University of Houston-Victoria
Policies

Work Hours

Section: Human Resources Index: C-4

Policy

This document applies to all staff employees and provides direction for hours of work, work schedules, lunch breaks and related work matters.   This policy supports federal law, State of Texas regulations and UHS Administrative Memorandum 02.A.20.  (References)

The normal office hours of the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) shall be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (M-F).  These shall be the regular hours of work for full-time employees, except those employed by departments with functions that preclude an 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. M-F work schedule.   (References)

The work schedules of employees may vary depending upon the position held and the nature of the services rendered.   Normal work hours may also be staggered in a manner consistent with federal and state regulations in the interest of public safety, environmental concerns, traffic regulations or the approved work-related preferences of employees providing the university remains open between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F.  Decisions regarding these matters shall be governed by the operational and service requirements of the University. 

When the President or designee deems it necessary or advisable, offices may be kept open during other hours and on other days, but the time worked under this provision counts towards the required 40 hours per week.

Management is responsible for the enforcement of this policy and for ensuring that decisions regarding work schedules and work privileges are exercised in a fair and equitable manner.  The policy of UHV 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, UHV prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment and educational programs on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  

Procedures

Employees will be advised at the time of employment of work schedules and other work related requirements.

Normal Hours of Work

All full-time regular staff employees are required to work a minimum of 40 hours per week, normally eight hours per work day  unless in paid leave status. Hourly employees are required to adhere to the schedule set by their supervisors and are not permitted to sign out or continue work after completing their scheduled time without the prior approval of their supervisor.

Part–time and temporary employees are expected to work those hours designated by the employing department as necessary to fulfill the requirements of their position. Such hours of work shall be consistent with the FTE of the position.

Overtime for hourly employees must be approved by the supervisor prior to the work being performed. Hours worked in excess of forty hours during the workweek by an hourly employee shall be considered overtime. Supervisors should manage the workload so that overtime is minimized. See UHV Policy C-25, Overtime/Compensatory Time, for additional information. (References)

Some staff positions require more actual working hours than others and the acceptance of such a requirement is a condition of employment for individuals employed in those positions. However, whenever practical, employees should receive reasonable notice when departments make significant changes to work schedules or establishes a requirement to work in excess of 40 hours per week on a regular or recurring basis.  This requirement does not apply to emergency situations when management could not be reasonably expected to anticipate the emergency situation.

Certain staff positions require that the employee be available for emergency call duty 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 a failure to report.

Meal Breaks (Lunch)

 Texas Government Code, Section 658.005, requires that state agencies remain open during the noon hour with at least one person on duty to accept calls, receive visitors, or transact business.  As the employer, the University has discretionary authority to establish requirements for meal periods.  Every employee, with limited exception, shall take a meal break.  A meal or other lunch break is an approved period of time that interrupts a basic workday for the purpose of permitting the employee to eat or engage in permitted personal activities.  During the lunch break, employees are relieved of all work duties and are not paid.  The Supervisor can require employees to leave their workstation during lunch breaks.  (References)

Generally, lunch periods for full time employees are 60 minutes in duration and taken during the middle of the workday.   However, any employee who is scheduled to work in excess of 5 hours in any workday must be given a minimum of 30 minutes for a meal break.  Supervisors are not required to offer or approve a modified lunch period, but may permit or require shorter lunch breaks of at least 30 minutes, as long as the quantity and quality of service offered by the office is not affected. 

Exceptions: On occasion, an employee may ask to skip or shorten a lunch break for personal reasons and the Supervisor has the discretion to approve or disapprove.  The Supervisor may also make exceptions for occasional situations where the employee is required to perform or be available to perform work during their meal break. In this instance, non-exempt employees shall record that time on the timesheet. The Supervisor, however, should submit comments on the timesheet for each instance where the employee works without a meal break.

Flextime Schedules

The State Appropriations Act supports the employer’s attempt to accommodate an employee’s request for a “flex-time” work schedule. When a department chooses to implement a flextime schedule, the option should be available to all personnel, except for employees in positions where business necessity requires adhering to the posted hours of operation. Such ineligible positions should be so designated in advance of implementing the flextime schedule. Approval from the supervisor and the appropriate cabinet level administrator must be obtained in advance for any deviation from the regular hours of work. Additionally, the supervisor must notify the Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action via the Alternative Work Schedule Request form. Refer to UHV Policy C-24, Alternative Work Schedule, for additional information. (References)

Tardiness/Absence Notification

Tardiness is defined as being late to work, late returning from a lunch break, or late returning from any other absence from work. The supervisor has the responsibility to address habitual tardiness of employees.

All employees are required to call their supervisors (or a departmental designee) within thirty minutes of the time they were scheduled to report to work e.g. if work starts as 8 am, call in between 7:30-8:30 am. If the employee is unable to reach the supervisor or designee directly, the employee is required to make personal contact with someone within the department as soon as reasonably possible.

National Guard and Armed Forces Reserve Personnel

Per Texas Government Code, Section 658.08, 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 employees. An employee shall not be required to use vacation or any other compensated leave for this military duty. (References)

References

  1. Texas Government Code 605.002, Length of Work Day
  2. UHS Administrative Memorandum 02.A.20, Hours of Work
  3. Texas Government Code 658.005, Regular Office Hours, Noon Hour
  4. Texas Government Code 658.008, National Guard
  5. UHV Policy C-24, Alternative Work Schedule
  6. Alternative Work Schedule Request
  7. UHV Policy C-25, Overtime/Compensatory Time

Approved by:

Signature Obtained                    03/15/2017
Raymond V. Morgan, Ph.D.          Date
President

Origination:  Human Resources
Next Review Date:    January 2022 (5 years)