Time and Attendance Policy


The College has developed the following policy to assist employees and supervisors with all matters related to the recording of time worked and tracking of attendance. Use of the word policy does not imply that this is an administrative rule that requires separate board approval but merely that these provisions assist in interpreting the governing rules and procedures of the college, including the board-approved Salary Schedule. For these purposes, time is considered the actual physical hours worked by a non-exempt employee. Non-exempt employees are considered those employees who are eligible for overtime. The recording of time includes when these employees begin work, end work, take meal breaks, and take any other time away from work (actual time in/out). Pay is based on both time and attendance. Attendance is defined as being at work at the scheduled time; therefore, attendance tracking involves days or portions of days worked along with the corresponding leave for any time missed.

It is the College's intent that non-exempt employees will be appropriately compensated pursuant to all applicable laws and regulations. This compensation is accomplished through maintaining timely, complete, verifiable and accurate records of actual physical time worked.

It is the responsibility of every employee and every supervisor to familiarize themselves with these policies and to participate in training. All employees must use the same time recording system (currently an electronic timesheet); however, the College allows each area flexibility regarding many aspects of the policy.

Work Schedules

The College work week is measured from Sunday–Saturday. Most full time employees of the College have a 40-hour weekly work period unless otherwise specifically noted. Due to the diversity of job responsibilities, the variety of work schedules, and the need to provide the highest quality of service to students, the College has many different work schedules, although the general hours of operation for the college are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Each department will establish standard employee work schedules and to the extent possible will identify, well in advance of the need, any required modifications of the work week. Such advance planning facilitates good communication and minimizes misunderstandings between for an extended-hour work week during peak times in order to provide service to students or to meet operational deadlines, an annual modified schedule could be developed.

Standard Work Schedule

The standard schedule may consist of any number of days and hours within the Sunday- Saturday work week that equal 40 hours of actual work that ensures efficient operation of the college and provides optimum service to students. Specific hours of operation are determined by the department and are justified based on how well the established schedule provides service or ensures efficient operations. Although work schedules should not be based on the needs of an individual employee, supervisors are encouraged to consider employee needs within the established schedule and to offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting effective balance between an employee’s work and personal commitment resulting in a positive and productive work environment.

Alternate Work Schedule

While a standard employee work schedule is established in each area, it may be subject to minor weekly operational changes known as an Alternate Work Schedule. Any employee seeking these minor weekly changes should provide as much advance notice as possible to the area’s supervisor. Supervisors should utilize an alternate work schedule to afford maximum service to students and to the college without exceeding the standard 40-hour work week. They should not approve alternate work schedules that circumvent the normal use of accrued leave for absences from the work. Alternate schedules can only occur in the same Sunday-Saturday work week.

Modified Work Schedule

Modified employee work schedules for certain peak times and events may also be established. Schedules that represent significant changes from the standard employee work schedule require that, out of respect to the impacted employees, supervisors notify these employees at least ten (10) business days in advance.

Sworn Law Enforcement Work Schedule

Non-exempt sworn law enforcement personnel of the Santa Fe College Police Department have schedules based on an 80-hour two-week period running consecutively from Sunday through Saturday. In consideration of these employees, the Police Department will provide a full month’s notice (two consecutive 80 hour work periods) or at least ten (10) business days advance notice whenever possible for planned events, expected peak times, schedule changes and holiday closures. However, given the emergency nature of their positions and the requirements for continuity in security, this advance warning may not always be possible.

Work Scheduled During College Holidays
Any work to be conducted when the college is closed requires advance approval from the appropriate Vice President or General Counsel. (See Holiday Pay in the OVERTIME section for compensation information.)

Additional College-Related Activities

Non-exempt employees are encouraged to participate in college-endorsed activities and shared governance to the fullest extent possible. When these endorsed college-related activities occur during work hours, they are generally considered compensatory time. Advance supervisory approval is nevertheless required. Supervisors reserve the right to deny permission to attend a college-endorsed event when attendance conflicts with service to students or effective college operations. Supervisors, however, are encouraged to allow employees to participate in these activities and should make a concerted effort to afford these opportunities.

Examples of endorsed events include, but are not limited to, AFC and Career Service Council meetings, socials and other projects; specific sporting events; student life events; committee work; Convocation; Share Wear; and Career Service Tribute, picnics, wellness events, and professional development opportunities. Likewise, leadership positions within the college, including committee work, Career Service Council officer/representative positions, AFC officer/representative positions, etc., require advance supervisor approval, as they are considered compensable duties and require a time commitment that cannot conflict with service to students or effective college operations.

Activities that are college-related but are not directly related to the non-exempt employee’s primary job duties are considered voluntary and therefore are not compensable when participation is at the sole discretion of the non-exempt employee and the activity occurs outside of the employee’s normal work hours. Supervisory approval is not required because these activities occur outside of the employee’s work hours. Examples include, but are not limited to, the Spring Arts Festival, Graduation, Fine Arts performances, the Relay for Life, March of Dimes, AFC and Career Service Council mixers, socials, and community projects. Appropriate waivers should be signed by employees prior to volunteering. Travel associated with college-endorsed activities is subject to advance supervisory approval.

Compensatory time must be tracked in accordance with the Travel Guide. A time record of all work-related time, including sponsored meals that are not optional, must be included along with the actual start and end time in hours and minutes of each activity. Free time, rest periods, and unsponsored meal breaks are not compensable time. Travel time is compensable. Please see the Travel Manual for specific guidelines and directions.

Rest Periods and Meal Breaks

Although not required by law, the College recognizes that employees working five or more consecutive hours should have breaks. The meal break length must be at least 30 minutes and no more than 60 minutes and is based on the work schedule that must equal 40 hours per work week. Rest periods and meal breaks are also subject to the ability to maintain continuity of services during the employee’s absence and as such they are not guaranteed. There are two types of breaks: rest periods and meal breaks.

Rest Periods (15 minutes)

  • Employees who work at least four (4) consecutive hours or greater may be afforded the opportunity to take a 15 minute rest period during their work day.
  • Employees who work eight (8) or more consecutive hours may be afforded the
  • opportunity to take two 15 minute rest periods during their work day. They may receive one rest period in the first half of the schedule and one in the second half of the schedule.
  • A rest period is considered compensable time and therefore does not need to be documented on the time record. Additionally, as breaks are a part of normal work time, employees on break are not permitted to leave the assigned work property but may leave their designated work location.
  • Rest periods are encouraged but are not guaranteed, as they cannot interfere with the operation of the college or negatively impact service. Therefore breaks must be coordinated accordingly and are subject to supervisor approval and may by subject to a schedule.
  • Rest periods cannot be used to offset late arrival or early departure.
  • Rest periods may not be combined or used to extend meal breaks.

Meal Breaks (30-60 minutes)

  • Employees of the college who are working five (5) or more consecutive hours should be scheduled for a meal break of at least 30 minutes.
  • It is expected that employees take some kind of meal break.
  • The length of the meal break is based on the employee’s weekly work schedule that must total a minimum of 40 hours and may vary in length with 30 minutes
  • being the minimum break and 60 minutes being the maximum break.
  • Meal breaks are scheduled by the supervisor and should not interfere with service to students and the college.
  • Meal breaks are considered unpaid time and therefore non-exempt employees must document on the time record the actual time out and in.
  • Employees are not required to remain on campus during their unpaid meal break.
  • Because the meal break is not compensable time it should be free of interruption and therefore non-exempt employees should take their meal break in locations where they cannot be easily interrupted.
  • If the non-exempt employee is interrupted to perform work during a scheduled meal break, they will be paid for the entire scheduled meal break.
  • Non-exempt employees must report a missed meal break to the department supervisor at the time of occurrence.
  • Meal break total time is rounded to the nearest quarter hour, and it is expected that they will be at least 30 minutes or more.
  • Rest periods may not be combined or used to extend meal breaks.


Any time missed from the employee’s scheduled work day must be approved by the supervisor subject to College Rule 3.20. Vacation and compensatory leave require advance supervisory approval. Sick and personal leave do not require advance approval and leave forms should be submitted upon the employee’s return to work or, when possible, in advance of the leave. Department protocol for requesting leave should be followed, including timely and daily notification of unscheduled absences.

To ensure continuity of operations and to afford reasonable planning time for employees, departments should establish processes for the request and approval of leave and for the notification of unscheduled leave like sick leave. It is reasonable to expect that planned leave for extended periods of a week or more should be requested at least a month in advance and smaller increments of leave should be requested at least three days in advance when possible. The supervisor’s response to requests for leave should be timely and should occur within one week of requests for extended leave and within one day for other requests when possible. Each department is encouraged to develop written, easily accessible, guidelines for the notification of unscheduled leave and for requesting and approving planned leave to minimize confusion and misunderstandings. These written guidelines must be submitted to HR for review, and must acknowledge the following:

  • Vacation and compensatory leave requires advance supervisory approval.
  • Personal leave does not require advance supervisory approval.
  • Sick leave does not require advance supervisory approval. However, sick leave of 3 or more consecutive days or a pattern of repeated sick leave use may require appropriate medical documentation, after consultation with Human Resources, when requested.
  • Sick leave of 10 or more consecutive days requires FMLA approval. (See HR Benefits for more information on FMLA.)
  • Accrued compensatory leave must be exhausted prior to using vacation leave.
  • Compensatory leave must be used prior to the end of the fiscal year when
  • such leave has not been otherwise utilized.
  • All leave requests must be submitted in increments no smaller than the
  • quarter hour or fifteen (15) minutes.
  • Employees must have sufficient accrued leave balances at the time of the
  • request to cover the amount of leave being requested.
  • Unpaid leave is not an approved type of leave and is subject to disciplinary
  • action.

Time Record Verification

While most full time employees are scheduled for 40 hours of work weekly, there is great variety in the types of jobs and schedules. Therefore, accurate time records are crucial to ensure that non-exempt employees are compensated appropriately. The following information is provided to assist supervisors and employees in the accurate completion of time records. The official college time record is the sole document used to record employee time and attendance. Currently, timesheets serve the purpose of documenting the hours worked and the leave time used by non-exempt college employees. Non-exempt employees must provide accurate accounts of actual hours worked and leave used during the pay period on a time record. All absences from an employee’s scheduled work day must be reported and accounted for subject to college rule 3.20. Completed time records require the signature approval of the employee and the supervisor. These signatures certify that, to the best of their knowledge, the information provided on the time record is true and correct. Adjustments to submitted time records must be approved by both the employee and supervisor.

Recording Time

  • All time worked must be entered on the time record.
  • Time must be entered daily to ensure accurate recording of time.
  • Time must be recorded as actual time (i.e., hours and minutes), including arrival, departure and the beginning and ending of meal breaks. The daily start and end times are automatically rounded to the nearest quarter hour once entered on the time record. For example, arriving at 7:53 a.m. or any time up to and including 8:07 a.m. will automatically round to calculate hours worked as 8:00 a.m. for the start time. Likewise arriving at 8:08 a.m. and up to 8:22 a.m. will automatically be rounded to the quarter hour of 8:15 a.m. for the purposes of calculating work hours. The same is true for the end of the day. For example if work ends between 4:30 p.m. and 4:37 p.m., when the actual time is entered it will automatically be rounded to 4:30 p.m. for calculation purposes of hours worked. A departure time of 4:38 p.m. – 4:52 p.m. will automatically be rounded to 4:45 p.m. for the calculation of total hours worked. Rounding is automatically programmed and requires no manual calculations on the part of the person recording time on the timesheet.
  • Non-exempt employees are not authorized to begin work prior to the start of their assigned work schedule or work beyond the designated end time of their work schedule with the exception of the minor variances of seven (7) minutes or less, as accommodated in the seven (7) minute rounding without supervisor approval. Working outside the authorized work schedule without supervisor approval is subject to disciplinary action.
  • Rounding is for the purposes of calculating total hours worked. Rounding does not supersede the expectations for timely arrival at the scheduled start of the assigned work schedule.
  • The time record is the sole document used to record time and as such no time is authorized to be maintained “off book” in any other capacity than the official time recording system. Failure by employees and/or supervisors to accurately reflect all time worked on the time record may result in disciplinary action.
  • Completed time records require signature approval from both the employee and supervisor, who will each certify the accuracy, to the best of their knowledge, of the time record. Signatures confirm that this is the only record of time worked.
  • Non-exempt employees and supervisors have the right to refuse to sign timesheets that they feel are inaccurate.
  • When resolution cannot be reached regarding timesheet discrepancies at the department level, individuals should seek assistance from HR.
  • Both are responsible for reporting inaccuracies immediately and acknowledge with their signature approval on the time record that they are aware of the responsibility.

Leave Request Forms

  • Leave approved pursuant to College Rule 3.20 must be documented on the Leave Request Form found on the Human Resources website.
  • A Leave Request Form must be completed anytime an employee is absent from regular scheduled hours (ire. standard, alternate, or modified work schedule).
  • Leave must be entered on the time record in the appropriate box (vacation, sick, personal, etc.)
  • Approved Leave Request Forms must be attached to the original time record.
  • Leave requests must be submitted based on the quarter hour in no less than 15 minute increments.

Employee Responsibilities

  • Participate in training regarding time and attendance.
  • Accurately enter each time work starts and ends during the scheduled work day, which includes meal breaks and use of leave.
  • Notify supervisor on a daily basis of any deviations from the planned work schedule.
  • Request leave in accordance with college rule 3.20 and the aforementioned guidelines.
  • Submit a Leave Request Form whenever absent during assigned work schedule other than breaks.
  • Enter leave time on the times in the appropriate box (sick, vacation, personal, etc.)
  • Review the time and leave entries to ensure accuracy and sign certifying the time record as the sole record of time worked for the pay period.
  • Report any inaccuracies immediately to your supervisor and refuse to sign a time record that does not reflect all of the time actually worked in the pay period.
  • When resolution cannot be reached regarding timesheet discrepancies at the department level, individuals should seek assistance from HR.

Supervisor Responsibilities

  • Provide advisement and training to employees on time and attendance.
  • Participate in supervisor training.
  • Ensure accurate actual time is being entered on a daily basis and facilitate alternate work schedules if needed to avoid unapproved compensatory/overtime.
  • Request approval when overtime, either compensatory leave or overtime pay, is needed.
  • Make sure that Leave Request Forms are completed for all approved leave in accordance with college rule 3.20.
  • Review the time and leave entries to ensure accuracy and sign time sheets, certifying the time record as the sole record of the employee’s time worked for the pay period.
  • Report any inaccuracies immediately and refuse to sign a time record that does not reflect all of the time actually worked in the pay period.
  • Ensure that employees re-approve time records that require adjustment after submission.
  • Provide timely feedback to employees regarding attendance concerns, allowing sufficient time for resolution.
  • When resolution cannot be reached regarding timesheet inaccuracies at the department level, individuals should seek assistance from HR.

Overtime and Holiday Pay


Overtime is defined as hours actually worked in excess of the standard work week, which is 40 hours for most employees. Non-exempt employees, other than sworn law enforcement employees, who actually work more than 40 hours during the Sunday-Saturday college work week will be compensated with overtime, which is either compensatory leave or overtime pay. Holidays or Leave time used during the Sunday - Saturday work week do not count toward the 40-hour calculation for overtime. When an employee’s total hours for the work week exceed 40 hours and leave time has been used, only the time actually worked by the employee counts toward the overtime calculation. Therefore, hours actually worked in excess of 40 hours for the work period are compensated as time-and-a-half and all other hours are paid at the regular hourly rate of pay or may be recorded as compensatory time for the actual time worked. Compensatory leave is accumulated at the rate of 1.5 hours of compensatory leave for each hour actually worked beyond 40. Overtime pay is calculated at 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate multiplied by the hours actually worked beyond 40.

It is the supervisor's responsibility to ensure that unauthorized overtime is not worked. Likewise, it is the employee’s responsibility to seek advance approval from the supervisor for working hours beyond the normal 40-hour schedule. The work schedule should be arranged to avoid working in excess of the 40-hour work week. In situations where the department's mission cannot be carried out in the standard work week, overtime work may be authorized based on prior written authorization from the appropriate Vice President or General Counsel.

Such written authorization must be provided to the payroll department. Overtime will be compensated as compensatory leave unless specifically approved in advance to be paid as overtime pay. Supervisors and employees who do not seek appropriate approvals for overtime work may be subject to disciplinary action.

Sworn law enforcement positions within the SFPD are subject to the same guidelines as set forth above, however the standard work week for police positions is based on an 80-hour two- week period running consecutively from Sunday through Saturday. In the event that staffing shortages or operational matters require overtime that has not been approved in advance, the Police Chief may approve overtime without advance notice to the supervisor but shall provide notice to the Chief’s supervisor as soon as practicable and written authorization from General Counsel will be provided to the payroll department.

Holiday Pay

The college calendar, as approved by the Board of Trustees, determines the college holidays. Employees will be paid eight (8) hours for each holiday, provided they are in a paid status, or comparable approved leave status, for the entire work day preceding and following the holiday. Employees who are required to work on holidays or days the college is otherwise closed, like in the event of a hurricane, will also be paid at a rate of 1.5 times their hourly rate of pay for the hours worked that day or be given the equivalent amount of time off on another day. The method of holiday pay compensation must be agreed upon prior to the start of the holiday work assignment and to the extent possible, employees should have the ability to elect pay or leave. Generally, approval from the appropriate division vice president is required prior to the employee being scheduled to work during these times.

Disciplinary Actions

Discipline should be corrective and progressive in nature. In general, the sequence of discipline is as follows:

  1. Counseling
  2. Written reprimand
  3. Three-day suspension without pay 
  4. Five-day suspension without pay 
  5. Termination

A counseling memo should be written as confirmation of the verbal counseling regarding performance concerns and is normally issued when an employee’s performance needs improvement. A written reprimand is normally issued after an employee has failed to respond to counseling for the same type of offense. All disciplinary documents must include the supervisor’s and employee’s signatures acknowledging receipt of the document. All disciplinary documents should be forwarded to Human Resources to be placed in the employee’s personnel file. The supervisor may also remove old disciplinary actions upon written request.

This process reflects the typical path for progressive discipline; however, steps may be repeated and/or skipped depending on the severity of the specific situation. Violation of college rules and procedures must be addressed in a consistent manner for all employees. While the intent is to afford supervisors some discretion in determining which steps are appropriate, it is also important to have college-wide consistency and therefore supervisors are encouraged to discuss appropriate disciplinary actions with Human Resources prior to taking action.

The following are offered as examples used in accordance with the disciplinary documentation guidelines above regarding time and attendance issues:

Leave Without Advance Approval

An occasional late arrival is to be expected, however when late arrivals occur on a frequent basis that negatively impacts service to students or effective college operations disciplinary action may be required.

An employee who is not on approved leave pursuant to college rule 3.20 and fails to contact the college for a period of 3 consecutive work days will be considered to have abandoned their position and their employment with the college and may be terminated.

Employees who fail to request appropriate leave or provide notification of their absence pursuant to established departmental communication methods may be subject to disciplinary action.

When an employee circumvents the normal approval process for leave or takes leave beyond what they have been approved for, disciplinary action may be implemented.

Unpaid Leave (Not in Approved Leave Status)

  • Unpaid leave first offense = counseling session
  • Unpaid leave second offense within 12 months of first offense = written reprimand.
  • Unpaid leave third offense within 12 months of second offense = three day suspension without pay.
  • Unpaid leave fourth offense within 12 months of third offense= five day suspension without pay.
  • Recurring unpaid leave may result in termination of employment.

College Leave Rules are derived from 3.20 Leaves of Absence and 3.20P Leaves of Absence Procedure from the College Rules Manual. If you have additional questions about leave policy, contact Human Resources.