Frequently Asked Questions
Emails from CalTime
- Why are CalTime emails not sent to my personal email address?
- I no longer work at UC Berkeley; why I am still getting emails from CalTime?
- I do work at UC Berkeley, but I don’t want to get CalTime emails. How can I stop them?
- I don’t supervise any employees in CalTime. Why am I getting emails for supervisors?
Employee classification: Exempt vs Non-Exempt
Employee Classification: Dual positions (both exempt and non-exempt roles)
Employee classification: Student employees
Non-exempt (biweekly) employees
- What are non-exempt employees required to do?
- Why do non-exempt employees have to report their actual time worked?
- I am a non-exempt employee. When do I have to record my time and leave?
- How do non-exempt employees record their time and leave?
- Will non-exempt employees have to “clock in and clock out” several times a day?
- Why are some non-exempt staff employees allowed to report their hours at any time in the biweekly pay cycle, instead of on a real-time basis?
- How are lunch breaks handled in CalTime?
- Do I have to punch in and out at lunch time (or other meals)?
- Will CalTime accurately record all of my hours worked?
Supervisors of non-exempt (biweekly) employees
- What actions are supervisors required to perform in CalTime?
- Why do supervisors need to approve employees’ timecards?
- When do supervisors of non-exempt employees need to approve time cards?
- Can an employee edit their time card after the supervisor has approved it?
- What tools are available to help supervisors perform their responsibilities?
Exempt (monthly) employees
- What are exempt employees' timekeeping responsibilities?
- Can I approve or edit my timecards from previous months?
- I already save my monthly leave. Do I still need to approve every month?
- When are exempt timecards due?
- How do ERIT employees record vacation and sick leave?
- How do ERIT employees record holiday leave?
Supervisors of exempt (monthly) employees
- As a supervisor, what am I verifying when I approve an exempt employee’s timecard?
- When I approve an employee’s timecard as a supervisor, am I verifying that the leave balance is correct?
- Why do supervisors need to approve their employees’ timecards every month?
- What’s the time window to approve my exempt employees’ timecards each month?
Supervisor delegation: Questions and Process
Real-Time employees: Punching in and out in real time
Real-Time employees: Using Terminals (time clocks)
Approving and saving timecards
- What’s the difference between Save and Approve in CalTime?
- What if I am not available (i.e., out sick, on vacation, etc.) when it’s time to approve my timecard?
- Can I approve or edit my timecards from previous pay periods?
- Can I approve or edit my timecard after my supervisor has approved it?
- Can I approve or edit a timecard after my unit’s timekeeper has signed off on it?
- Can a supervisor approve or edit a time card after the unit’s timekeeper has signed off on it?
- Should a supervisor approve employee time cards if he or she is not sure that the leave balances are correct?
- As a non-exempt employee, what am I verifying when I approve my time card?
- As a non-exempt employee, do I need to approve my time card?
Accruing and viewing leave
- I am trying to swipe in or out, but it's not working…where can I get help right away?
- I’m having trouble with access. What should I do?
- The timekeeping terminal in my unit doesn’t work. What do I do?
- What happens if the system is down and I can’t access my timecard?
- I can't access CalTime and I need to fill out a paper timecard. What do I do?
- What happens if I make a mistake on my timecard?
- What happens if I make a mistake on my time card?
- Who do I contact for help with CalTime?
- I am a supervisor who needs help with advanced system functions. Where do I get help?
- I think my leave balances are wrong. What do I do?
- Why can't I see my future accruals in CalTime?
- Why can't I enter my time more than 60 days into the future?
- Why can't I see university holidays more than 60 days into the future?
- Why are CalTime emails sent to my personal email address?
- I no longer work for the university, why am I still receiving CalTime emails?
Timekeeping with CalTime
Caltime email notifications will only be sent to a berkeley.edu email address. If your preferred email address is a personal email address, then the first berkeley.edu address listed in your contact information will be used. If you do not have a Berkeley.edu address, you will not receive Caltime notifications (including timecard approval reminders).
Employees without a berkeley.edu address can receive additional instructions on how to create an email account by contacting IT via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-664-9000 and select option 1.
CalTime emails are sent based on the university’s personnel records, so this probably means your record has not been updated. You should contact your previous supervisor or department, and ask them to remove your name from Berkeley's Human Resource records system.
All Berkeley employees using CalTime receive the CalTime emails appropriate for their role in the system. If you are an active employee, supervisor, or delegated supervisor, you may not opt out of CalTime emails.
CalTime emails are sent based on the university’s personnel records, so this probably means the records for you or your employees have not been updated. Contact your department’s HR representative to have that corrected.
Non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and for shift and on-call pay. They report time worked as well as sick, vacation, comp- time, and other leave to the nearest quarter hour. Non-exempt employees get paid on a biweekly basis (every other Wednesday).
Exempt employees are generally not eligible for overtime. They report leave in whole-day increments. They get paid monthly.
All employees in academic titles are exempt.
If you are unsure of your exemption status you can do one of the following:
- Login to blu.berkeley.edu with your Calnet ID and passphrase. At the top left corner of the blu webpage, you will see (screenshot below):
- FLSA status
- Your job title (code and description): A code representing your job title and description of your job classification
- Leave code: Alpha letter representing your vacation and sick leave full time rate of accrual (i.e. vacation = 14, sick leave =8)
- Vacation leave accrual rate: The full time rate you are eligible to accrue.
- Sick leave accrual rate: The full time rate you are eligible to accrue
- Ask your supervisor
- If you know your title code you can go to https://tcs.ucop.edu/tcs/jsp/nonAcademicTitlesSearch.htm and you will be able to determine whether you are exempt or nonexempt.
If at least one of your positions is classified as a non-exempt position, you are required to use CalTime to record hours worked in the non-exempt role. You also get paid biweekly -- every other Wednesday -- for that non-exempt position.
If your other position is classified as an academic appointment (such as a Graduate Student Instructor, Graduate Student Researcher, Post Doctoral Scholar, Tutor or Reader), you continue using your current timekeeping system and getting paid on the first of each month for your academic position.
If your other position is classified as an exempt appointment, then you need to use a method other than CalTime for the exempt role. (CalTime is unable to process both an exempt position and a non-exempt position on the same employee timecard.) You are paid on the first of each month for your exempt position. Paper timecards and more information can be found here: http://caltime.berkeley.edu/dual-exempt-and-non-exempt-appointments-caltime
- Most staff student employees (Student Assistant titles) are non-exempt. They are paid biweekly and report their time in real time—each time they start or stop work—using either computers or CalTime terminals (time clocks), depending on their department’s practices.
- Students with academic titles (including GSIs, GSAIs, GSRs, postdoctoral scholars, readers and tutors) are classified as exempt employees and are paid monthly.
- Tutors in the Student Learning Center and the Athletic Study Center are paid biweekly pay but do not use CalTime.
Non-exempt employees are responsible for:
- Recording the time they start work, stop work, and transfer between different jobs or contracts/grants if they have multiple jobs/assignments
- Recording leave taken (vacation, sick leave, etc.)
- Reviewing their timecard regularly and no later than last day of the pay cycle to make sure that all hours have been entered properly. Depending on departmental practices, they may need to approve their timecard at the end of the pay cycle.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations require non-exempt employees to track their hours worked so they can be paid overtime. To ensure that the University meets these regulations, non-exempt staff employees are required to report the actual time they have worked, and taken leave.
It depends on whether you are “anytime” or “realtime”.
“Anytime” non-exempt employees will enter their hours worked and leave taken into CalTime using a computer at any time during the biweekly pay cycle. If you are “anytime”, we encourage you to record your time frequently or even daily, to make sure all hours and overtime are entered correctly.
“Real-time” non-exempt employees (including student employees) will use CalTime on a real-time basis, meaning as soon as they start or stop work. Real-time employees are generally in departments where timekeeping terminals (time clocks) have traditionally been used or where employees lack ready access to computers. If you use a time clock now, you will likely continue to do so.
Most non-exempt employees will use their desk computers to login to CalTime. Those who do not have ready access to a computer will swipe their ID card at a timekeeping terminal (time clock). In general, terminals are used in departments where employees lack ready access to computers or where terminals have been used successfully for many years. If you use a terminal now, you almost certainly will continue to use a terminal. Check with your supervisor if you’re not sure.
Non-exempt employees need to report when they start work, stop work, and in some cases when they transfer between jobs. How they do that will vary by unit. Employees need to check with their supervisors on the unit expectations. The system is pre-programmed for lunch periods, so employees will not need to “clock in and out” for lunch breaks, unless they vary from their standard lunch schedule. Most employees will use their desk computers to record their work time in CalTime. Terminals will be made available for those employees who do not have ready access to a computer.
This reflects the current practice for most departments, where most non-exempt staff employees use computers and work a regular schedule. A smaller number of non-exempt employees are in departments where terminals have always been used or that lack easy access to computers. This smaller group will either start or continue to use CalTime on a real-time basis, recording the time they start and stop work as it happens.
A regular lunch break period (usually 60 minutes, but can be adjusted by the department) has been pre-programmed so that the employee won’t need to record lunch breaks unless the time taken varies from the programmed time.
No, not if you take your standard meal break. CalTime will automatically deduct that time (usually 30-60 minutes), and the length of your meal break will not change in CalTime from what it is now.
If you take a longer break, then yes, you do need to clock in and out. The time you record on the clock will override your standard meal break.
CalTime has been designed to ensure that you will be paid accurately, every two weeks, for the hours you record on your CalTime timecard by the end of the biweekly pay cycle.
Supervisors’ timekeeping duties depend upon a number of factors, including the number of employees supervised, whether employees record their hours worked on a real-time basis, how complex their schedules and pay rules are, whether they will use computers or terminals (time clocks) to access CalTime, etc. Supervisors may need to:
Approve a single time card or multiple time cards at a time
Add, correct, and delete entries by employees
Add and delete comments on timecards
Perform work rule and job, grant, or project transfers
Remove timecard approval
Create and edit schedules
Cancel meal deductions
Approving hours worked and leave taken is a basic responsibility of all supervisors. Failure to approve time cards by the deadline may affect whether employees are paid properly and on time.
The biweekly pay cycle is a two-week period that starts on a Sunday and ends on the second Saturday. At the end of each biweekly pay cycle, supervisors will have a short window – usually one working day – in which to approve all of their employees’ time cards. Usually, supervisors’ approval deadline will be at the end of the day on the Monday after each pay cycle; however, due to holidays, the approval day will vary.
Yes, as long as the unit’s timekeeper has not yet signed off and the supervisor approves of the change. To do so:
1) The employee should ask the supervisor to remove his/her approval, and the supervisor does so;
2) The employee should remove his or her approval (if any), make the desired edits, and re-approve the time card;
3) Then, the employee should ask the supervisor to re-approve the time card.
CalTime offers supervisors a variety of reporting tools (called "genies") to help them keep track of employees’ time worked, any leave taken, and timecard approval. For example, if you are a supervisor, you can run a report that will let you see which of your employees have not yet approved their time cards, have missed a shift, have taken vacation leave, or have earned overtime, etc.
Exempt employees are required to enter leave taken in CalTime every month.
Exempt employees are required to approve their timecard for a given month by the 1st of the following month, whether they have taken any leave or not. Monthly approval due dates are published on the homepage of this website each month.
No. Once your timekeeper signs off on a timecard (between the 6th and the 10th of each month), the timecard is locked to all changes, including employee approval. For this reason, be sure to complete and approve your timecard every month by the deadline. If you need to edit a timecard from a previous month, please contact your unit’s timekeeper to request a historical edit.
Clicking Save will record any entries or edits you have made to your timecard during that log-in. A best practice is to enter your leave throughout the month; you must click Save before you log out to record those entries. (If you ever enter leave time that you do not end up taking, remember to delete it by the end of the month.)
By clicking Approve, you are verifying that your entire timecard accurately reflects your use of leave time that month – either the amount and type of leave that you took, or the fact that you took none at all. You are required to approve your timecard every month, whether you took leave time or not.
So remember to Save your timecard throughout the month whenever you make entries or edits to it, then Approve it by the 1st of the following month.
If you are an exempt employee participating in the ERIT ("Employee Initiated Reduction in Time") program, you are only required to enter leave taken. Usually leave must be taken and recorded in full-day increments. However, ERIT employees should enter an amount of leave taken, equal to the length of your work day. For example, if you are scheduled to work 6.5 hours on a given day, and take that day off, you would record 6.5 hours of leave on your timecard.
If you are submitting a timecard which includes a Holiday, you don't need to do anything about holiday leave. Payroll will automatically pay you for the holiday, according to your ERIT percentage.
When you approve exempt employees’ timecards, you are only verifying that the leave used by the employee that month is correctly entered on the timecard. This includes confirming the type and the amount of leave taken.
When you approve exempt employees’ timecards, you are not verifying the leave balances. You are only verifying that the leave used by the employee that month is correctly entered on the timecard. This includes confirming the type and the amount of leave taken. If you believe that any leave balances are incorrect, please contact your unit’s timekeeper.
Approving leave usage and hours worked is a basic responsibility of all supervisors. Timely approval and processing of timecards allows exempt employees to receive updated leave accrual balances for better vacation planning, supervisors to track unapproved leaves, and managers to track leave usage in limited categories such as Family Medical Leave. When non-exempt employees are added to CalTime in August, failure to approve timecards may affect whether employees are paid on time.
Supervisors can approve employee timecards for a given month any time from the 2nd through the 5th of the following month. For example, April timecards can be approved from May 2nd through May 5th.
CalTime sends out a monthly email reminder to alert supervisors of exempt employees that it’s time to approve timecards. This timecard approval reminder is sent to the supervisor’s preferred email address in Blu. Supervisors can also subscribe to the CalTime bCal Calendar or print out the schedule of CalTime Exempt Employee Timecard Due Dates. Information about both can be found on the CalTime website’s home page.
Approving leave taken and hours worked is a basic responsibility of all supervisors. Supervisors are expected to either review and approve time cards themselves, or to make arrangements to delegate this responsibility if they can’t do it (for example, while away on vacation or out sick during an approval period). For details on delegation, visit: http://caltime.berkeley.edu/delegation-guide
A supervisor can delegate the task of reviewing and approving timecards to one or more people, and can revoke or change this delegation at any time. For details on delegation, visit: http://caltime.berkeley.edu/delegation-guide
It depends on their job title and unit’s requirements. Non-exempt employees need to report when they start work, stop work, and in some cases when they transfer between jobs.
RealTime reporters log in to CalTime when they start work and log out when they stop working, using either a computer or a Cal Time terminal. This includes most staff student employees (Student Assistant titles). Employees who do not have ready access to a computer use terminals (time clocks).
AnyTime reporters can report their work hours in Cal Time at any time during the biweekly pay cycle. Most use their desk computers to do so. Anytime reporters are encouraged to record time daily, to avoid having to keep track of hours and spending a lot of time catching up at the end of the pay cycle.
The system is pre-programmed for lunch periods, so you don't need to “clock in and out” for lunch, unless your break varies from your normal lunch schedule.
Special programs accommodate departments with flexible schedules or special needs. Check with your supervisors on the unit’s expectations.
You have a seven-minute grace period before and after each quarter hour. For example, if you punch in at 9:07am, the system records and displays the time in CalTime as 9:07am. However, when it's time to calculate the number of hours you get paid, the system will round the time (internally) to 9:00am. If you punch in at 9:08am, then the system will round up to 9:15am. Employees are responsible for reporting to work on a timely basis, and to get supervisor approval for any overtime worked.
Employees using timekeeping terminals (i.e., time clocks) to record their hours should inform their supervisors when they need to take accrued leave. Supervisors will enter the leave taken for them.
They can either review their leave balances on a computer or ask their supervisors to assist them.
Clicking Save will record any entries or edits you have made to your timecard after you logged in. Make sure to click Save before logging out to record any new entries.
By clicking Approve, you are verifying that your entire timecard accurately reflects the time you work and the leave you take for the pay period.
Please let your supervisor know as soon as possible so that your supervisor can approve your timecard for you.
No. Once your timekeeper signs off on a timecard, the timecard is locked to all changes, including employee approval. For this reason, be sure to complete and approve your timecard by the due date. If you need to edit a timecard from a previous pay period, contact your unit’s timekeeper to request a historical edit.
You can approve your timecard if your unit’s timekeeper has not signed off on it, even if your supervisor has already approved it.
However, if you need to make edits to your timecard, you will have to ask your supervisor to remove their approval.
Once you’ve made your edits, saved and approved your timecard again, your supervisor needs to approve it again.
No. Once your timekeeper signs off on a timecard, the timecard is locked to all changes, including employee approval. For this reason, be sure to complete and approve your timecard by the end of the pay period. If you need to edit a timecard from a previous pay period, ask your supervisor. He/she will contact your unit’s timekeeper to request a historical edit.
No. Once the unit’s timekeeper signs off on a time card, it is locked to all changes, including employee approval. For this reason, supervisors should be sure to review and approve employees’ timecards by the deadline. If a supervisor needs to edit a timecard from a previous pay period, please contact the unit’s timekeeper to request a “historical edit.”
When supervisors approve time cards, they are not verifying leave balances. They are only verifying that the time worked and leave taken by the employee are correctly entered on the time card. This includes confirming the type and the amount of leave taken. If an employee or supervisor believes that any leave balances are incorrect, the supervisor should contact the unit’s timekeeper.
When you approve your time card, you are verifying that the hours you worked and leave you took for the pay period are correct and properly entered on the time card. (Note that you are not verifying that your vacation/sick leave balances are correct.) If you believe that any leave balances are incorrect, please let your supervisor know. Your supervisor can contact your unit’s timekeeper to check on this for you.
That depends on whether you record your hours and leave on a real-time basis, or at anytime during the biweekly pay cycle.
“Anytime” basis: Employees who record their hours at any time during the biweekly pay cycle are required to take the additional step of approving their time cards. Approval of your time card signifies you are finished with time card entry for the pay period. If you don’t approve your time card, your supervisor will not know that you have completed your time card and will have to follow up with you.
“Real-time” basis: Employees who record their hours on a real-time basis should check their timecards regularly to make sure their hours are entered correctly. The “swipe” of the ID card at a terminal or the “time stamp” in CalTime on a computer is the employee’s approval of hours worked. Practices regarding time card approval may vary by department. Employees should consult their supervisor if they have questions regarding their department’s practices.
Keep in mind that if you do not approve your timecard on time or do not correctly record your hours worked and leave taken, you run the risk of not being paid properly. Also, your supervisor may have to make time-consuming corrections later.
Please contact your Human Resource department and they should be able to inform you of your job title classification.
First, let your supervisor know. You can also call the CalTime Help Desk at 510-664-9000, and then press option 5 for CalTime (the system will provide instructions).
Let your supervisor know if you can’t access CalTime. If no timekeeping terminal is available, you may be asked to fill out a paper timecard on a temporary basis. Click here for information about paper timecards.
If you report your time in RealTime, usually at the start and stop of each shift, please let your supervisor know immediately so he/she can enter your time as soon as CalTime is back up. If you use the Anytime method, please enter your time as soon as CalTime is available again.
If your supervisor is out or unavailable, someone can be delegated by your supervisor to correct your timecard. As a last resort, a timekeeper can also make corrections.
You get paid for the time you report in CalTime – so it's important to record your hours accurately, and double check your timecard at the end of the pay period to make sure it's correct and complete. If you see a mistake and can't fix it yourself, let your supervisor know right away.
Supervisors who need help with advanced functions, such as editing time cards from previous pay periods or correcting leave accrual problems, should contact their unit’s timekeeper. If your unit receives HR support from Campus Shared Services (CSS), you can reach your timekeeper by contacting the CSS HR Help Desk by email at email@example.com or by phone at (510) 664-9000 (option 3). If your unit is not yet supported by CSS for HR functions, you can find contact information for your timekeeper here.
If you believe that any leave balances are incorrect, please let your supervisor know and he/she will ask your unit’s timekeeper to check on this for you.
All accruals in CalTime are now calculated by our Payroll/Personnel System (PPS). Employees are no longer able to view future accruals in CalTime until the accrual is granted by PPS at the beginning of each month.
To maximize system performance for the best user experience, CalTime limits future calculations. Limiting input to timekeeping records to no more than 60 days in advance also helps ensure accuracy of reporting.
To maximize system performance for the best user experience, CalTime limits future calculations. If you need to plan further ahead, the full university holiday schedule can be found at http://registrar.berkeley.edu/CalendarDisp.aspx?terms=current.
CalTime email notifications are sent to the preferred email address you have listed in Blu. If there is only one email address listed, that's the address that will be used. If more than one email address is listed, notifications will be sent to the address checked as "preferred". To check your preferred email address, login to blu at https://blu.is.berkeley.edu Under Update Personal Information, choose Email Addresses. You'll have the opportunity there to specify your preferred email address for UC Berkeley business, including CalTime.
CalTime emails are sent based on UC Berkeley's personnel records. If you are getting CalTime emails after you've stopped working for the university, you should contact your previous supervisor or department, and ask them to update the university's records.
CalTime offers a number of benefits:
- An electronic timekeeping system offers greater accuracy in tracking overtime and hours worked against multiple jobs than paper timecards.
- Employees have increased visibility of work time and leave accruals and balances; supervisors can view all their employees’ hours and leave balances and run reports in a single system.
- Eliminating shadow systems results in greater transparency and assurance of timecard approvals
- Since CalTime enables the transition to biweekly, non-exempt employees receive their regular pay and overtime pay more frequently (every other Wednesday).
- A standardized timekeeping solution improves administrative processes and provide more consistent levels of service across the university.
- CalTime supports timekeepers’ work by eliminating the need to project employee time each pay period.
- CalTime supports tracking of time worked for contract and grant purposes.
Campus Shared Services (CSS), through the CalTime Help Desk, provides technical and timekeeping support to CalTime users. The vast majority of the campus currently served by CSS, with the exception of a very small group of departments who will continue manage their payroll and timekeeping-related functions for the time being. Campus Shared Services staff partner with any departments and timekeepers outside of CSS to ensure any CalTime-related requests are quickly directed to the appropriate contacts for any follow-up or support needed.
Timekeeping is the process of tracking and reporting work and leave time. Everyone is responsible for accurate timekeeping:
- Employees report leave and approve their time on their timecards
- Supervisors review and approve their employees’ timecards
- Timekeepers sign off on their units’ timecards
There is no mobile app for CalTime. Employees cannot access CalTime via their mobile phone.
A timekeeper is an employee who oversees exempt and non-exempt timekeeping processes for an entire work unit or department. Before assuming their duties, timekeepers are provided with special training on timekeeping processes, their unit-specific non-exempt timekeeping system, and CalTime.
CalTime relies on timekeepers to:
- Follow up for missing supervisor approvals*
- Review and sign off on timecards submitted by supervisors in their designated areas
- Process manual timekeeping actions for certain leave codes
- Interface with the CalTime team to resolve issues
- Relay feedback about the system to the CalTime team
* While timekeepers follow up for supervisor approvals, it is the supervisor’s responsibility to follow up with employees on their timecard approval.
Timekeepers can perform certain tasks that employees and supervisors cannot, such as editing timecards from previous pay periods. Common reasons that you might need to contact your timekeeper are listed below.
You’re an employee who:
- Needs to edit an approved and signed-off timecard to correct an inaccuracy
- Has a question about your leave accrual or balance
You’re a supervisor who:
- Doesn’t see an employee on your Leave Usage Genie who should be there
- Has an employee listed on your Leave Usage Genie who shouldn’t be there
- Has an employee taking a leave of absence
- Needs help terminating an employee’s record
- Wants to create an employee roster or Hyperfind Query
- Needs to edit an already-approved and signed-off timecard to correct the information on it
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the CSS Help Desk at (510) 664-9000, option 5 for CalTime, if you need:
- Help accessing or navigating CalTime
- To open a ticket for an issue or problem related to CalTime
- To set up, change, or remove the delegation of supervisor timecard approval duties