Employee and Labor Relations > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Counseling Session?

A counseling session is a discussion between a supervisor and an employee about those aspects of an employee's performance or conduct where improvement is needed. More information >

What is Disciplinary Action?

Disciplinary action is the progressive use of a penalty to induce the desired change in an employee's work performance or conduct. More information >

Time and Attendance

What is a scheduled absence?

Absences requested and approved prior to the end of an employee's last previous work shift.

What is scheduled sick time?

A scheduled sick day is when an employee requests time off in advance for a doctor's visit or medical procedure for him/herself or a family member. Absences due to personal or family illness that is not requested and approved in advance, or are called in the same day of the absence are considered unscheduled.

What is unscheduled sick leave?

Absences not requested and approved prior to the end of an employee's last previous work shift even if the call-in notification and absence is subsequently approved or authorized and charged to leave credits. Unscheduled absences must be documented on the timesheet.

What is an unauthorized absence?

There are several reasons for an absence to be deemed unauthorized.

  • A No Call/No Show is an unauthorized absence wherein an employee fails to call the work site to state that he/she will not be reporting to work.
  • An employee who calls in later than the required notice period for his/her work unit will be placed on unauthorized leave for that day's absence. Most employees are required to call in within two hours of the start of the work day. Shift or workers who must be replaced when absent are required to call in one (CA's or LPN's) or two (RN's) hours prior to the start of their shift.
  • An employee who is on Medical/Documentation Restriction who returns to duty and fails to provide documentation on the day he/she returns to duty will have the period of undocumented absence be considered unauthorized.
  • An employee who has been absent five or more consecutive days due to personal or family illness who returns to duty without medical documentation will have the entire period of absence deemed unauthorized.

How does the employee or supervisor document a No Call/No Show?

When an employee fails to call in an absence, that absence is documented on the time sheet in the "LT/UA" or "Remarks" column as NC/NS. The employee will be placed on the lost time for that days absence.

What is Personal Leave?

Personal leave is intended to provide employees with time off without loss of pay to attend to matters of personal business and religious observance. Personal leave credits are to be used at a time convenient to, and approved in advance by the supervisor. The supervisor may request evidence of the necessity of time off charged to personal leave credits, and except in the event of an emergency, must approve use in advance. Although prior approval of the supervisor is required before an employee may charge an absence from duty to personal leave credits, such approval may be granted subsequent to (or on the day of) the absence so long as the supervisor is satisfied that the absence was unexpected and unavoidable.

An employee should not be required to charge vacation credits when he/she has a legitimate reason for using personal leave. A supervisor shall not require an employee to give a reasonfor requesting use of personal leave when the employee has submitted the request in advance and his/her absence will not interfere with the proper conduct of departmental functions and operational needs. However, an employee seeking special consideration or reconsideration of a denial to use personal leave is obligated to provide information sufficient to explain the request.

I have an employee who has exhausted all their sick leave accruals, can I place them on lost time?

Unless an employee is on Medical/Documentation Restriction, the employee may not be placed on lost time. The Collective Bargaining Agreements and Department of Civil Service Time and Attendance rules allow for an employee to charge annual time, personal leave, holiday and compensatory time when their sick leave is exhausted. However, when the employee completes his/her timesheet, the use of other leave credits for sick absences must be noted that the absence is due to illness and the use of other leave credits was authorized.

Can I request medical documentation of a sick absence?

Generally, there are two reasons that an employee would need to provide medical documentation for a personal or family sick absence:

  1. If the employee is absent for five or more consecutive work days.
  2. If the employee is on Medical/Documentation Restriction, the employee is required to bring proof of illness on the day when they return to work. If the employee does not provide acceptable documentation, the employee will not be allowed to use leave credits and will be placed on lost time.

How is tardiness documented on a timesheet?

PEF, CSEA, NYSCOPBA, Council 82 employees enter the time the employee reported for duty and charge appropriate leave credits in 0.25 hour intervals for tardiness of five (5) minutes or more, i.e., 8 minutes late = 0.25 hour, 21 minutes late = 0.5 hour. When documenting the hours worked, write "late" or "tardy" on the timesheet.

UUP employees filling out a monthly timesheet should document the date they were late, the minimum charge for lateness is 0.25 of a day.

If I notice an error on the timesheet, can I change the employee's timesheet?

Supervisors should discuss the error with the employee and have him/her correct the error prior to affixing their signature on the supervisory signature line and submitting the timesheet to Timekeeping/Time & Attendance Unit. If the employee refuses to amend the timesheet or the employee is unavailable to make the change, and the timesheet must be submitted to Timekeeping/Time & Attendance Unit, make the change on the timesheet, initial the change, sign the timesheet and give the employee his/her copy.