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2.12 Staff Community Engagement Time
This policy addresses paid volunteer time for eligible university employees.
Origination Date: 11/16/2021
Applicability: Administrators, Classified Staff, and Service Professionals
Purpose and Summary
The purpose of the community engagement time benefit is to allow employees paid time away from work to provide volunteer services for a community service organization.
Regular employees are eligible to use community engagement time. This policy applies to Administrators, Classified Staff, and Service Professionals.
Student workers, graduate assistants, part time temporary faculty or part time temporary staff are considered variable hour employees and are not eligible for paid community engagement time.
Earning and Use of Community Engagement Time
Regular employees (full-time and part-time) are allowed 16 hours of paid time off for community engagement per calendar year. This policy applies to Administrators, Classified Staff, and Service Professionals.
Community engagement time must be taken in no less than 2 hour increments.
Community engagement time is not considered work time for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), or as it relates to overtime or compensatory time earned. Time off for external volunteer activities must occur during the employee’s standard work week.
Community engagement time is not considered work time for worker’s compensation purposes and any volunteer work done by an employee during this time off is at the employee’s own risk.
Use of community engagement time is restricted to assisting a community service organization. A community service organization is a non-profit, non-partisan community organization which is designated as an IRS Code 501(c)(3) agency, or a human service organization licensed or accredited to serve citizens with special needs including children, youth, and the elderly.
Political or religious activities do not qualify for community engagement leave. Lobbying/Political Activity policy can be found here. This does not exclude non-religious community outreach activities of religious organizations, such as distributing food for a local food bank.
Employees may not receive any compensation from the organization for which they are volunteering. They also will not be reimbursed for expenses associated with the activity by the University. Any volunteer work done by an employee during time off is at the employee’s own risk.
Unused Community Engagement Time
Unused community engagement time does not carry forward from one calendar year to the next and is not paid out upon separation from the university.
Requests and Approval of Community Engagement Time
The use of community engagement time must be approved by the supervisor. Employees should request community engagement time from their supervisor in advance of time taken with sufficient prior notification to avoid scheduling conflicts and allow for continuity of operations.
The use of Community Engagement time will be reported on the employee’s time sheet. When reporting time off for Community Engagement, every employee must add to the comment section:
- Name of organization I volunteered at:
- What I did:
Employees are required to use approved university procedures and systems to accurately request time off and record community engagement time taken.
Reports and Records
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that community engagement time taken off is requested, approved and recorded accurately and timely by their employees in the university request of absence system. All records of absence must be recorded not later than the pay period in which the time was used except for emergencies and in that case, recorded by the next pay period.