Classified employees that are designated “essential” and are required to work on campus (or other University location) 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 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 pay for the hours worked.  You may also need to acknowledge Closure Leave if entered to have the hours worked paid at double time and a half. 

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, acknowledge the exception and save your changes. This will allow the additional pay to calculate correctly.

If you do not acknowledge the exception, HR will remove the time when auditing timesheets.

timesheet with essential time exception showing acknowledge box checked and save button

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, you will still need to acknowledge the essential time as described above.

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.