Staff Handbook

Wage and Salary Administration

The University of North Alabama complies with the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that apply to public universities.

RECORDS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

According to the FLSA, non-exempt employees are required to record their time worked for each pay period. Therefore, each non-exempt employee is responsible for submitting either an electronic timesheet or, for Facilities employees, a bi-weekly timecard for hours worked and/or leave taken for each two week payroll cycle. Supervisors are responsible for verifying, correcting and/or approving the time of the non-exempt employees for whom they are responsible.

HOURS OF WORK

Normal working hours for university employees are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, exclusive of holidays. Working hours for some departments and/or sections of departments may vary depending on the type of services offered.

Time is rounded off to the nearest one-quarter hour. All eight-hour work periods should begin no earlier than seven minutes prior to the start of the workday and end no later than seven minutes after the end of the workday.

Pre-shift and post-shift activities, which are an integral part of the employee's principal activities, must be included in the hours worked if such activity requires more than seven minutes prior to or after the shift. If such time is needed, it must be authorized by the supervisor.

 

Work Cycle

The FLSA takes a single workweek as its standard and does not permit averaging of hours over two or more weeks with the exception of that for University Police Officers.

For all non-exempt employees, the normal university workweek is 40 hours, measured from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday to 12:00 p.m. the following Monday, except for University Police Officers whose workweeks are defined according to their shift policy.

 

Breaks and Meal Period

Breaks: Employees who work eight hours per day are authorized one paid 30-minute break per day or the fractional equivalent for each workday of less than eight hours. By prior arrangement between the employee and his/her supervisor, the break may be taken with the lunch break so as to allow up to one hour for lunch and personal business. The break must be counted as time worked. Work during the break time is not work time in excess of the eight-hour workday.

Meal Period: Employees who work eight hours per day are given 30 minutes of unpaid time per day for a meal period. With supervisory approval, this meal period can be combined with the 30-minute paid break time to extend the meal period to one hour. Working during the meal break is considered compensable and must be approved by the supervisor prior to being worked. In order to qualify as a bona fide meal period under the provisions of the FLSA, the period must be 30 minutes or more in duration and the employee must be completely relieved of his/her duty. Therefore, it is advised that an employee take his/her meal break away from his/her workstation.

 

OVERTIME AND COMPENSATORY TIME

The department head/supervisor assigns each employee regular duties and responsibilities which can normally be accomplished within the established workday and workweek. However, occasionally some overtime work may be necessary for proper performance of work duties and responsibilities. Therefore, certain employees may be required to work overtime to meet operational requirements.

Overtime for non-exempt employees is any time worked in excess of 40 hours in a seven-day work cycle. Overtime does not result until after 40 hours have been exceeded in a work cycle.

For purposes of calculating overtime, all paid absences (e.g., annual leave, sick leave, etc.) taken during the weekly work cycle will be calculated as hours worked. Compensatory time taken is not included in the calculation of overtime.

There is no requirement to pay overtime for hours in excess of eight hours per day, work on Saturday or Sunday, and work on holidays that does not result in exceeding 40 hours of work for a specific workweek.

There is no limitation on the number of hours a non-exempt employee may work in a workweek as long as he/she is compensated or given compensatory time for all hours in excess of 40.

Prior department head or supervisor approval of all overtime is required. The supervisor has the authority to arrange the workweek to meet the operational requirements of the job.

 

Overtime Compensation

All hours worked over 40 hours in any week are compensated at one and one-half the regular rate, or compensatory time is given at the rate of one and one-half the number of overtime hours. It is the duty of the supervisor to ensure that unnecessary overtime is not worked.

 

Compensatory Time

It is university policy that, at the discretion of the University, employees be given compensatory time off for overtime at the rate of time and one-half in lieu of compensation. The agreement to work overtime as required and the acceptance of compensatory time in lieu of overtime payment are conditions of employment.

Every effort should be made to avoid accrual of large amounts of compensatory time. According the provisions of the FLSA, an employee may accrue compensatory time to a maximum of 240 hours.

Supervisors should endeavor to accommodate the employee in giving him/her time off for accumulated compensatory time; however, the job requirements take precedence over an employee's request. The supervisor may set the time in which an employee takes compensatory time. Furthermore, the supervisor may dictate the taking of compensatory time in lieu of annual leave for absences of short durations.

Compensatory time cannot be taken in advance of earning said time, and compensatory time cannot be used in the calculation of overtime.

If compensation is paid to an employee for accrued compensatory time, such compensation is paid at the regular rate earned by the employee at the time the employee receives such pay.

Any employee who has accrued compensatory time at the time of his/her termination is paid for the unused compensatory time at the final regular rate received by such employee.

Compensation for Training

Attendance at lectures, meetings, training sessions, and similar activities which are outside of the employee's regular working hours and that is not voluntary, is counted as work time. Only time actually spent on training is considered work time. Hours that the employee may study or practice are not work time. This applies even if the employee is required to remain in housing at the training site.

If the employee chooses to attend classes or participates in training after work hours, the time is not counted as hours worked for the University even if the courses are related to the employee's job. This includes undergraduate, graduate, and special courses taken at the University after work hours.

Call-In Pay

An employee who is required to report to work during non duty hours will be paid a minimum of 4 hours.

 

On-Call, Standby, or Waiting Status

The University recognizes that there may be unique, specific circumstances which may require that an employee be placed in a status of “on-call”, “standby”, or “waiting”. As the need arises, the University will classify the employee’s time in accordance with the FLSA based on the individual circumstances and will award compensation accordingly. The determination will be made by the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action in consultation with the employee’s supervisor.

Additional Employment at the University

Occasionally, an employee may voluntarily undertake employment for the University which is in a different capacity from that in which the employee is regularly engaged. In such an arrangement, the hours the employee spends performing the different employment is excluded in the calculation of the hours for which the employee is entitled to overtime compensation or compensatory time.

 

PAYROLL INFORMATION
(also referenced in University Policy Manual)

Payroll Frequency: All non-exempt employees are paid on a bi-weekly schedule. Exempt employees are paid monthly.

Payroll Deductions: The University makes payroll deductions required by state and federal laws and court orders as well as voluntary deductions authorized by the employee and approved by the University.

Statement of Earnings and Deductions: Each payday, each university employee receives a copy of his/her statement of earnings and deductions as a part of his/her payroll check or direct deposit information. These figures reflect the employee's gross and net pay and deductions for the period as well as totals for the year. This information can also be viewed at any time via Self Service Banner.

Direct Deposit: A university employee may request the Payroll Office to deposit his/her payroll check directly to his/her bank. Direct deposit can be made to more than one financial institution. An employee may sign up for direct deposit by completing a direct deposit form and returning it to the Payroll Office. 

STAFF SALARY PLAN
The Staff Salary Plan is a market-based compensation plan.  The cost of maintaining the plan is driven by both position-specific and global changes in the relevant labor market.

Salary Schedule:
The overall objective of establishing competitive pay levels for university staff employees is based on the following:

  • One pay structure with 20 pay grades
  • Salary grades that are 50 percent in width, reflecting a minimum, midpoint, and maximum
  • Grade midpoints that are approximately 10% apart and that reflect the market average salary of positions classified therein
  • Each position assigned (classified) to a pay grade

The current salary schedule for the University is located on the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action website.

Classification
Each classified position is assigned to a salary grade based on the available, relevant market data for the position.  Market data is derived primarily from two sources:  (1) the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources’ (CUPA-HR) annual salary survey, and (2) the Department of Labor (DOL) annual salary data.  Positions which have a direct match in the market are “benchmark” positions; those positions that are not benchmark positions are classified based on comparable benchmark positions.  For benchmark positions, the average market salary should correlate to the midpoint of the assigned salary grade.

Accordingly, an incumbent with at least five years of service in a position should be paid a salary that is, at minimum, comparable to the midpoint of the position’s assigned salary grade. 

Placement and Movement within the Salary Plan
The following is a summary description of various types of movement within and across salary grades and the resulting changes in compensation, if any. 

Initial Appointments
Generally, new employees will be assigned a salary at the minimum of the position’s assigned salary grade.   However, under certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to hire a candidate above the minimum salary. These circumstances may include searches for positions which require a candidate with many years of experience performing the duties and responsibilities required of the position and candidates whose qualifications/certifications exceed the minimum required.  Before any salary recommendation is made, the department head should consider the implications of the salary of the new employee relative to the salaries of current employees who hold similar or like titles.

At the conclusion of a search, the department head should make a salary recommendation for the selected candidate in consultation with the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action.  Consideration should be given to the candidate’s qualifications as they relate to the position description. If a candidate is hired above the minimum of the respective grade, his/her “class date” used in calculating advancement to the midpoint may be adjusted to reflect the consideration given for his/her experience, qualifications, etc.

The grade midpoint is the maximum salary a new-hire may be offered.  Hiring an employee at a salary below the grade minimum is generally not permitted. 

Advancement Within a Pay Grade
An employee should advance within a pay grade by receiving annual increases (including cost of living adjustments).  Annual increases are administered at, and under the direction of, the University Board of Trustees generally on October 1. 

Additionally, as referenced earlier, it is expected that an employee with five years of service in his/her position at the University be paid at the midpoint of the position’s assigned salary grade.  Annual advancement toward the midpoint (“progress to market”) is generally calculated by dividing the difference between the current salary and the midpoint by the balance of five years of service.  Progress to market increases are also generally awarded on October 1.

Promotion
The opportunity for a promotion becomes available when an existing position in a higher salary grade becomes vacant for which an employee in a lower salary grade applies and is selected.

When an employee is promoted to a position in a higher salary grade, the employee will normally receive an increase based on one of the following guidelines, whichever is greatest:

  • Current salary increased by 10% OR
  • Current salary increased by 5% per grade (not to exceed 20%) OR
  • Current salary increased to the minimum of the new grade.

Promotions are discussed in greater detail in the Employment Status and Classification section of the Staff Handbook. 

Transfers
Transfers are defined in detail in the Employment Status and Classification section of the Staff Handbook. 

Lateral Transfer:  A lateral transfer does not result in a salary increase.  However, if an employee applies and is selected for a position in a lower classification, he/she may receive a reduction in salary commensurate with the requirements for the new position and based on the position budget set by the department.

Reassignment:  Under certain circumstances, the University may find that it is in the best interest of both the University and an employee to reassign him/her to another position and/or department.  Reassignments do not result in salary changes.

Reorganizations:  Reorganization involves a change in the operational structure of a department and the associated changes in the reporting lines of the positions within the department.  While a position title may change, reorganization does not result in a change in compensation for the incumbent.

Demotion:  A demotion normally results in a salary decrease commensurate with the requirements for the new position and based on the position budget set by the department.

Reclassification
When there is a significant and permanent change in the scope and/or purpose of a position, a department head may choose to initiate a request for reclassification.  A reclassification request consists of:  (1) a memo to the division vice president requesting the reclassification and summarizing the changes in the position, and (2) an updated position description, noting the changes as compared to the current position. The request must be approved by the division vice president before it is considered by the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for reclassification. 

Upon receipt of the approved request for reclassification, the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action will review the requested new position and classify it just as it would a newly-created position (considering both the external market and the internal organizational hierarchy).

When a position is reclassified to a higher salary grade, the position’s incumbent will subsequently be promoted and compensated according to the promotion procedures detailed in this policy.

Salary Plan Maintenance
It is essential that movements in the economy and, more specifically, the labor market in which the University competes, are addressed in the Staff Salary Plan. In order to maintain competitive salary levels, a balance must be achieved in addressing compensation at both the individual position and overall compensation system levels. Accordingly, pending the availability of funding, the following should take place on an annual basis:  (1) an assessment of the cost of living, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and its impact on the established pay grade ranges and pay grade ranges adjusted accordingly, and (2) a review of benchmark data by position and adjustment of positions within grades, if appropriate.

Salary ranges are adjusted annually (on October 1) to reflect positive changes in the CPI, if any.   Additionally, through its annual verification of benchmark positions, the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action may determine that a classification adjustment of particular positions may be necessary based on movement in the relevant labor market.  The recommendation for adjustment in the classification of a position should be made by the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action to the University President, substantiated through labor market data and other relevant documentation.  Classification adjustments are generally made effective October 1, and a subsequent salary adjustment will be made for incumbent(s) to reflect progress toward the new midpoint, if appropriate. 

All approvals for compensation decisions and initiatives are dependent on the availability of funds and must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action (OHRAA) for review.  Upon approval by the OHRAA, all recommendations for salary adjustments must be approved by the President. No commitment is to be made to an employee until full approval is received.

The University’s intent is to apply the Staff Salary Plan guidelines in every applicable situation. However, none of the guidelines are intended to be construed as a contract for employment. All employment contracts are in the form of a separate document and must be in writing and signed by the President.

The University has the full power and discretionary authority to interpret, construe, and administer the terms of the Staff Salary Plan and to determine its applicability to particular situations, job positions, or persons.  The guidelines shall not bind the University to pay any employee a particular salary.  The University's interpretations and determinations under these guidelines shall be final and binding.