Section 1. Definitions
1.01 ACTIVE DUTY
The actual performance of work or duties prescribed by statute and/or assigned by the Department Head. An employee’s first day of work must include active duty, or hours actually worked.
1.02 BREAK IN EMPLOYMENT
Any period of more than 7 calendar days, other than a valid Leave of Absence, during which a person is not employed by the County.
Example: John ends employment in Department A on June 15th. He must start actually working in Department B on June 22nd.
1.03 COMPENSATORY TIME (COMP TIME)
Paid time off provided to Employees in certain circumstances. Compensatory Time may refer to paid time off when it is being earned or when it is being used.
1.04 CREDITABLE SERVICE
The length of continuous employment with the County beginning on the date hired as a Regular Employee and continuing until the individual is no longer a Regular Employee or incurs a Break in Employment, whichever occurs first.
1.05 DEPARTMENT HEAD
Department heads are deemed Key employees, including for FMLA purposes. Department Heads are exempt employees who do not accrue vacation, compensatory time, or sick time. Only individuals who meet the following criteria are eligible for Department Head designation and status and must be:
(i) An elected official or a person appointed to fill a vacated elected office; or
(ii) A person whose designation as head of a department is pursuant to authority of a board or elected official separate and apart from Commissioners Court; or
(iii) A person appointed by Commissioners Court to serve as the head of a department created by Commissioners Court and who reports directly to Commissioners Court; or
(iv) A person designated by the County Administrator as a department head when the individual’s hiring and discharge requires ratification by Commissioners Court (Commissioners Court Ratified Department Heads); or
(v) A person designated by the County Administrator as a department head but the individual’s hiring and discharge does not require ratification by Commissioners Court (County Administrator Department Head Designees). Notwithstanding anything to the contrary elsewhere, County Administrator Department Head Designees must submit timesheets reflecting the dates and hours worked on each day.
1.06 DOCK TIME
For each workweek in which the Hours Actually Worked plus Paid Absences total less than an employee’s required hours, the deficiency is Dock Time. Dock Time applies to both Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees. The deduction calculations are based upon the employee’s regular work schedule and rate of pay in effect during the pay period in which the Dock Time occurs. Dock Time is one type of Unpaid Absence.
1.07 EMPLOYEE’S IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER
Your spouse, children, stepchildren, foster children or any other ward legally placed by the State of Texas, parent, stepparent, siblings, stepsiblings, grandparent, grandchild, parents of your spouse, and the spouses of your children.
1.08 FLSA CLASSIFICATIONS
1.081 Exempt Employee
An employee who is Exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and maximum hour requirements. Department Heads determine whether an employee’s job duties qualify for an FLSA exemption using Auditor’s Form 130. Department Heads with questions about an employee’s exemption status should contact the Harris County Attorney’s Office.
1.082 Non-Exempt Employee
Employees whose job functions entitle them to FLSA minimum wage and maximum hour rules.
1.09 HOURS ACTUALLY WORKED
The time an employee is actually on Active Duty. Paid Absences and Unpaid Absences are not Hours Actually Worked.
1.10 LONGEVITY PAY
Additional compensation based on length of continuous Creditable Service.
Any amount of Hours Actually Worked a Non-Exempt employee has in excess of 40 hours per workweek. In lieu of cash payment for Overtime, Non-Exempt employees may receive Compensatory Time.
1.12 PAID ABSENCES OR PAID LEAVE
Absences the County pays for, such as Holidays, Funeral Leave, Jury or Witness Duty, Sick Leave, Compensatory Time, and Vacation Leave. Employees may not “buy back” any Paid Leave.
1.13 FISCAL YEAR
On January 26, 2021, Commissioners Court approved a change in the fiscal year beginning in 2022. Starting in 2022, Harris County’s fiscal year will begin October 1st and run through September 30th. Under the proposed transition there will be a 7-month fiscal year from March 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022, followed by a full, 12- month fiscal year from October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023.
1.14 PAYROLL YEAR
The period of time that begins with the first day of the pay period that relates to the first paycheck issued in a calendar year and ends with the last day of the pay period that relates to the final paycheck issued in the same calendar year.
1.15 POSITION CLASSIFICATIONS
1.151 Regular Position
An employee hired for an indefinite period and regularly scheduled to work at least 32 hours per week and eligible for all employment benefits.
1.152 Part-time Position
An employee hired for an indefinite period and only eligible for legally required employment benefits.
1.153 Temporary Position
An employee hired for a specified project or for a limited period of time.
1.16 STANDARD WORKWEEK
1.161 The Standard Workweek begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and ends at midnight the following Friday night.
1.162 Department Heads adopt the most efficient schedule for their department operations so long as it conforms to the required time schedules shown for the positions in the salary budget (40 hours weekly, unless otherwise specified in the maximum salary schedule).
1.17 UNPAID ABSENCES OR UNPAID LEAVE
Absences the County does not pay for such as Dock Time and unpaid Family and Medical Leave Act time.