Skip to main content

Memo - Extension Holiday Leave

To:

County Extension Personnel

From:

Bryan Arnell

cc:

Ken White; Brian Higginbotham; Diane Reese; Margie Memmott; Justen Smith; Kevin Kesler

Date:

November 22, 2016

Re:

Holiday Leave

There has been a long standing tradition in many county offices that Extension personnel follow the County holiday calendar rather than the USU holiday calendar.  We certainly understand and are sympathetic to why this tradition is in place.  However, due to FLSA labor laws, new rules from the Department of Labor, and USU policy; we must now require all USU employees to follow the USU holiday calendar effective December 1, 2016.  As you communicate this requirement to your staff, county commissioners, and constituents, please be mindful of the following:

  • First, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that all non-exempt employees track and record their time.  USU has recently adopted MyTime as the system to track time.  MyTime only recognizes USU holidays. 
  • Second, USU employees (including those whose are funded by the County) must comply with USU policies, including policy 353 which states “In compliance with the Utah State Board of Regents, Utah State University has designated specific days to be observed as University holidays. Budgeted employees with appointments of 50% time or greater are eligible for 12 paid holidays each year.  The specific dates of holidays for each year will be established by the University Calendar Committee.” 
  • Third, the approved USU holiday calendar for the next 4 years is posted at: usu.edu/calendar/holidays/

If a County recognizes a holiday that USU does not observe, then USU employees have several options.  First, a USU employee can choose to take annual leave (see policy 345).  Second, a USU employee can still work at the office or, if the office is locked, work from an alternative location. Third, a non-exempt employee can be allowed to accrue comp time in advance and then use that comp time during the County recognized holiday.  This option is especially important for those counties that lock their building.  Fortunately, MyTime automatically tracks earned comp time so it is easy to see how much has accrued.  All of these options require the supervisor and non-exempt employee to communicate and coordinate ahead of time.

There may be a holiday that USU observes but counties do not (e.g., day after Thanksgiving). If a County feels it’s imperative the Extension office stays open, a USU non-exempt employee can be asked to work. See USU policy 353 “Holidays with Pay”.  Should this happen, the employee will receive comp time that will be tracked in MyTime. That comp time can then be used as leave for another day.  Again, this will require the supervisor and non-exempt employee to communicate and coordinate ahead of time.

Fortunately, most County and USU holidays will align.  The few exceptions can be identified well in advance by comparing the County and USU holiday schedules.  To mitigate any potential political problems, Vice President White would like to have the County Directors personally ensure plans are in place for any holiday scheduling conflicts. Thank you for helping us stay compliant with USU policy and Federal Laws.

###

Addional Training Available. View Training