Oregon State University

How do I approve or change employee Essential Time?

Classified employees that are designated “essential” and are required to work during a University closure record those hours in EmpCenter using the Essential Time pay code.  If you are not sure if your employee should be designated as an essential employee, please contact your Business Center HR team for assistance.

When reviewing/approving timesheets at the end of the pay period, the supervisor should determine if the Essential Time entered is appropriate and if the employee is eligible for the additional ½ time pay for the hours worked.

PLEASE NOTE: Per the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), it is the employers’ responsibility to track hours worked and ensure that employees are paid correctly.  The supervisor is taking on the role of employer when they review and approve the timesheets.  If an employee is required to work during a closure and didn’t enter Essential time correctly, the supervisor will be responsible for adding it to the employee’s timesheet for them.

How Will I Know If the Employee Entered Essential Time?

When an employee adds Essential Time to their timesheet, a red-level exception is generated.  You will see it listed in the Exceptions box on the Supervisor Dashboard and on the employee timesheet – which can be viewed by either using the Edit Employee Time link or the Approve Timesheets link.

Supervisor Dashboard:

supervisor dashboard showing essential time exception in exceptions box

Manager Time Entry (access by clicking on Edit Employee Time from the Supervisor Dashboard):

employee timesheet on manger time entry page showing essential time entered

Approve Timesheets (access by clicking on Approve Timesheets from the Supervisor Dashboard):

Click on the employee’s row to open the timesheet.

employee timesheet on approve timesheets page showing essential time

Approving Essential Hours

If the Essential Time entered is appropriate and the employee is eligible for the additional pay, simply approve the timesheet with the red-level exception when you complete your regular approval process for timesheets. 

Your approval of the timesheet indicates to the business center that the time entered is correct.  The business center will ensure the employee is paid appropriately.

timesheet with essential time approved indicating hours entered are correct

Removing/Changing Essential Hours

If the employee is not eligible for Essential Time – or not eligible for all of the hours they indicated were Essential Time – simply change the number of hours in the Hours column and add comments in the Comments column or, for more detail, the Timesheet Comments tab:

hours column highlighted and timesheet comments tab shown

Save your changes – if you zeroed out the Essential Time, the red level error will be cleared from the timesheet.  If you changed the number of hours, the business center will review the time once you have approved the timesheet:

essential hours changed and comments entered on the timesheet comments tab

Note: This step can be completed from the Edit Employee Time page, the Approve Timesheets page (after clicking on the employee’s row to open the timesheet) or the Supervisor Dashboard by clicking on the exception in the Exceptions box.

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