Section: Human Resources
Area: Employee Relations
I. PURPOSE AND SCOPE
This document defines university departmental operating hours and employee hours of work to comply with standards of public service and operational efficiency and with federal and state laws and regulations -- in particular, the General Appropriations Act . The purpose of this document is to outline actions to be taken by departmental managers to obtain approval for operational hours outside the normal hours or for staggered employee work hours (flextime). This document applies to all staff employees in all University of Houston offices.
University of Houston departments are required to maintain consistent hours of operation and levels of staffing in order to meet standards of public service and operational efficiency and to comply with applicable federal and State of Texas laws. The management of each department is responsible for ensuring that the policy provisions in this document are enforced and for setting work schedules that are fair and equitable.
The policy of the University of Houston System and its components is to ensure equal opportunity in all its educational programs and activities, and all terms and conditions of employment without regard to age, race, color, disability, religion, national origin, veteran's status, genetic information, or sex (including pregnancy), except where such a distinction is required by law. Additionally, UH System prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment and educational programs on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. For the UH System's Official Non-Discrimination Statement, see SAM.01.D.05 – Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement .
A. FTE: An abbreviation for full-time equivalency that refers to a percentage of time and effort for a position. One hundred percent or l.00 FTE means full time or 40 hours per week; 50 percent or .50 FTE means half time or 20 hours per week, etc.
B. Flextime: An optional work schedule in which the employee works the regular number of weekly hours (based on 40 hours) on a time schedule other than the regular 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday hours.
Generally, a flextime schedule involves working the core hours of 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. daily from Monday through Friday, or, alternately, working four 10-hour days from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. See MAPP 02.04.10 for more information.
III. POLICY PROVISIONS
A. Normal hours of work
1. All staff employees paid on a full-time basis are required to work a minimum of 40 hours per week unless on approved leave status. Employees are required to work additional hours if necessary to satisfactorily accomplish the job; the acceptance of this requirement is a condition of employment for personnel employed in those positions.
Part-time employees employed at less than 100 percent FTE are expected to work those hours designated by the employing department as necessary to fulfill the requirements of their positions. Such hours of work shall be consistent with the FTE of the particular position.
2. The typical office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday (with one hour off for lunch). These are the regular hours of work for full-time employees; however, the work schedules of some departments/employees may be adjusted as necessary to provide maximum operational efficiency.
3. State law requires that university offices remain open during the noon hour to accept telephone calls, receive visitors, or transact business.
4. Departmental management may stagger normal working hours of their department personnel consistent with federal and state regulations and in the interest of department efficiency, traffic regulations, public safety, environmental concerns, and the approved work-related preferences of employees, as long as the department remains open and adequately staffed between the posted hours of operation.
When a department chooses to implement a flextime schedule, the option should be available to all personnel, except for those in positions where business necessity requires adhering to the posted hours of operation. Those positions should be so designated in advance of implementing the flextime schedule.
The work schedules of employees choosing flextime schedules require the prior approval of the direct supervisor. Where a department chooses a departmental flextime schedule that digresses significantly from normal operating hours, the flextime plan requires the prior review and approval of the Associate Vice Chancellor/Associate Vice President for Human Resources or designee.
5. Employees are responsible for adhering to department work schedules.
B. Operational hours outside the normal hours: Certain offices may be kept open during other hours and on other days, but the time worked counts toward the required 40 hours per week for the purposes of calculating overtime pay for non-exempt personnel.
Employees may be asked to work more than normal hours when operational needs demand it. Overtime work for non-exempt employees must be authorized in advance by the appropriate business administrator(s), director, and/or department chairperson. Working unauthorized overtime may subject a non-exempt employee to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Exempt employees are not eligible to receive overtime pay.
C. Notice of schedule change
1. Some staff positions require more actual working hours than others, and the acceptance of such a requirement is a condition of employment for personnel employed in those positions. Managers retain the right to schedule the work hours of their direct reports and to modify schedules as the needs of the department or university require. Employees are entitled to reasonable notice when a department makes significant changes in work schedules.
2. Some staff positions require that the employee be available for service during emergencies (i.e., "essential personnel"). An employee who has been informed that his/her position is subject to emergency duty and subsequently fails to report when called for such duty may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination, unless the employee provides an acceptable reason for failure to report for duty.
D. Meal and rest breaks
1. Each full-time employee is provided a meal break near the middle of the work day. The time for meal breaks may be scheduled by management in the department with appropriate regard for workload. The meal period should not exceed 60 minutes. However, meal breaks of different lengths may be approved where departmental work schedules require it and daily schedules are adjusted accordingly. Employees are not paid for meal breaks.
2. Employees may take periodic rest breaks. The time for rest breaks for non-exempt employees is decided and scheduled by departmental management with appropriate regard for work load. Time spent on approved rest breaks will be compensated. Time not used for rest periods cannot be used to reduce work schedules or accumulated to be taken later.
3. Management may alter or amend meal or rest break schedules as necessary to ensure efficient operations.
E. National Guard or reserve personnel: The work schedule of an employee who is a member of the National Guard or any reserve component of the Armed Forces must be adjusted so that two of the employee's regular non-work days per month coincide with the two days of military duty to be performed by the employee. An employee may not be required to use vacation or any other compensated leave for this military duty.
IV. PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING APPROVAL FOR EXCEPTIONS TO NORMAL OPERATING AND/OR WORK HOURS
A. To meet their institutional service obligations, it may be necessary for certain university offices to be kept open or for staff to be available on call on a regular basis at times other than 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
B. Similarly, in the interest of departmental efficiency, traffic, public safety, environmental concerns, or the approved work-related preferences of employees, management may desire to stagger working hours of their department personnel outside normal posted hours of operation.
1. The work schedules of employees choosing flextime schedules require the prior written approval of the supervisor. Where a department chooses a department-wide flextime schedule that digresses significantly from normal operating hours, the plan requires the additional approval of the Associate Vice Chancellor/Associate Vice President for Human Resources or designee.
2. Human Resources must be contacted to provide counsel to ensure that the
40-hours-per-week work standard will be followed. They will provide direction for reporting leave and holiday time for flextime employees.
C. Temporary changes in office hours do not require this formal approval process. However, in such cases, sufficient notice should be provided to alert students, faculty, staff, or outside public customers of service interruptions.
State of Texas General Appropriations Act
UH System Administrative Memorandum (SAM) 02.A.20
Manual of Administrative Policies and Procedures (MAPP) 02.04.10
Last Reviewed/Revised: 02/08/2019
Responsible Office(s): Finance