Payroll Guidance from Interim Human Resource Services Director Southard

Dear NIU Employees,

The following describes how we are paying hourly employees during the pay period from 4/1 to 4/15 and salaried employees during the pay period of 4/16 to 4/30.   As we stated in earlier communications as conditions are constantly evolving, we will continue to communicate payroll decisions every two weeks.

Thank you for your partnership as we all worked together very quickly to revise and process our time reporting for the last payroll cycle to accommodate the swift transition to remote work.

As our stay at home order continues through at least April 30, 2020 we are returning to a more normal process on a go forward basis beginning with pay cycles effective April 1, 2020.

Our biggest change from the last payroll is that we are now collecting sick and vacation time as part of our processing and will continue to do so going forward.

We will continue to be transparent and remain available to answer your questions.

Payroll Guidance

We are grateful for the clarification provided to public universities by the IBHE for the across-the board determination to pay state employees as verified by the deputy general counsel and ethics officer in the Office of Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. The guidance indicates that in this public health emergency an across-the-board determination to pay state employees does not implicate a violation of the ethics act.

Time Recording and Accrued Benefit Tracking

It remains important for employees to continue to record time and benefit usage to comply with our FLSA rules and regulations. Employees should continue to report their time to their supervisors (i.e. via email or other remote method), however, written or electronic signatures will not be required.

For salaried employees, please continue to report hours of sick and vacation usage in a manner that you are able while working remotely.  For hourly employees, please continue to report your hours worked, as well as sick and vacation usage in a manner that you are able while working remotely.

HRS has developed a process with department heads and timekeepers using our SharePoint/OneDrive tool to begin collecting leave usage for this pay cycle on a go forward basis.  These entries will be approved and submitted to Payroll. Therefore, for this payroll cycle we will be collecting sick and vacation time taken.

Because of the swift transition to remote work and unique challenges that employees faced at the end of March caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, Payroll will not be collecting, or processing leave usage from the last payroll cycle.  Employees and supervisors are asked to keep this information for your records.  Deductions to sick and vacation balances will begin on a go forward basis on April 1, 2020.

Changes from the Last Payroll

  • Capturing Vacation and Sick Leave Usage and FMLA time.
  • Leave balances will be adjusted by Payroll beginning in April on a go forward basis.
  • Extra-Help employees will be paid for hours worked as approved.

Here are the facts on how we are paying each employee category.

 Salaried Faculty, Supportive Professional Staff, and Civil Service Exempt Employees)

Salaried Faculty, Supportive Professional Staff, and Civil Service Exempt Employees will continue to receive their semi-monthly base pay and any additional pay authorized.

Sick, vacation, and FMLA usage for the month of April should be tracked and reported to supervisors.

Hourly Civil Service Employees

Since we will now be capturing and processing sick, vacation, and comp time used balances, employees will not be paid standard hours for this pay period.  Employees should complete their hourly time sheet as appropriate based on hours worked or available to work as well as sick, vacation, and comp time used and report this information to supervisors.

Employees that are available to work and that perform duties as assigned will be paid their normal schedule.  Employees are responsible for informing their supervisor of the preferred method of contact to receive work assignments (phone, email, or text messaging).

For those employees who choose not to work or who are unable to work for various reasons can continue to use accrued personal and family sick benefits, non-accumulative personal and family sick leave, as well as vacation to cover their pay for those hours.

Departments have the discretion to develop an operational process to determine availability of employees.

Extra-Help Employees

Extra-Help Employees will be paid for hours worked per FLSA guidelines.

Please refer to our HR website for up to date information. For payroll specific questions, please email payroll@niu.edu, and our team who is working remotely to serve you will do their very best to answer your question in a timely fashion. Stay well!

Audrey Southard
Human Resource Services (HRS)

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