PAY DURING EMERGENCY CLOSURE OF TSBVI
During an emergency closure, all employees shall continue to be paid for their regular duty schedule unless otherwise provided by Board action. Following an emergency closure, the Board shall adopt a resolution or take other Board action establishing the purpose and parameters for such payments. The Board must determine in the resolution that the expenditures of pay to employees is to predominantly accomplish a public purpose; that the Board will retain sufficient control over the expenditure to ensure that the public purpose is accomplished; and ensure that the School receives a return benefit for using public funds in this manner. [See Policy EB and Tex. Atty. Gen. Op. KP-204 (2018)]
Premium pay at the rate of one and one-half times the regular rate for all hours worked up to 40 hours per week may be paid to nonexempt employees who are required to work during an emergency closing for a disaster, as declared by a federal, state or local official or the Board. Overtime for time worked over 40 hours in a week shall be calculated and paid according to law. The Superintendent or designee shall approve payments and ensure that accurate time records are kept of actual hours worked during emergency closings.
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT
Minimum Wage and Overtime
Employees not exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act shall be paid at least minimum wage and receive compensation for overtime under the conditions specified in the Act. Unless an exemption applies, TSBVI shall pay an employee not less than one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours in excess of forty in any workweek. 29 USC 207(a)(1); 29 CFR part 77829 USC 206, 207
An employee may accumulate an overtime credit up to 240 hours of FLSA overtime. If the employee’s overtime work included a public safety activity, an emergency response activity, or a seasonal activity, the employee may accumulate up to 480 hours of FLSA overtime. After the employee has reached these limits, or a lower limit as designated by TSBVI, the employee shall be paid overtime compensation for additional overtime work.
In some situations, state employees may be eligible for state compensatory time. State compensatory time is accrued on a “straight” time basis, or one hour for one hour worked. Gov’t Code 659.015(f)-(g), .015(b)
If a classified employee of TSBVI submits a written request to use accrued compensatory time not later than the 90th day before the date on which the accrued compensatory time will lapse, the School must approve in writing the employee’s request or provide an alternative date on which the employee may use the time. Gov’t Code 658.001; 659.022(a), (b)
Generally, employees will not be paid for any unused state compensatory time and there are no provisions in statutes or the General Appropriations Act that allow for the conversion of this time to any other type of leave. However, there are some situations, such as an employee working directly with a disaster or an emergency declared by the state or federal government, when payment for state compensatory time can be authorized by the Superintendent. Gov’t Code 659.015(g), (i); .016(c), (i); Atty. Gen. Op. H-883 (1976)
Compensatory Time for Exempt Employees
At the discretion of the Superintendent, a classified employee who is exempt from FLSA overtime provisions may be allowed to accrue state compensatory time for work hours that exceed 40 in a workweek. Work hours, for the purpose of accruing compensatory time, consist of paid leave, holidays, and actual hours worked. Part-time, FLSA-exempt employees may accrue state compensatory time when the number of actual work hours exceeds the number of hours that the employee was designated to work. If an exempt employee does not use state compensatory time within 12 months of when it was earned, the employee loses this time. Gov’t Code 659.016(b), (c)
An employee who has requested the use of compensatory time shall be permitted with supervisor approval to use such time within a reasonable period after making the request if the use of the compensatory time does not unduly disrupt the operations of the School.
The Fair Labor Standards Act does not prohibit the School from compelling the use of accrued compensatory time. 29 U.S.C. 207(o); Christensen v. Harris County, 529 U.S. 576 (2000); Houston Police Officers’ Union v. City of Houston, 330 F.3d 298 (5th Cir. 2003)
CONTRACT EMPLOYEE SALARIES
Employees of TSBVI employed by contract shall be paid in accordance with a salary structure adopted by the Superintendent with the concurrence of the Board that provides salaries equal, on a daily rate basis, to salaries paid to employees employed in comparable positions by the Austin Independent School District (AISD). Education Code 30.024(b)(1)
An employee on written contract is not eligible for longevity pay under Subchapter D, Chapter 659, Government Code, and is not entitled to a paid day off from work on any national or state holiday. The employment contract salary shall be paid in ten or twelve equal monthly installments beginning on September 1, as determined by the employee. In limited cases, where an employee starts later in the school year, the employment contract salary shall be paid in equal monthly installments over the remaining months, but employment will be a non-Chapter 21 contract. Education Code 21.401
A contract employee’s pay shall not be increased after performance on the contract has begun unless an error has been identified in the calculation, there is a change in the employee’s job assignment or duties that warrants additional compensation, or AISD makes a mid-year change in a comparable position. Any such changes in pay during the term of the contract shall require Board approval.
In addition to the contract salary received during the employee’s first year of employment with the School, and for the purpose of reducing a vacancy in a position that is difficult to fill because of the specialized nature and the limited number of qualified applicants, the employee may be paid a salary supplement as paid by the AISD to an employee in a comparable position.
PLACEMENT ON SALARY SCHEDULE
The commissioner’s rules determine the experience for which a teacher, counselor or a librarian, is to be given credit in placing the teacher, counselor or librarian, on the minimum salary schedule. The School shall credit the teacher, counselor, or librarian, for each year of experience, whether or not the years are consecutive.
“Classroom teacher” means an educator who teaches an average of at least four hours per day in an academic or career and technology instructional setting, focusing on the delivery of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), and who holds the relevant certificate from the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). Although non-instructional duties do not qualify as teaching, the School will apply as creditable classroom time necessary functions related to the educator’s instructional assignment, such as instructional planning and transition between instructional periods.
“Librarian” means an educator who provides full-time library services and holds the relevant certificate from SBEC.
“Counselor” means a school counselor who is an educator providing full-time counseling and guidance services under the provisions of Education Code Chapter 33, Subchapter A, and holds the relevant certificate issued by the SBEC pursuant to the provisions of Education Code Chapter 21, Subchapter B.
“Full-time” means contracted employment for at least ten months (187 days) for 100 percent of the school day, in accordance with the definitions of school day in Education Code 25.082, employment contract in Education Code 21.002, and school year in Education Code 25.081.
19 TAC 153.1022(a)
Education Code 21.402(a), 21.403(c), 19 TAC 153.1022
School Nurses are employed on the State classification pay scale and are not part of the AISD comparable pay schedule.
EMPLOYEES FORMERLY ON CAREER LADDER
A teacher or librarian who received a career ladder supplement on August 31, 1993, is entitled to at least the same gross monthly salary the teacher or librarian received for the 1994–95 school year as long as the teacher or librarian is employed by the same district [remaining at TSBVI].
“Gross monthly salary” includes the amount the teacher or librarian received as a career ladder supplement under Section 16.057, as that section existed January 1, 1993.
Education Code 21.402(f), (h), 21.403(d)
In addition, a teacher or librarian who was on level two or three of the career ladder is entitled, as long as he or she is employed by the same district, [in this case TSBVI], to:
Level Two Educators
Placement on the minimum salary schedule at the step above the step on which the teacher would otherwise be placed, if the teacher or librarian received a career ladder supplement for level two of the career ladder on August 31, 1993; or
Level Three Educators
Placement on the minimum salary schedule at the step two steps above the step on which the teacher would otherwise be placed, if the teacher or librarian received a career ladder supplement for level three of the career ladder on August 31, 1993.
Education Code 21.403(d)
RECRUITMENT STIPENDS FOR CONTRACT APPLICANTS
The Superintendent has the discretion to offer supplemental stipends as hiring incentives for certain contract positions in high demand. General Appropriations Act, article III Special Provisions at 2. (2019)
The School shall not grant any extra compensation, fee, or allowance to a public officer, agent, servant, or contractor after service has been rendered or a contract entered into and performed in whole or in part. Texas Constitution. Art. III, Sec. 53
Salary Advances and Loans
The School shall not lend its credit or gratuitously grant public money or things of value in aid of any individual, association, or corporation.
Texas Constitution Art. III, Sec. 52; Brazoria County v. Perry, 537 S.W.2d 89 (Tex. Civ. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1976, no writ)
The Commissioner has held that the School may reduce educator compensation if it gives sufficient warning of a possible reduction in pay when educators can still unilaterally resign from their contracts. A sufficient warning must be both formal enough and specific enough to give educators a meaningful opportunity to decide whether to continue employment. Brajenovich v. Alief ISD, Comm’r of Educ. Decision 021-R10-11-6 (2009)
Widespread salary reductions based primarily on financial conditions rather than on teacher performance may apply to the amount of annual salaries paid to classroom teachers. For any school year in which the School has reduced the amount of the annual salaries paid to classroom teachers from the amount paid for the preceding school year, the School shall reduce the amount of annual salary paid to each administrator or other professional employee by a percent or fraction of a percent that is equal to the average percent or fraction of a percent by which teacher salaries have been reduced. Education Code 21.4032
A furlough program must subject all contract personnel to the same number of furlough days. An educator may not be furloughed on a day that is included in the number of days of instruction required under Education Code 25081. Implementation of a furlough program may not result in an increase in the number of required teacher workdays. An educator may not use personal, sick or any other paid leave while the educator is on a furlough.
Notwithstanding Education Code 21.402 (minimum salary schedule), the Board may reduce the salary of an employee who is furloughed in proportion to the number of days by which service is reduced. Any reduction in the amount of the annual salary must be equally distributed over the course of the employee’s current contact with TSBVI.
If the Board adopts a furlough program after the date by which a teacher must give notice of resignation from a probationary or term contract [See Policy DFE], an employee who subsequently resigns is not subject to sanctions imposed by SBEC.
A decision by the Board to implement a furlough program is final and may not be appealed and does not create a cause of action or require collective bargaining.
Education Code 21.4021
Voluntary Work Reduction
Classified non-exempt employees may agree to a voluntary work reduction for no less than six months pursuant to a written contract. The chief administrator of a state agency that has created a work reduction program under Government Code 658.003 shall place notice of the program’s availability in common areas of the agency. The chief administrator of a state agency may not discuss, initiate discussion of, or orally inform an employee of the work reduction program unless the employee first approaches the chief administrator about the availability of the program.
Temporary or exempt classified employees are not eligible to participate. Government Code 658.003-.004
The minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, professional, or computer capacity, including academic administrative personnel or teachers in elementary or secondary schools. 29 U.S.C. 213(a)(1)
To qualify as an exempt executive, administrative, professional, or computer employee, the employee must be compensated on a salary basis. Subject to the exceptions listed in the rule, an employee must receive the full salary for any week in which the employee performs any work, without regard to the number of days or hours worked. A district that makes improper deductions from salary shall lose the exemption if the facts demonstrate that the district did not intend to pay employees on a salary basis.
Safe Harbor Policy
The School shall have a clearly communicated policy that prohibits improper pay deductions and includes a complaint mechanism, reimburses employees for any improper deductions, and makes a good faith commitment to comply in the future. Because the School has a clearly communicate policy, the School will not lose the deduction unless the School willfully violates the policy by continuing to make improper deductions after receiving employee complaints.
The best evidence of a clearly communicated policy is a written policy that was distributed to employees before the improper pay deductions by, for example, providing a copy of the policy to employees upon hire, publishing the policy in an employee handbook, or publishing the policy on a district’s intranet (Campus Info for TSBVI).
29 CFR 541.600, .602(a), 603
All classified employees shall be paid according to state statutes, the General Appropriations Act and the classified salary schedules for state employees. The School shall comply with the payroll procedures of the Comptroller of Public Accounts and the State Auditor.
All classified employees will be paid from a salary group within the classification salary schedule for their position classification. Classified employees may not receive salary supplements, such as tips, honoraria, or any other stipend unless authorized by the General Appropriations Act or other law.
All classified employees will be identified as either part-time or full-time employees; part-time or full-time status will be based solely on the expected hours worked in a workweek as follows:
- Part-time positions are paid fewer than 30 hours in a workweek.
- Full-time positions are paid at least 30 hours in a workweek.
Any classified employee who regularly works fewer than 30 hours in a workweek is considered a part-time employee; any employee who regularly works at least 30 hours in a workweek is considered a full-time employee.
Part-time classified employees may fill regular or temporary full-time positions. The rates of pay for part-time classified employees are proportional to full-time employees.
General Appropriations Act, Article IX
The School ensures, through proper classification, that all employees are compensated appropriately and equitably for the work they perform. Classified positions with the School are designated according to the State of Texas Position Classification Plan, which establishes job classifications, salary groups and salary schedules for classified employees.
All positions will have written Job Descriptions that serve as the primary basis for job classifications.
Gov’t Code 654
Placement Within the Classified Salary Schedule
At the time of initial employment, the School may set salaries anywhere within the applicable salary group, dependent upon current School or department practice and budgetary constraints. Gov’t Code 659
Employee Status and Salary Changes
The School will accomplish all changes to a classified employee’s status (e.g., classification, job title, salary, etc.) in accordance with state statutes and School policies. All changes will be effective the first of the month, unless otherwise directed by the Superintendent or HR Department.
Reclassification is defined as a change in the classification of a position to another classification title as a result of classification review or state agency reorganization. The purpose of a reclassification is to properly classify a position based on the actual duties currently performed by an employee. It is not a change in an employee’s duty assignment. The School may reclassify a position at any time to correct a discrepancy in accordance with Government Code 654.0156. If an increase is provided, it can be no more than 6.8 percent above the pre-transfer salary.
The School may award a merit salary increase or one-time merit to classified employees whose job performance and productivity is consistently above that normally expected and required.
All merit awards will be given according to the School’s merit administrative procedures. To the extent possible, the Superintendent shall ensure merit awards are distributed throughout the classifications and salary groups used by the School.
Gov’t Code 659.255-.2551
A promotion of a classified employee is a change in classification title that provides a higher minimum salary rate, requires higher qualifications, and involves a higher level of responsibility. The School provides opportunities for promotion through:
- Employee selection for an advertised job vacancy;
- Advancement on a defined career ladder track; or
- Appointment by a supervisor to advance to a higher level based on the business needs of the Department, the individual’s qualifications, and clear and comprehensive documentation of the employee’s performance.
Gov’t Code 659.256
A demotion is an employee’s change in duty assignment within a state agency from one classified position to another classified position that is in a salary group with a lower minimum salary rate. The School may demote a classified employee:
- As a result of disciplinary action;
- In lieu of a layoff that resulted from a reduction in force; or
- Where the employee was selected for a position in a lower salary group as a result of applying for the position.
Salary reductions for demotions based upon disciplinary reasons, in lieu of a layoff or as a result of the classified employee being selected for a position in a lower salary group will be at the discretion of the Superintendent or designee.
Gov’t Code 659.257-.258
To enhance the recruitment of competent personnel for certain classified positions, the School may provide a recruitment bonus not to exceed $5,000 per position as a one-time payment.
Individuals receiving a recruitment bonus will be required to sign a contract that stipulates that the employee will remain employed with the School for 12 months and that outlines repayment requirements in the event the employee discontinues employment for any reason prior to completion of the 12-month agreement.
If the classified employee discontinues employment with the School for any reason fewer than three months after the date of receiving the recruitment payment, the employee shall refund the School the full amount of the recruitment payment. If the employee discontinues employment with the School for any reason 3 months or longer but fewer than 12 months after the date of receiving the recruitment payment, the employee shall refund the School an amount computed by:
- Subtracting from 12 months the number of complete calendar months the employee worked after the date of receiving the recruitment payment;
- Dividing the number of months above by 12 months; and
- Multiplying the fraction computed by the amount of the recruitment payment.
Before a contract is executed, a letter documenting the need for such bonus must be directed to the Comptroller.
Gov’t Code 659.262
To enhance the retention of employees who are employed in certain classified positions that are identified by the Superintendent as essential for the School’s operations, the School may enter into a deferred compensation contract with a classified employee to provide to the employee a one-time additional compensation payment not to exceed $5,000 to be added to the employee’s salary payment the month after the conclusion of the 12-month period of service under the deferred compensation contract.
Eligibility will be based on:
- The criticality of the employee’s position to the School’s operations;
- Evidence of high turnover rates among employees filling the position for an extended period; and
- Evidence of a shortage of employees qualified to fill the position or a shortage of qualified applicants; and
- Other relevant factors determined on a case-by-case basis.
The contract may only be executed after 12 months of employment with the School. The employee must remain with the school for 12 months after executing the retention bonus contract to receive payment.
Before the contract is executed, a letter documenting the need for such a bonus must be directed to the Comptroller.
Gov’t Code 659.262
A lateral transfer is a change in duty assignment of a classified employee who moves to another job classification in the same salary group. When a lateral transfer occurs, the new supervisor may increase, decrease or maintain the same salary within the salary group with HR Director’s approval. If an increase is provided, it can be no more than 3.4 percent above the pre-transfer salary. Gov’t Code 659.2531
To facilitate the work of the School during emergencies or special circumstances, classified employees may be temporarily assigned to other duties for not more than six-months in any 12-month timeframe.
Classified employees temporarily assigned to other duties will not receive:
- Merit salary increases
- One-time merit payments
- Disciplinary reductions in salary
Gov’t Code 659.260
Full-time, classified employees with at least two years of state service credit and not on leave without pay on the first workday of the month, are eligible to receive longevity pay.
Eligible employees receive $20 per month for every two years of lifetime service credit up to a maximum of 42 years of service. Service credit is not awarded for time in leave without pay status. Individuals not eligible for longevity pay include:
- Part-time employees;
- Temporary (substitute) employees;
- Return to work retirees
Gov’t Code 659.047
Benefit Replacement Pay
Classified employees employed continuously by the State on or before August 31, 1995 are eligible for Benefit Replacement Pay if they were:
- Eligible for the state-paid Social Security contribution previously paid by the State;
- Using unpaid leave, if the employee would have been otherwise eligible; or
- Not working because his or her employment customarily did not include summer months, had contracted to resume employment before September 2, 1995, and such employment would have made the employee eligible for the state-paid tax if the employee had held the position at that time.
Gov’t Code 659.121
TSBVI may hire an employee to be paid on an hourly basis to work as a substitute for a regular full-time or part-time employee who is unavailable to perform regular duties. An employee working as a substitute for another employee is not entitled to paid holidays or compensatory time off for holidays worked, vacation leave, sick leave, or any other leave provided to a state employee under the General Appropriations Act.
Compensation for substitute employees, including substitute teachers, is set by the School.
Education Code 30.024(f)
Wage and Hour Records
The School shall maintain and preserve payroll or other records for nonexempt employees containing the information required by the regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 29 CFR 516.
Amended: 7/12/85, 10/25/85, 5/30/86, 1/23/87, 1/26/90, 3/22/91, 3/25/94, 11/17/95, 11/6/98, 5/31/01, 1/30/04, 4/1/05, 1/27/06, 6/4/08, 4/6/20, 8/6/21