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UT Dallas - Human Resources

Business Continuity Plan: HR Frequently Asked Questions

Related Information

Check back for more information on the UT Dallas Business Continuity Plan


Business Resumption Frequently Asked Questions

Employee Relations Questions:

1. Can I order my staff to come in during an emergency?

Staff can be directed to report to work on their normal work days. If an employee states that he cannot come in, it should be handled as a leave request. Supervisors should follow their normal protocol in approving or denying the requested leave.   Supervisors can also require employees to work overtime.  Supervisors should review the overtime provisions found in the UT Dallas Handbook of Operating Procedures.

2. What are the consequences if an employee does not show up for work?

Supervisors should have already contacted their staff (see check list ) and should have a good idea of who to expect to show up for work.  Supervisors should make an attempt to call no-shows and be prepared to handle this event on a case-by-case basis, exercising common sense and good judgment. Supervisors will probably have to balance the personal needs of the employee with the needs of the department.  As noted above, when an employee does not show up for work, the first option is to contact the employee, find out why they did not report for work and determine if the supervisor will grant the employee leave.  If the supervisor does not grant the employee leave, the employee will be considered absent without approval and will not be paid for the time. The decision whether or not to take formal disciplinary action is a decision to be made on a case-by-case basis.

3. Can staff be required to perform work normally performed by employees in other job classifications, or by employees in other departments?

Yes, if they possess the necessary skills, knowledge and ability and meet all other requirements of the position.

4. Will special consideration be made for people who are caretakers of children or the elderly?

Supervisors should consider such issues when scheduling work during or after an emergency, and may require some proof or written documentation that the employee is required to be present and be the care-giver. It may be that the supervisor and the employee can agree on a temporary change in hours of work or a reduction in time that will meet the university’s operational needs. Again, this should be handled on a case-by-case basis.

5. Can staff use vacation time if they do not come in?

Staff can use accrued vacation and compensatory time off if approved by the supervisor in accordance with departmental and university policy. As is true at all other times, operational needs will need to be taken into consideration when granting any type of leave.

6. Are employees required to fill out timesheets during the emergency?

Time spent at work will have to be documented.  Check the HR web to see if normal timesheets or some other method of documentation will be used during the emergency.

7. How is time accounted for if the President closes the campus?

Information on emergency leave for a natural disaster or other campus closure may be found in the UT Dallas Policy Navigator under Leaves of Absence (UTDBP3054).

8. How do we account for staff’s time?

Supervisors and managers should check the HR web for any special instructions and follow university and departmental procedures. Supervisors or managers with questions regarding hours of work, leave of absence, vacation and sick leave should consult HR.

9. Can staff work alternative work schedules?

The university will return to a regular work schedule as soon as practical after the emergency.  Alternate work schedules may be approved by a supervisor on a temporary basis if the alternate schedule assists the university to meet its operational needs.  Any alternate schedule is subject to change by the university at any time.   Supervisors and managers who need to have employees work an alternate schedule or who get requests from employees for alternate work schedules that they can accommodate, should contact HR to determine how best to proceed.

10. Can staff change their work schedule?

Any change in a work schedule requires approval in advance by the supervisor.  This approval should be in writing.  If it is not possible to put the approval in writing immediately, the approval should be written as soon as practical.

11. Can we require staff to work overtime?

Staff can be required to work overtime.

12. Will staff be given time off to go to the bank?

Unless there are safety hazards during the emergency, staff will be free to use their lunch time as they wish. As is the case during non-emergency periods, supervisors should use good judgment in considering requests to let employees leave early or return late on an occasional basis to run a personal errand.  Supervisors can approve the use of vacation or compensatory time off or permit the employee to make up the lost time during that same Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) workweek.

13. Will employees be granted any emergency leave?

The decision to grant emergency leave with pay rests with the President.

14. Is a supervisor’s presence required for staff to perform work?

A supervisor or manager should be available to employees whenever they are working.  In an emergency, employees may be assigned to work with a different supervisor or manager than in non-emergency periods. Supervisors should be available to make assignments, direct work, oversee the performance of a task, impose discipline, reschedule the employee, assign overtime, approve leave, and make determinations regarding health and safety issues.

15. Will background checks be required for new hires?

Yes.  Background checks will continue to be required for all security sensitive positions.

16. Will volunteers be working on campus during the emergency?

Depending on the nature of the emergency, there may be volunteers working on campus during and after the emergency.

17. Can volunteers work for money?

No, volunteers cannot be paid. The receipt of money for services performed would make the volunteer an employee.

18. Can we offer to pay our volunteers?

No, we cannot pay volunteers.  But a volunteer may apply for any vacancy for which they are qualified.

19. Who do I call with questions?

You should first talk to your supervisor, manager or department head.   Then you can call HR at 972-883-2221.  

20. Who do I call for information about the emergency?

In order to keep phone lines open, you are encouraged to visit the University web page or use local radio or TV stations for information about the emergency.  

Pay Questions:

21. When will employees get paid during the emergency?

Depending on the nature of the emergency, employees will most likely be paid on-time and according to the normal payroll schedule.  If the circumstance of the emergency requires that pay will be delayed, UT Dallas will make that announcement as soon as possible on the UTD web.

22. If pay is delayed, when will the next pay date be?

In the unlikely event that pay is delayed, every effort will be made by the University to pay employees as soon as possible. Watch the UTD web for updates on when pay will be processed.

23. Will staff be paid by paper check or direct deposit?

Depending on the nature of the emergency, employees will probably be paid just as they are paid now.  If you are on direct deposit now, you will be paid by direct deposit during an emergency.  If you receive a paper check now, you will receive a paper check during the emergency.  There may be times when direct deposits can be made before paper checks can be prepared and distributed.  For this reason, employees are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit.  See HR for more details.

24. How do we fill out time sheets if someone is working for a different or multiple departments?

Fill out your time sheet as you normally would, and give it to your supervisor.  If more than one supervisor is involved due to the emergency, the supervisor receiving the time sheet should attempt to check with the other supervisor(s) before signing the timesheet.  If this is not practical, that should be noted on the timesheet by the supervisor.  Contact HR if you have questions about competing timesheets.

Classification and Compensation Questions:

25. If employees are exempt from overtime, can they collect additional pay/compensation?

FLSA exempt employees are not eligible for FLSA overtime.   Although FLSA exempt employees are eligible for additional pay if they perform work that is outside their normal assignment for an extended period of time, during an emergency all FLSA exempt staff may be expected to perform some additional duties without any additional pay.

26. What will my duties and responsibilities be during the emergency? Are there classification issues around this?

In an emergency situation, your duties and responsibilities will be determined by your supervisor and departmental management.  You are expected to work in your department and perform the tasks necessary to restore the department to operating status. HR and department management will review special situations on a case-by-case basis to determine if a position reclassification is appropriate after the emergency situation is resolved.

27. Could I or my staff be reassigned?

Yes. Employees may be reassigned, depending upon the operational needs of the campus.

28. Will I receive more pay if I am assigned to a higher level job?

That depends on the scope of the work assigned and the duration of the assignment. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis considering factors including, but not limited to:

  • how much of the total higher level job did you perform (One or two responsibilities?  The entire job?)
  • how long did the university need you to perform the higher level job.

Employment Questions:

29. Can we hire temporary employees?

Department heads should work closely with Procurement Management to review the process for using the services of a temporary employment service and for a list of approved temp agencies.

30. How will we advertise that we are hiring?

HR will advertise all open positions as is the case during non-emergency periods.  View the HR web to see if any emergency procedures are in place.  

Benefits Questions:

31. Will I continue receiving benefits?

Yes. Your benefits will continue as long as your appointment makes you eligible to receive benefits.

32. How do I receive medical services?

Continue to use your medical plan as you do in non-emergency periods.

33. If I am out on leave without pay, how do I pay my benefits premium?

Employees on leave without pay are responsible for paying their benefit premiums directly to Financial Services.  Review the leave without pay policy for more information.  

34. What if I am receiving disability insurance benefits, or need to apply for disability income benefits?

If you are already out on short or long term disability insurance, your benefits will continue in accordance with your plan.  If you need to file a new disability insurance claim, contact HR for assistance.