Payroll Guidance from Interim Chief Human Resource Officer Vernese Edghill-Walden

Dear Unit and Department Leaders,

As previously communicated, we are sharing payroll guidance every two weeks.  However, after this notification, we will only share guidance when there are changes to current processing.  This notification is to share information regarding the 8/16 to 8/31 hourly payroll and the 9/1 to 9/15 salaried payroll.

There is one significant change to the hourly summaries that is being implemented with this payroll cycle related to the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  This Act allows for emergency sick leave and extended FMLA for reasons related to COVID-19.  We have developed a fact sheet with additional information specific to how NIU will comply with the Act.

 

Hourly employees that are using Family First emergency sick leave should report regular hours on their timesheet and indicate “COVID-19 sick leave” in the comments section.  On the hourly summary, this time should also be reported as regular hours.

Hourly employees that are using Family First extended FMLA should report family sick leave on their timesheet and indicate “COVID-19 FMLA” in the comments section.  The FMLA hours should also be tracked in the FMLA section of the timesheet.  On the hourly summary, this time should be reported in the NEW FMLA COVID-19 column and NOT under family sick leave.  The reason for this difference is because employees are paid at 67% of base pay when using this benefit.  Therefore, it is important that this time be recorded separately on the summary to clearly identify this time.

Salaried employees are also eligible for these benefits.  However, because time tracking is done a month in arrears for salaried employees we will utilize their leave application for payroll processing to ensure they are paid accurately in a timely manner.  As a result, salaried employees should not report COVID-19 sick leave or FMLA on their benefit usage and this time does not need to be reported on the salaried benefit usage summaries.

Reminder of the continued importance of record keeping of sick and vacation leave usage:

 

Please continue to do your best to collect the information on sick and vacation usage from your employees via email, scan or current timekeeping methods.  It is not necessary to print and collect signatures at this time.   With the exceptions of those on a leave, HRS will not be collecting these records while employees are working remotely at this time. When we return to operations on campus, HRS will collect that information per normal procedures for recordkeeping purposes

Reminder on FMLA reporting and timesheets/benefit usage forms for employees on leave:

Any FMLA time reported by employees on the hourly timesheets or salaried benefit usage forms should be indicated in the FMLA column on the summaries.  Additionally, timesheets and benefit usage forms for all employees on leave (FMLA, NIU Illness, Family First, and Military) should be emailed to Payroll@niu.edu by the due date for the hourly summaries for hourly employees and within 5 business days of the last day of the month for salaried employees.

Reminder on Salaried Benefit Usage summaries:

These summaries can be reviewed at any time after they have been shared prior to the deadline indicated.  Also, please be sure that even if there is no usage to report for your department, that someone is accessing and reviewing the spreadsheet prior to the deadline.

Reminder of upcoming deadlines:

  • The link to the 8/16 to 8/31 Hourly summaries will be emailed on 8/28 and the summaries will be due by 4:30 p.m. on 9/1.
  • The link to the 8/1 to 8/31 Salaried Benefit Usage summaries will be emailed on 8/28 and the summaries will be due by 4:30 p.m. on 9/16.

Please direct any questions to Payroll@niu.edu.

Thank you for your service to the NIU community.

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