Mandated Reporters under other provisions of the Act. The following are some examples of situations in which a faculty member would be considered a Mandated Reporter:

  • Physicians, nurses, and other health professionals;
  • Faculty members and other academic personnel who have responsibility for instruction at the preschool, elementary, or high school level such as those who teach high school seminars or who serve as mentors in on-campus high school internship programs;
  • Individuals whose University duties require direct contact and supervision of children are Mandated Reporters. This group may include faculty members who hire children under age 18 to assist with scholarship, research, or other academic activities as volunteers or interns.

To determine if a faculty member is considered a Mandated Reporter as of January 1, 2013, the department would need to consider the following:

  • Do the faculty member's duties require direct contact and supervision of children?
  • Do their duties require contact with children on a regular basis?
  • Do they supervise others with such duties?
  • If so, they would be considered Mandated Reporters for child abuse or neglect occurring on the University's premises or at official University activities or programs.

What about positions that work in an environment where there are a lot of children, but whose responsibilities do NOT interact with children under 18 (e.g. gardener at University Village, where residents have family members under 18)?

As of January 1, 2013, employees and administrators of the University are considered mandated reporters if their duties bring them into contact with children on a regular basis, if they have direct contact and supervision of children, or if they supervise other mandated reporters. A gardener who works in an environment that puts him or her around children would not be considered a Mandated Reporter if he/she is not in direct contact with them, does not supervise them, is not in contact with them on a regular basis, or does not supervise someone who is a mandated reporter.

Do volunteers (non-employees) have to sign the acknowledgement forms if they work for programs that are run or sponsored by the University?

Volunteers in University sponsored programs are generally not considered mandated reporters. However, departments must consider the qualifications or services provided by the volunteer to determine if he or she meets the criteria of a mandated reporter.

Volunteers who direct or manage official University programs could be considered mandated reporters. For example, a volunteer who is a University "official," such as a volunteer who runs a retreat program for kids on behalf of the University, would be considered a mandated reporter.

Does there need to be a statement in the job posting letting prospective applicants know the job falls under the status of a CANRA Mandated Reporter?

Yes, there has to be a statement in the job posting if a position is classified as a Mandated Reporter. A department's HR administrator should indicate in the TAM job posting system when a position falls within mandated reporter requirements. The following language is now stored in the Job Posting Library and, when selected, will populate and be made visible to all applicants subject to reporting requirements:

"This position has been identified as a mandated reporter required to report the observed or suspected abuse or neglect of children, dependent adults, or elders to designated law enforcement or social service agencies. We reserve the right to make employment contingent upon completion of signed statements acknowledging the responsibilities of a mandated reporter."

Steps to Indicate Mandated Reporter Status in TAM:

  1. Navigate to Job Details > Job Descriptions
  2. Click on Description Type Mandated Reporter > Description ID Mandated Reporter
  3. Click on the OK button

Time Reporting

This page is a list of all frequently asked questions for the Time Reporting and Leave Accrual Guidelines section. The questions are grouped into different categories. Please click on the appropriate topic to view questions and answers for that section.

General

Why are there different vacation accrual rates?

Generally, vacation accrual rates are based on the employee’s length of service with the University. There are also some differences depending on the employee’s personnel program. Refer to the PPSM Absence from Work Policy  (PDF) and labor contracts for specific accrual rates.

What does it mean to record time to the nearest quarter hour?

Time is reported to the nearest quarter hour only for employees in non-exempt positions. When a non-exempt employee takes time off for sick leave and vacation leave (if it is less than a full day), it is recorded to the nearest 15-minute increment.
For example, if an employee returns from a medical appointment at 17 minutes past the hour, you would record 15 minutes. If the employee returns at 24 minutes past the hour, you would record 30 minutes.

What is the difference between exempt and non-exempt positions for time-keeping purposes?

Employees in non-exempt positions accrue vacation leave and sick leave depending on percentage of appointment and time worked, and/or duration of appointment. They can earn overtime and may be paid for it or take compensatory time. Time off and time worked are recorded to the nearest quarter hour. Note: Part-time non-exempt fixed-percentage employees must always meet their percentage of time for hours worked for each week, as well as the entire month (excluding any holidays).
Employees in exempt positions also accrue vacation and sick leave; however, they do not earn overtime or compensatory time. Time off and time worked are recorded in whole-day increments for purposes of pay. A "whole day" may be less than eight hours if an employee’s appointment is less than 100% time.

Time Off (Vacation, Sick, FMLA)

What about a 100% (non-exempt or exempt) employee who works an alternate schedule of 4 (10) hours days (M – Th) and Friday is the day off?

  • How many vacation or sick leave hours does the employee take per day?
    For both the non-exempt and exempt employees, the sick or vacation hours taken reflect the hours scheduled for the day. In this case it would be 10 hours vacation, or 10 hours sick leave.
  • If a holiday falls on Monday, what then?
    The non-exempt employee gets the holiday (8 hours), but would need to add 2 hours of vacation (or could work or use comp time to make up the 2 hours). The exempt employee gets the holiday, but would not have to make up the two hours.
  • If a holiday falls on Friday, what then?
    Both the non-exempt and exempt employees may take another day off.

If an exempt employee has a 90% appointment, how many vacation or sick leave hours does the employee earn for the month?

Looking at the last two columns in the appropriate vacation leave tables, find the row that includes 90% time on pay status. The adjacent row will tell you how many hours of vacation that employee earns.
For example, looking at the PSS vacation leave table, a PSS employee who has less than 10 years of qualifying service on 90% pay status would earn 9 hours of vacation leave per month.
Likewise, looking at the last two columns of the sick leave table, the row that includes 90% time on pay status corresponds to 7 hours earned for sick leave each month.

If an exempt employee has a 90% appointment, how many vacation or sick leave hours does the employee take per day?

It would depend on the exempt employee’s schedule for the particular day of sick or vacation leave. If on one of the sick or vacation days, the exempt employee was scheduled to work 8 hours – it would be 8 hours of sick or vacation leave reported. If on one of the sick or vacation days, the exempt employee was scheduled to work 4 hours – it would be 4 hours of sick or vacation leave.

Can exempt employees save up hourly absences, and then record whole days off?

No. These employees are not hourly workers; therefore, it is contrary to University policy to track time in this way for pay purposes. It would also constitute a falsification of time sheets to deliberately record whole-day absences that had not occurred.

How do we record FMLA leave?

For employees in non-exempt positions, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave is recorded in the same way as any leave without pay, sick leave, or vacation leave: to the nearest quarter hour. Compensatory time is not counted toward FMLA leave.

For employees in exempt positions, FMLA leave will normally be recorded in whole day increments. The exception is that if the employee takes FMLA leave as a reduced schedule or as intermittent leave, you should record the time hour-for-hour. Please see the appropriate FMLA section of the Absence from Work Policy  (PDF) for a full explanation.

Holiday Pay

What if the employee is a non-exempt part-time 70% variable appointment? How are holidays determined?

A non-exempt part-time 70% variable appointment means the employee will generally work at least 50% each month and no more than 70%. (Note: the employee could work more than 70% time if the supervisor required it). Since the employee’s appointment is variable, accrual of holiday time will vary, depending upon the hours worked, which may vary each month.
Example: if the employee worked 102 hours in January 2010, January has 168 hours and 2 holidays (See Number of Working Hours in the Month Table).
Using the Holiday Pay Table, subtract 16 hours of holiday (168 – 16) and the correct column to use is "152-Hr Month."
At 102 hours, the employee will have accrued 5 hours of holiday pay.

How do part-time exempt employees accrue holiday pay?

An exempt employee is given holiday pay according to his/her percentage of time. A 50% exempt employee would receive 4 hours for the holiday and get the full day off. (Refer to the Holiday Pay Table percentage column). If the holiday was one in which the exempt employee was scheduled to work 8 hours, the exempt employee does not have to add additional vacation hours, or make up the time that week. However, the exempt employee is still expected to complete the work required for that week; less emphasis is placed on working a specified number of hours.

A non-exempt part-time (fixed 70%) employee works 28 hours a week, with the following schedule: M (8 hours), Tu (8 hours), W (8 hours), Th (4 hours) and Friday is the day off. How are holidays determined?

Part-time non-exempt fixed-percentage employees must always meet their percentage of time for hours worked for each week, as well as the entire month (excluding the holiday).
Example:In January 2010, there were 168 working hours, including holidays. (See Number of Working Hours in the Month Table).
Using the Holiday Pay Table, subtract 16 hours of holiday (168 – 16) and the correct column to use is "152-Hr Month."
To meet a 70% appointment, the employee needs to work 70% of 152 hours, which is 102 hours.
At 102 hours, the employee would accrue 5 hours of holiday pay.
Depending upon hours in a particular month, the employee may have to add comp or vacation time to be sure he/she meets the fixed 70% appointment.

  • If a holiday falls on Friday, the employee’s day off, does the employee get the holiday?
    Yes. Because the employee is on a fixed percentage of 70%, the employee would get paid for the holiday. Note: the employee still needs to be sure he/she is on pay status 28 hours for the week.
  • If the employee works on the holiday, what happens?
    The employee would get paid for the hours worked. In addition, with supervisory approval, the employee may take another day off - perhaps in the same week. Note: the employee still needs to be sure he/she is on pay status 28 hours for the week.

What happens when a non-exempt employee is required to work on a holiday?

With the exception of certain holidays listed in each contract, an employee required to work on a holiday shall be paid at the employee's regular rate of pay for the hours actually worked. In addition, at the option of the University, an eligible employee shall receive either compensatory time off or holiday pay at the regular straight time rate, including any shift differential. To determine exactly how specific holidays are to be paid, please review Personnel Policies for Staff Members or the correct contract.

Overtime

Does a non-exempt employee get paid premium overtime for working on Saturday in the following example? A non-exempt employee who normally works 40 hours a week (M – F) takes off 5 sick leave hours in a week, then works on Saturday for 8 hours.

The employee must work more than 40 hours of actual work in a work week to receive premium overtime. This employee should receive 5 hours of overtime straight (OTS) and 3 hours of premium overtime (OTP) for the Saturday work.

Can part-time non-exempt employees work overtime and bank it?

Yes, but overtime is based on time on pay status in excess of 40 hours in a work week. If a part-time employee works more than his/her usual hours in a week, but less than 40 hours, it would not constitute overtime. It would simply be additional regular time to be paid. A part-time non-exempt employee can, however, earn more vacation, holiday and sick leave if he/she works over the hours of his/her tandard work week.

Vacation Accrual Maximums

How do I notify employees who are approaching maximum accrual?

Depending on the contract or policy covering the specific employee, the department is responsible for notifying employees a specific number of calendar or working days before they are due to reach maximum accrual. Employees should be receiving a monthly report showing their leave balances following the calculations on their time sheets.

If you have other questions regarding maximum vacation accrual, please contact your Employee Relations Consultant or the Academic Personnel Office.

Will departments be charged when they make a vacation leave adjustment that pushes an employee’s balance over the maximum?

Yes. PPS (the Payroll Personnel System) will automatically charge the department any time there is a vacation leave adjustment that increases the leave balance.

What happens when someone is at maximum accrual and doesn't accrue vacation leave for the month since no vacation leave was taken in the previous month? Where's the linkage between accrual and usage?

Each leave accrual code has an associated maximum. The payroll system will not automatically accrue leave for an employee once the maximum has been reached. Since vacation leave is accrued at the end of the month, and usage is reported in arrears on the 23rd of the month, departments must process an adjustment transaction to report accrual that was stopped by PPS. To avoid having to process such adjustments, departments should notify employees who are approaching maximum leave accrual and make sure leave is used in a timely manner. Departments should manage employees’ leave accrual so that they stay at least two months under the accrual maximum at all times.

How should departments address workload issues?

Departments are responsible for managing their workforce with regard to leave balances and workload issues, and must take all pertinent factors into consideration when making business decisions. Sometimes managers and supervisors believe that due to workload they cannot allow employees to take time off, even when the maximum vacation accrual has been reached. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to allow the employee to take time off. The University gives vacation time as a benefit, and employees should be encouraged to use this time to their own advantage. Managers who believe they can never let employees take vacation time need to review departmental priorities and work flow.

Managers are encouraged to be proactive in communicating with employees who are approaching maximum accrual the need to use their vacation time. The policies and contracts state that employees stop accruing leave once they reach the maximum. For further help on workload issues, contact your Employee Relations Consultant.

What if we find ourselves on an accrual reduction “merry-go-round?” That is, some employees like to stay near the maximum and we are always dealing with moving in and out of the four-month extension period (where that extension is allowed by policy or contract).
This type of extension should happen rarely, or only once per employee. The extension should only come into play when the operation cannot allow an employee to take time off. The extension is not automatic. Managers and supervisors have a responsibility to work with employees to schedule time off. The key is to give the employee a range of time during which vacation leave can be taken.

What if we have provided employees with a monthly record of their accruals but have allowed the accruals to accumulate over the stated maximum? Will employees lose what they have accrued?

While no one should ever be allowed to accrue beyond the maximum stated in policy or negotiated in the contracts, if it has been allowed and recorded, it may not be taken away, because it is not legal to do so. The policies and contracts state that employees stop accruing leave once they reach the maximum.

The PPSM, the APM, and the union contracts are available in print and on the web and are available to all employees. Employees and the department know a vacation benefit exists and both share responsibility for knowing the associated rules.

What is the maximum accrual?

The maximum or accrual cap is the amount designated for the employee’s category, pay status, and years of qualifying service by Personnel Policies for Staff Members, the Academic Personnel Manual, or the union contract. In most cases the maximum allowable accrual is two times the employee’s accrual for one year.

The maximum accruals (caps) have been set by policy for employees covered under PPSM or the APM and negotiated into union contracts for represented employees. It is a violation of the policy or contract to permit employees to accrue beyond the designated maximums.

What if an employee reached the maximum on May 1 and must still be below the maximum by June 30?

In almost all cases, departments are to inform employees 60 days in advance of when their accruals will reach the maximum. This gives the employee the opportunity to use enough vacation to remain below the maximum after new monthly accruals are added. The "extension period" of four months, according to individual contracts and Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM), is to be utilized on a one-time-only basis only in the case of a department being unable to let the employee take the vacation that is necessary to bring the accrual below the maximum. The extension period is not to be repeatedly used, nor is it to be used when an employee does not wish to schedule and take vacation as required to bring the balance below the maximum.

Example: Employee covered by PPSM:
A PPS employee will reach maximum on May 1. In the 60 working days prior to May 1, his/her department should work with him/her to reduce his/her vacation balance so that the maximum is not reached.

If there is absolutely no way his/her department can allow him/her to take vacation leave during the 60 working days prior to May 1, then an employee covered by the PPSM potentially has four additional months in which to reduce the balance. The only reason an employee may be allowed an extension period is if the department cannot allow him/her time off due to operational demands. If an “extension period” is considered necessary due to operational reasons, the employee will continue to accrue time.

At the end of the four-month extension, however, time accrual stops. The employee will not accrue additional vacation leave until he/she brings his/her balance below the stated maximum. This means the employee must not only take enough time to get below the maximum, but also use any time accrued during the "extension period." It is important to consult each union contract and PPSM for specifics.