Timekeeping| Financial Management
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Timekeeping Guide (PDF; 38 KB) Updated 2/24/2010
It is the supervisor's responsibility to approve tours of duty in writing for his/her staff. The supervisor must review and approve the time and attendance information reported for each employee under his/her supervision. Each supervisor must rely on established systems of internal control to ensure accuracy and legal compliance of time and attendance documents he/she is approving. The supervisor is accountable for work time and absences of his/her employees and must determine reasonableness of work output for the time spent. Each supervisor has the authority to revoke, for cause, any alternative work schedule of his/her employees and return the employees to a regular 8-hour workday.
Approval of time and attendance documents must be based on knowledge from one or more of the following: personal observation, timekeeper's observation, checking data against other independent sources (such as starting and ending times of work against flexitour sign in/sign out records), reliance on other internal controls, or a combination of these. The following are specific supervisory responsibilities:
- Approve tours of duty and requests for leave to ensure that an office is covered during customer service hours.
- Ensure that timekeepers or alternates are designated in writing and trained in proper time and attendance reporting. Timekeepers should be NRCS employees; part-time is acceptable if no full-time employees are assigned to that office.
- Ensure time and attendance records (including supporting documentation such as Form OPM-71, Leave Applications) for each employee are properly prepared and submitted each pay period to the timekeeper.
- Ensure timekeepers and alternates are provided information necessary to verify the time and attendance documents (e.g., employee status, separations, retirements, transfer leave, travel plans, authorized overtime, approved tours of duty, leave approvals, etc.).
- Ensure that time and attendance exceptions are recorded daily on the employee’s WebTCAS. Staff work time must be closely monitored when supervisors approve employee self-maintenance of their own time reporting.
- Certify employee timesheets by 1 p.m. the Tuesday following the close of a pay period. Certification validates the fund charges and time recorded as correct.
- Keep the supervisor and timekeeper informed of time and attendance activity.
- Record time and attendance on a daily basis. Time worked and leave used should be shown in quarter hour increments. Clock hours must be shown for all overtime, leave used (if less than a full day), for all credit and comp hours earned, and for the tour of duty if an employee deviates from the established tour of duty.
- Correctly enter time and attendance data each pay period into WebTCAS showing clock hours as required.
- Submit timesheet to timekeeper for verification by 9am on the Monday following the end of the pay period. When the employee submits the timesheet, the employee is certifying that all entries are true and correct. If an employee is found guilty of submission of or causing or allowing the submission of falsely stated payroll documents or their supporting documents, the penalty may result in removal (FMP 751, S-2, DPM 751, Appendix A).
- Request and have leave approved in advance by the properly delegated authority, usually the supervisor. Only supervisors have the authority to approve leave as delegated per 360 GM Part 415, Leave.
An approved OPM-71 (formerly SF-71) is required for any leave in excess of three consecutive workdays.
Example #1: An employee takes annual leave 2 days before a holiday, and 2 days after the holiday. An approved OPM-71 is needed
Example #2: An employee takes Thursday afternoon, Friday, Monday and Tuesday off. Friday is a sick day. An approved OPM-71 is needed. The type of leave does not affect the number of consecutive days off.
- Sick Leave in excess of 3 consecutive work days needs an approved OPM-71. The supervisor may request additional medical documentation for sick leave in excess of 3 consecutive work days. If the employee is under a physician’s care, a work release from the attending physician is required on or before the day the employee returns to work. A work release is always required if an employee has been out for surgery, extended serious illness, or absence due to injury. Using annual leave for sick leave does not preclude having a work release from the attending physician.
- An approved comp/overtime request is needed before time is worked. Use FNM Overtime/Compensatory Time Request Form dated 01/06 to receive approval. The signed approval should be sent to your timekeeper.
- Military leave requires an OPM-71. A copy of military orders and a copy of the OPM-71 request for military leave must be sent to the Financial Management Section at the State Office.
- Maintain sign in/sign out sheet. If time is entered daily, the WebTCAS timesheet can be used as a sign in/sign out sheet.
- Employees working hours shown without charging the agency for the time—need to include the following statement in the “Employee Note to Timekeeper” section on WebTCAS timesheet: “Time worked in excess of regular work schedule was voluntary.”
- Must report "on time" as defined by the approved tour of duty.
- Examine timesheets submitted by employees verify that clock hours shown correspond with number of hours of work/leave reported. Notify employee if a correction needs to be done and ensure corrections are made.
- Notify supervisor immediately of any discrepancy in an approved time and attendance schedule or time reported by email with cc to employee.
- Verify timesheet for supervisor certification by 4:00 pm the Monday following the close of a pay period.
- Coordinate with alternate timekeeper and supervisor prior to the timekeeper's scheduled absences.
- Ensure an approved copy of any required documentation for overtime, compensatory time, or leave used (if required) has been received.
- Ensure supervisors certify timesheets by 1:00 pm the Tuesday following
the close of a pay period.
Student employee guidelines:
Part-time student employees should have a set tour of duty and are not allowed to adjust or vary from their set tour except during scheduled school holiday breaks. During the holiday breaks part-time student employees can work increased hours up to 8 hours per day with the pre-approval of their supervisor. An increase in hours worked will not require an official change of tour of duty as long as it is for no more than two consecutive pay periods. Students are still part-time employees for all intents and purposes and are not eligible to work compressed tour of duty or flexitour.
Holiday pay will be limited to the number of hours scheduled on their regular part-time tour of duty.
When part-time student employees switch to a full-time schedule for more than two consecutive pay periods (e.g. during summer break), supervisors should notify Human Resources in writing in advance of the change and submit a Request for Personnel Action (SF-52) with the written request. Conversely, when student employees switch back to a part-time schedule (e.g. when returning to school in the fall), supervisors should notify Human Resources of the change in writing, submit a Request for Personnel Action (SF-52), and a proposed tour of duty. Students changing from full-time flexitour to a part-time schedule must use all of their credit leave before changing to part-time.
Compressed schedule employee guidelines:
Compressed (5-4/9) is an optional tour of duty which consists of a fixed work schedule that has a basic biweekly work requirement of 9-hour days during 8 days of the biweekly pay period and 8 hours on a 9th day to complete the 80-hour biweekly work requirement. The 8-hour day can be any pre-scheduled workday in the pay period and must cover the core hours. Employees select a starting time each day that does not vary. The working hours in each day in the basic workweek are the same, with the exception of the 9th day. The non-workday must be scheduled in the same pay period as the nine workdays. Employees are not eligible to earn credit hours. Changes in the compressed work schedule may be requested up to four times per year.
Compress schedule employees can not "flex" work start or end times and may not expand the lunch period without charging to leave.
Compressed schedule (5-4/9) employees may only change their non-workday (NWD) due to official necessity. This must be approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor and noted on timesheet in WebTCAS.
When travel, detail, training, or any portion of training includes a scheduled non-workday, employees on a compressed tour of duty should:
- Reschedule the non-workday during the same pay period; OR
- Reschedule the tour of duty to a standard 8 hours per day for the pay period. (Flexitour is not allowed)
Example #1: An employee’s scheduled for a week long training that includes their NWD. The employee should change schedule to 8 hour day work week for this 2-week pay period. *Note: Employee does not need to fill out a tour schedule change, because this is only a temporary change for one pay period. Employee should notate reason for change on timesheet.
Example #2: An employee has a one day meeting that falls on his/her NWD. The employee should change NWD to another day in the same pay period. (This change must be approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor.) Employee should notate reason for change on timesheet.
If training goes beyond an 8 hour day, then the employee may request Comp Time / Overtime.
Flexitour schedule employee guidelines:
Flexitour is an optional tour of duty which consists of a basic 8-hour day. The core hours (the hours when an employee must either be in work or leave status) are subject to the time band of 9:00am to 3:00pm. An employee may begin their 8 hour tour of duty anytime between 6:30am and 9:00am, and with a half-hour lunch break, and leave work 8½ hours after their starting time. Flexitour cannot be used as a substitute for other tours of duty (i.e., compressed, four 10-hour days).
Supervisors may authorize flexitour for employees under their supervision who request such work schedule. District Conservationists must communicate with local district officials prior to authorizing flexitour in their offices. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that offices are staffed to provide service to our customers during the required hours of 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Offices must never be closed during these hours due to an employee's work schedule.
A fundamental requirement of timekeeping is to record clock hours of an employee's tour of duty. Supervisors should refer to General Manual 250, Part 404, Subpart D, Part 404.35, Timekeeping for Flexitour Work Schedule that can be linked to thru WebTCAS. One of the approved methods for recording and approving time and attendance for flexitour tours of duty should be selected. With concurrence of their supervisor, employees may also be allowed to sign in/sign out by posting clock hours directly to an AD–320, weekly schedule, or to their Web TCAS timesheet under Actual/Extra Clock Hours.
Employees on flexitour are required to establish an estimated daily arrival time. Any variation by more than one half hour either before or after this indicated arrival time must be approved by the supervisor in advance.
Employees may vary their starting and ending time as long as they are at work during the core time. Starting and ending times should be recorded as actually worked in five minute increments.
Example: An employee who has a half-hour lunch break can one day work a schedule of 7:00am to 3:30pm, the next day work from 7:30am to 4:00pm and on the following day work from 7:05am to 3:35pm.
With supervisor approval, employees on the flexitour schedule may expand their lunch period within the established lunch band and make up the time at the end of the day without charge to leave. Documentation needs to be provided as given in next paragraph.
Example: An employee takes an extra half hour at lunch, and then stays a half hour beyond their tour of duty to make up the time gone at lunch. The employee needs their supervisor’s approval, and will note in Employees comments, “On (give day and date), extra time (give time) taken at lunch and made up at the end of day with supervisor’s approval.” Employee will show times for lunch and end of day in Actual/Extra Clock Hours.
With supervisory approval, employees can earn credit hours, up to a maximum of 2 hours per day. Credit hours can only be earned Monday through Friday 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. No more than 24 credit hours can be carried forward from one pay period to another.
Upon transferring out of the agency, or when changing to a compressed or traditional work schedule; credit leave should be at a zero balance. Credit leave should be at a zero balance for student trainees changing from a full time schedule to a part time schedule.
Employees can adjust their starting and ending time while on travel to enable them to earn credit hours. This time must not exceed the daily limit on the number of non-overtime hours, (i.e., 10). Travel must occur on a regularly scheduled work day Monday through Friday.
While in official travel status, an employee may not earn credit hours for travel time (driving or riding) beyond their tour of duty. Official travel time is not considered hours of work for credit leave; however, compensatory travel time may be applicable.
NRCS guidance states that while in per diem status, credit leave generally may not be earned for the time spent traveling to or from a temporary duty point. The daily work schedule may be varied so that travel occurs during the basic 8-hour workday. An employee working at various sites in and around the official duty station may earn credit hours by being in one day transit.
Example: An employee reported to the office at 7:00 am and at 7:30, departed for the first site. After working at several sites during the day the employee returned to the office arriving at 5:00 pm. For that day the 8 hour flexitour tour of duty was 7:00 am to 3:30 pm, and one and one-half credit hours were earned from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm.
Conversely, in the above example, the employee could have decided to earn (based on the assigned workload for that day) one and one-half credit hours at the beginning of the workday from 7:00 am to 8:30 am and the 8-hour flexitour tour of duty would have been 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
While in training, employees may earn credit leave between the hours of 6:00 am and 6:00 pm if actual class time exceeds their 8-hour tour of duty; however, employees must take into consideration any additional time allowed for lunch when recording their work hours.
All full time employees guidelines:
For full-time, part-time, and intermittent tours of duty, 8 hours of work per day is considered a work day for the basic workweek. A compressed schedule (5-4/9) is available to full time employees only.
Four ten-hour days are not an approved work schedule for our agency. Flexitour employees cannot flex their tour of duty to work a compressed four ten-hour day.
Part-time and intermittent employees may not exceed 8 hours of work per day.
Employees should update timesheets and clock hours daily. When a timesheet is submitted to the timekeeper, the employee is certifying that all time and clock hours shown on the timesheet are true and correct. Employees are reminded that if an employee is found guilty of submission of or causing or allowing the submission of falsely stated payroll documents or their supporting documents, the penalty may result in removal (FMP 751, S-2, DPM 751, Appendix A).
Time must be entered absolutely no later than 9am on Monday following the end of the pay period. However, clock hours should not be entered and submitted before the work is performed.
Employees should have a tour schedule on file with their timekeeper showing the tour of duty and hours to be worked. This schedule should be signed and dated by both the supervisor and the employee. Changes from one tour of duty to another should be made in writing at least one full pay period in advance. Employees changing from a flexitour must use all of their credit leave before changing tours. The tour schedule form can be accessed on the Oklahoma homepage under Oklahoma FNM forms.
A full time employee is eligible to use up to 104 hours of their accrued sick leave per leave year for family care under the Federal Employees Family Friendly Leave Act (FEFFLA). After maximum FEFFLA is used, employee must charge time to annual or credit leave. Questions concerning the use of FEFFLA can be referred to Human Resources.
Employees on flexitour who work more than 8 hours in a day are entitled to earn credit hours, up to a maximum of 2 hours per day. Credit hours can only be earned on Monday through Friday. An employee may not be permitted to earn credit hours for work that begins before 6:00 am or after 6:00 pm, without prior approval from the State Conservationist. Employees on 5-4/9 compressed work schedule cannot earn credit hours.
The lunch core hours for all employees begin at 11am and end at 2pm. NRCS policy on scheduled lunch period breaks for all employees must be for a minimum of thirty (30) minutes, and a maximum of one hour. All full time employees must take a lunch break during the lunch band. When a part time employee is in pay status more than 6 hours, a lunch break must be taken during the lunch band. Pay status includes paid leave time.
Example: An employee arrives at 7 and wants to leave at lunch for the rest of the day. The employee could work until 1:30pm (lunch break from 1:30pm -2pm) resulting in 6.5 hours of work and 1.5 hours (2pm to 3:30pm) of leave..
Breaks are included with the basic workday. An employee may not expand a regularly scheduled lunch period by taking a 15 minute break prior to lunch or after lunch. An employee may not depart the work place 15 minutes before the beginning of a leave period or the end of a workday if he/she refrains from taking a scheduled 15 minute rest break. Also an employee may not make up for the late arrival by refraining from taking a scheduled 15 minute rest break.
Overtime and Compensatory Time guidelines:
Overtime and compensatory time should be pre-approved if at all possible. In the event that unexpected or unplanned compensable work happens outside the employee’s normal work schedule, the employee should submit a request for post-approval within one working day after working compensable time to their supervisors. All requests for post-approval must be completed, approved, and sent to the employee's timekeeper before the applicable pay period T&A is electronically submitted. Employees should note on their T&A the reason for earning overtime or comp time. Compensatory time should be used before annual leave or credit leave used, provided that use of compensatory time does not cause the loss of accrued annual or credit leave.
Compensable time for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempt employees is defined as all work performed by an employee outside the basic workweek and/or compressed work schedule that is officially ordered or approved, or actively induced by a supervisory official who has been specifically delegated the authority to do so. For FLSA non-exempt employees, all time spent by an employee performing an activity for the benefit of and under the control or direction of an agency is compensable, to include paid non-work time (e.g. paid leave, holidays, compensatory time and excused absences). There are two basic types of compensation: overtime pay at 1½ times hourly rate of pay; and, compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay.
Overtime compensation for exempt employees is limited to 1½ times the hourly rate of pay for a GS 10 step 1 with total compensation for the pay period not to exceed the biweekly rate of pay for a GS 15 step 10. Compensatory time for exempt employees is also capped off at the biweekly rate of pay for a GS 15 step 10.
In most instances, work outside normal work schedule hours will not be permitted for non-exempt employees without prior approval. Compensable time for exempt employees will be very limited. All work outside of normal work schedules should be documented. No “informal” comp time will be allowed.
Exempt employees working outside their work schedule will be considered voluntary unless prior approval is obtained, or specifically directed to work by their supervisor.
Examples of potential compensable time include: night meetings (directly related to successful execution of their duties), EWP, and critical workload completion, where the employee is directed to complete the assignment in writing.
Supervisors desiring non-exempt employees to attend meetings outside work hours must submit written justification and receive approval in advance. Examples could include meeting a soil conservationist’s training needs, substituting for absent employee, or report on critical agency business that requires the employee’s presence.
In the event that unexpected or unplanned compensable work happens outside the employee’s normal work schedule, a request for post-approval will be completed, approved, and sent to the employee's timekeeper before the applicable pay period T&A is electronically submitted.
Total work time, including compensable time, may not exceed 12 hours per day. The only exception is pre-approved overtime for construction inspectors who must be present when the contractor is working. In that case, the total work time will be limited to 14 hours per day.
Employees needing to request paid overtime or compensatory time should use the memo format found on the Oklahoma homepage under FNM forms. Pre-approval requests should be submitted allowing adequate time for approval through administrative channels.
Employees are responsible for submitting requests for post-approval within one working day after working compensable time to their supervisors for concurrence. Supervisors will forward comp time requests to the appropriate State Staff supervisor for review and approval.
All requests for paid overtime will be sent to the State Conservationist for approval. All original approved OT/Comp time requests should be sent to Financial Management and a copy sent to the electronic timekeeper to be retained with the employee’s T & A.
Form OK-Pers-2 may be used by supervisors to request overtime for watershed and EWP work. The original of this form is retained by FNM and a copy is sent to the electronic timekeeper. Supervisors submitting OK-Pers-2 should ensure FLSA non-exempt employees wanting to earn compensatory time in lieu of overtime make a written request.
District Conservationists and RC&D coordinators have approval for compensatory time for attendance at district board or RC&D council meetings that fall outside their regular tour of duty. Employees engaged in this activity will not be required to submit requests for supervisory approval. The weekly schedule will be documented appropriately to support these time charges.
Every employee/supervisor will be responsible for resolving all Title 5/FLSA work hours within the pay period the work is performed. General approvals of overtime or comp time are disallowed. Each instance of a non exempt or exempt employee working outside their prescribed hours will be processed specific to each individual and pay period. Supervisors are to assist employees who accumulate comp time to ensure that they use
the comp time within 26 pay periods after it is earned. NRCS policy discourages accumulations in excess of 40 hours. Supervisors are to work with employees to actively manage accumulations of comp time.
To assist employees and supervisors in determining if and what type of overtime is appropriate; please refer to the overtime determination chart under the Financial Management link on the Oklahoma employee intranet homepage under FNM forms.
The following supervisors have the authority to approve compensation for work outside normal tours of duty (other than district board or RC&D council meetings).
COMPENSATORY TIME ONLY
Assistant State Conservationist (Field Operations)
Assistant State Conservationist (Operations)
Assistant State Conservationist (Programs)
Assistant State Conservationist (Outreach/Civil Rights)
Assistant State Conservationist (Environmental Resources/Information Technology)
State Conservation Engineer
State Soil Scientist
State Administrative Officer
State Resource Conservationist
Request and use of comp time and overtime will be closely monitored for budgetary purposes and to ensure fairness to all employees.
Questions or interpretations of overtime/compensatory time policy should be directed through supervisory channels to
Linda Garabedian or
Babette Goodwin. Timekeeping questions should be directed to