Two Benefit Changes to Address Staff Concerns Related to COVID-19 Response

County Manager Ryan O'Connor has approved two benefit changes designed to address concerns about the hours staff members are working on COVID-19 response efforts. The two changes are as follows:

  1. The May 1 vacation and floating holiday capping date is extended until Aug. 1, 2020.
  2. Unrepresented employees who are exempt may earn compensatory time (at straight time) for assigned and authorized COVID-19 related work hours beyond 80 in a pay period up to a maximum of 120 hours. 

Vacation and floating holiday capping extended to Aug. 1, 2020

It is an employee’s responsibility to be below their maximum accrual (Two times the accrual rate for vacation and 16 hours for floating holiday) by Aug. 1, 2020. 

In this extraordinary pandemic situation, supervisors are also encouraged to work with their employees to accommodate time off requests where possible to assist their employees in getting below the cap by Aug. 1, 2020.

Employees and their supervisors must work cooperatively to support the well-being of staff and meet the needs of Ramsey County residents. If you have questions about your vacation or floating holiday balances, please contact your department payroll and transactions assistant.

Compensatory time for unrepresented employees

Ramsey County employees who are unrepresented and who are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may be currently working sustained long hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic response. 

Under section 4.4 of Ramsey County’s benefits policies, exempt employees shall not qualify to earn overtime payments except in unusual circumstances. Compensatory time at straight time can be approved by the County Manager for exempt employees who have been assigned work hours in excess of their regular schedule.

The County Manager has authorized managers to approve up to 120 hours of compensatory time at the straight time rate for FLSA-exempt unrepresented employees. Compensatory time is only for hours that employees are assigned and approved to work beyond their regular schedule of 80 hours in a pay period if the work is related to COVID-19 activities. This authorization is in effect beginning with the pay period starting on Saturday, April 4, 2020 until discontinued by the County Manager.

It should be noted that represented employees may also work sustained long hours as a result of COVID-19 and have negotiated overtime provisions in their collective bargaining agreements.