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Office Policy Manual
B. WORK SCHEDULES
- Hours of Operation
Administrative offices of the University are required to be fully
staffed and operational from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through
Friday. Regular work hours for all employees of the Controller’s
Office shall conform to that requirement (See Summer Hours for
exceptions). Employees are expected to be punctual.
Supervisors must staff their respective areas to provide coverage
during the Office’s regular work hours. Varied work hours for
individuals within a supervisor’s area may be established as long as
University required coverage is maintained for that area.
The Office will participate in approved University Summer Hours
program as appropriate. Supervisors will be responsible to ensure
appropriate staffing levels are maintained within their areas at all
Controller’s Office employees are expected to be on the job
timely and ready to work at the start of each assigned work period.
Supervisors are responsible to ensure that work is being done in
accordance with their directions and expectations and that the office
policies are being adhered to. Supervisors also have a responsibility
to point out to employees when they are not satisfied with an employee’s
adherence to those policies. A person who does not comply with the
office and campus policies may face disciplinary action.
Each employee is assigned a work schedule that defines the start
and end of their workday as well as breaks during the day. It is
expected that employees will be at their workstation and ready for
work at the beginning of their assigned workday and that breaks will
be taken in accordance with the established work schedule. Deviations
from the established work schedule must be approved in advance by the
Attendance is recorded on an exception basis. An employee who is
not working his/her normal daily work schedule must fill out an
attendance card indicating the type of leave to be charged (vacation,
sick leave, jury duty, etc.). Leave must be authorized by their
supervisor and given to the receptionist in advance of the time
off. Time off of less than one day may be requested the same day,
however, an attendance card must be authorized and turned in before
leaving. Emergency sick leave is an exception to this policy.
Requests for leave should be requested as far in advance as
possible. Supervisors will grant leave requests when possible,
however, it should not be assumed that approval will be granted and
approvals should be obtained before commitments such as travel
arrangements are made. If it is necessary to schedule a dental or
medical appointment, every effort should be made to schedule an
appointment after work hours or at least as near to the beginning or
end of a normal work schedule as possible.
Attendance cards should be filled out completely by the employee
indicating the date of absence, proper code for that absence and the
employee’s name and ss/emp#. All attendance cards must be signed by
the appropriate supervisor.
The employee should not fill out more than one attendance card per
week. If it is necessary to add time (worked or taken), the employee
should add it to the existing attendance card for that week and have
their supervisor initial that day. The cards are held by the
receptionist for the week until they are reported to payroll and
recorded in the attendance record. All attendance cards are
required to be submitted no later than 2:00 PM on Friday or Thursday
if it is early payroll that week.
Whenever an employee leaves the office, the supervisor and front
desk should be notified. This is necessary to ensure all contacts are
properly directed. When leaving the office for an extended period, the
supervisor and/or the front desk should know the approximate time of
return and where the person can be reached in case of emergencies.
This notification is particularly important when all or part of a
section is not available (e.g. unit meeting or attending a special
luncheon). Coverage for an entire section for such occasions is the
responsibility of the supervisor.
If an employee does not report to work but contacts their
supervisor to report time off, the employee should call before
9:00 AM and the supervisor or the receptionist will fill out an
attendance card for that day to be signed by the employee upon return
to work. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to inform the
receptionist when an employee will be out for the day. Voice mail
is acceptable only for sick leave. Employees must talk to their
immediate supervisor or designee for other types of leave.
- Rest and Lunch Breaks
Rest breaks of fifteen (15) minutes are authorized for employees in
each one-half day of duty. It is expected that supervisors will
schedule breaks throughout the workday to ensure adequate coverage of
It is suggested that persons leave the office work area when taking
breaks. However, breaks may be taken outside the office or at the
person’s work area. If a person chooses to take the break at their
desk, the office business decorum must be observed. Actions which may
appear to persons as not work related (e.g. reading a newspaper) may
reflect negatively on the office and will not be permitted.
It is expected that supervisors will schedule lunch breaks to
ensure adequate coverage of the unit(s). Unused time for lunches or
breaks do not accrue or carry over.
- Paycheck Distribution:
Payroll checks for staff in the Controller’s Office are signed
out from the Mail Room, by the Controller’s Assistant or
Receptionist. They are sorted and distributed on Friday morning
usually between 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM and given to each individual
personally by the Controller’s Assistant, Receptionist or their
designee. Payroll checks will not be left on an employee’s desk or
put in an "In" basket. No payroll checks for an absent
employee will be given to another employee without written
authorization from the absent employee. Payroll checks for absent
employees are held by the Receptionist and locked in her desk until
they are picked up. After two weeks unclaimed checks are returned to
the Payroll Office.
Memoranda pertaining to payroll policies and/or procedures,
University information, or employee benefits, etc. are often distributed
with payroll checks. Please be sure to read these items.
All student employees must sign a Student Payroll Log upon receipt
of their payroll check. Checks are never given to another student
without written authorization from the student named on the check.
Checks are locked at the front desk until they are picked up. After
two weeks checks are returned to the Payroll Office.
- Overtime, Allowed Time, Compensatory Time and Unpaid Personal
a. Overtime/Compensatory Time
Overtime and compensatory time must be approved in advance by the
appropriate Assistant Controller/Associate Controller in consultation
with the Controller. Overtime and compensatory time will usually be
done on a volunteer basis; however, situations at times may require
mandatory assignment. Approval in advance will be made on a weekly
basis. Each new week of overtime or compensatory time will require
additional approval. Overtime or compensatory time may not be worked
during lunch or break periods.
Compensatory time must be used within one hundred twenty days (120)
of the time it is earned. An employee may not accrue more than 240
hours of compensatory time.
b. Allowed Time
Allowed time for participation in work-related organizations or
activities requires prior approval by the appropriate Assistant
c. Unpaid Leave
Unpaid leave is a practice, which places an additional burden on
the office and should be used only when absolutely necessary. When
such leave is necessary, a written request must be submitted to the
appropriate supervisor thirty (30) days in advance when the leave is
foreseeable. All unpaid leave must be approved by the Controller.
- Student Workers
Student workers are a valuable resource of the office. Students are
depended upon for a number of support functions and every effort
should be made to maximize use of their available time. Although
students are assigned to specific areas, managers should be watchful
for processing fluctuations, special needs, etc. which provide
opportunities for temporarily relocating students to other areas to
fully utilize the available student work force.
Time worked by students is recorded on a weekly basis. Student
employment time sheets are completed by the students at the end of the
week and approved by their supervisors. Information from the time
sheets is then transferred to the official University Time Sheets
received from Student Employment, and students sign this time sheet
before the information is submitted to the appropriate Controller’s
Assistant for final approval. An office copy is then made and filed
and the original is sent to Student Payroll Office.
- Office Closure Policy
a. Snow Day Policy
Campus policy requires that certain essential services must
continue even though the campus is officially closed for classes or
other purposes. The Controller’s Office has not been designated as
an essential service area and, therefore, when it is announced that
the campus is closed it is not expected that employees will report for
work. Also, although essential service areas generally provide
compensatory time if a person works on an announced snow day, no
additional compensatory time will be issued to individuals in the
Controller’s Office who choose to work.
An employee who had not been expected to work due to authorized
vacations, sick or personal leave will not be granted additional
excused time from the inclement weather cancellation and will need to
charge the vacation, sick, or personal leave as had been originally
Campus closings are announced on various radio and television
stations or can be confirmed by calling (413)545-3630. It is the
employee’s responsibility to determine campus operating status.
b. Closure for Other Reasons
Department managers have certain latitude to close operations
because of extreme temperatures or other extreme conditions. The
consistent practice of the Personnel Office has been to delegate to
the Department Head or his/her designee, the authority to release
employees due to extreme temperatures or other extreme conditions in
specific work locations. Before releasing employees, efforts will be
made to temporarily reassign employees to other locations where
temperatures and other working conditions are normal.
In the event suitable arrangements cannot be made, employees will
be released and not be required to charge leave credits for the
release time. Please note, however, that an employee who had not been
expected to work due to authorized vacation, sick or personal leave
will not be granted additional excused time and will need to charge
the vacation, sick or personal leave as had been originally
The decision concerning which employees will be released or
reassigned rests with the Controller and will be in line with the
situation, goals and objectives of the office and the work that must
Unless otherwise specified, employees will be expected to report
for work at the beginning of the next workday.
- Job Description
Job descriptions should clearly reflect the duties and functions
assigned to the position.
Evaluations must be done timely and should provide an accurate and
clear description of an employee’s performance during the evaluation
period. Where possible, specific actions should be referenced to
suggest the evaluation points. Recommendations for improvements should
be clearly described and presented in a constructive manner.
- Reclassification and Job Description Up-Dates
The Controller’s Office continually changes to meet the needs of
the campus. At times these changes result in an adjustment of
responsibility for office staff. These adjustments could cause an
individual to become improperly classified for the job assigned or the
job description to be incorrect.
The reclassification process can be initiated by either the staff
member or their supervisor. All position reclassification decisions
are made based upon the position’s duties and not the individual in
At times a function may change enough to warrant a job description
update. Job descriptions should properly reflect a position’s
duties. All revised job descriptions are to be reviewed and signed by
the Controller prior to being submitted to Human Resources. Job
descriptions should not be filed "with the intent that if the
position receives an up-grade then the functions will be
performed." The most recent official job description and any
proposed changes must be available in the office personnel files at
Room 405 Goodell Building
140 Hicks Way
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9272
Tel: (413) 545-0806
Fax: (413) 545-6088
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Last Updated: October 20, 2015