MEMO TO: All Chancery Department Heads FROM:, Episcopal Council CL,/
RE: Follow-up to Department Head Meeting
of September 11, 1991 re: “Comp Time”
DATE: November 6, 1991
As you know, in addition to a number of other topics, the subject of compensatory time off for employees came up at our September-11th meeting; with specific emphasis on exempt employees (i.e. professional, administrative, executive etc.).
The Episcopal Council reiterated the overall policy of the Archdiocese as reflected in §203.2 of the Handbook. Namely, that “As a matter of policy, overtime is discouraged.” Therefore, Department Heads were reminded that all forms of overtime (whether in the form of paid overtime for nonexempt employees or compensatory time for both non-exempt and exempt employees) was to be kept to a minimum. In addition, we emphasized that when overtime does become necessary Department Heads are to be sure that the Handbook procedures pertaining to this subject are scrupulously followed.
We also wish to reiterate our position that if and when overtime becomes absolutely necessary for non-exempt employees there is a strong preference that such overtime be in the way of paid overtime (budget permitting) rather than compensatory overtime. Given the fact that our Handbook already provides for up to 22.5 hours of paid personal leave time it should seldom be necessary or appropriate for employees to request additional time off from their normal work day.
During the course of our discussions several Department Heads expressed their uneasiness with inserting the terms “comp time” on their pink time card in cases where the “net” hours worked in a given pay period averaged at least 37.5 hours. It was felt that such a situation was better classified as a “flex time” arrangement.
Jack Hammel, Archdiocesan Legal Counsel, explained that there is no legal distinction between “comp time” and “flex time” when addressing the laws pertaining to non-exempt employees (i.e. even if an employee averages 15 hours of work over two days it is the total hours worked in a given day which determine whether a non-exempt employee is entitled to overtime pay or, as the case may be, compensatory time off). In addition, Mr. Hammel reminded the Department Heads of the Chancery policy, which reflects the requirements of law, that non-exempt employees can not take compensatory time beyond the pay period in which it is earned. Finally, even with reflection on he time cards of actual hours worked, and the designation of “comp time”, was required under the current handbook policy in order to facilitate the recording of the total number of comp days taken in a given calendar quarter etc.
The Episcopal Council agreed that it would reexamine the matter as pertains to the exempt employees so as to accommodate your concerns about flex time and our own concerns about the extent to which comp time is earned, taken and recorded. Having done so, we are hereby amending the current procedures for exempt employees as respects comp time/flex time as follows:
First, it is recognized that the nature of various exempt employees’ duties require them to work occasional, and in some cases frequent, hours outside the normal 8:30am to 5:00pm workday, and the ultimate objective is to “get the job done” (though according to a schedule which effectively serves the needs of_ the parishes and other departments served). Therefore, exempt employees need only record leave time (eg. vacation, sick, etc.) taken by them during a particular pay period without the necessity of indicating “comp time” when the average hours worked during the pay period total 37.5. For example, if in a given pay period, an exempt employee, after working a full day at the office, has a necessary nighttime meeting at a parish which brings the total workday to 12 hours, and the employee then, workload permitting, works only 3 hours the following day, the terms “comp time” need not be inserted on the time card. It should be borne in mind however, that the nature and extent of a flex schedule for a particular department must be discussed in advance with the Division Head (i.e. one of the Vicar Generals) to assure that indeed the overall best interests of the parishes and other departments are being served by such schedule. In addition, care should be taken, whenever possible, to assure that sonelone is available in the particular department (eg. secretary, administrative assistant etc.) to respond to inquiries during normal business hours.
With regards to “comp time” outside ()I the normal flex schedule (i.e. pay period), it is our position that such accumulation and use should only arise under extraordinary circumstances, rather than reflect a norm. In addition to the “availability” concerns identified above, this position is in keeping with our earlier referenced policy to discourage excessive overtime. Therefore, any department head who wishes to take such comp time must have the prior written approval of his/her Division Head. Such comp time shall be on a straight time (i.e. not time and a half) basis and under no circumstances shall exempt employees be entitled to pay in lieu of compensatory time.