Managers should use the following guidelines when determining whether to approve a request by an employee who is a member of the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA) to earn compensatory time under Article 18 of the collective bargaining agreement between the University and the UCPEA.
Earning, Recording and Using Compensatory (Comp) Time
This advice refers to comp time governed by Article 18 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA or contract) between the University of Connecticut and the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA). This procedure does not apply to positions covered by Article 18.5.
Whenever a member of the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA), is required to work extraordinary hours the employee will earn compensatory time in accordance with Article 18 of the CBA. All compensatory time requires prior approval.
Managers should abide by the procedure set out herein and use the following guidelines when determining whether to approve a request by an employee who is covered by the UCPEA contract to earn compensatory time.
General Requirements: For an employee to receive approval of compensatory time, a manager outside of UCPEA must provide written confirmation to the employee of the requirement to work extraordinary hours, and the manager must identify the specific reason and anticipated hours that need to be worked.
In line with the language of the UCPEA contract and the established definition of extraordinary, the University will no longer allow managers to approve existing or new “blanket” or “on-going” requests for compensatory time. As of the date of this memo, existing “blanket” comp time requests that were previously approved are no longer valid. Employees who are required to work extraordinary hours must seek approval within these new guidelines.”
Managers outside of UCPEA must approve each instance of compensatory time and provide a written justification.
The following procedures shall be followed:
a) When the first supervisor outside the bargaining unit (or their designee), determines that it is required that an employee work extraordinary hours, or when an employee believes that it is necessary to work extraordinary hours, and the supervisor agrees, the employee and the supervisor jointly complete a standard approval form.
Proper completion of this form requires that the supervisor confirm in writing to the employee the requirement to work extraordinary hours, the number of hours that are expected to be worked to meet the requirement and will specify the reason for the requirement. This approval shall be retained by the approving manager for no less than one year for audit purposes.
b) Whenever an exempt employee is required by their supervisor to work extraordinary hours, and compensatory time off is earned it shall be equivalent to the extraordinary hours worked.
c) When practical the supervisor may allow the employee to reduce their hours by an equivalent amount within the same pay-period and comp time will not be earned.
d) All compensatory time must be recorded on the employee’s leave record as it is earned and when it is used. All compensatory time must be utilized within two years of being earned at times mutually agreeable to the employee and the supervisor.
Non-exempt Employee who earn comp time:
Non-exempt employees who are members of UCPEA shall be paid their regular rate of pay for each hour worked up to 40 in a workweek and will receive comp time for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. Compensatory time is earned in accordance with the Federal Fair Labor Standard Act. (Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 18.1)
“Extraordinary” hours are defined as “Going beyond what is usual, regular, common or customary; not following the general norm; or, exceptional to a very marked extent.” Understanding the meaning of extraordinary and the application of its meaning within the context of what warrants compensatory time is critical. As managers, it is important to:
Understand and pay attention to the working condition of the employees. Recognize that you have a responsibility for those working conditions. Know the culture of your workplace.
Communicate to your employees the division’s policies that affect the working conditions within the framework of the University’s policy and within the context of the contract. This communication is ongoing and requires feedback from employees.
Work within a consistent framework for those conditions; consistency is the operative word. Consistency should be the overall guide you use for making decisions that affect the workplace.
Understand that unusual and difficult situations will arise. Resolving those situations within the establish framework will be critical in managing the work environment effectively.
1. Requests for compensatory time should not be approved for the completion of tasks that should be done during the employee’s regular work hours. If the employee is choosing or volunteering to put in extra hours for their own convenience, comp time should not be authorized or awarded.
2. Comp time is awarded for extraordinary hours of work. Accordingly, comp time is not awarded for travel or for time sleeping at a remote location as these activities are not work. Comp time should not be awarded for voluntary attendance at games, conferences, banquets, parades or similar events. If an event occurs outside regular working hours and the employee is required to attend as part of their duties, comp time may be awarded.
3. Comp time may be awarded after it has been earned in emergency or urgent situations. A written record of the event with an explanation of why prior approval was not received must accompany requests for retroactive comp time.
4. To the extent possible, consistent with a department’s workload, the choice of when to use accrued compensatory time shall be up to the employee.
5. Employees will make every effort to request the utilization of accrued compensatory time and supervisors are encouraged to approve these requests whenever business needs permit.
Payout of Compensatory Time:
In accordance with the UCPEA contract, if an individual employee’s accumulation exceeds a balance of 140 hours, the University may opt to pay for the time over 100 hours up to a maximum of 40 hours at a time. However, payouts will only occur after it is determined that the employee requested at least five (5) days of time off and took the requested time, or was denied the use of compensatory time over the previous 3 months preceding the payout request. In addition, the University will limit the payout of approved compensatory time to four times per fiscal year (once every three months), for a maximum limit of four weeks or 160 hours annually per employee.
The “Authorization for Payment of Earned Compensatory Time for Employees Covered by the UCPEA Collective Bargaining Agreement” form must be completed and approved by the first supervisor outside UCPEA.
Questions may be referred to senior managers who may consult with the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.