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NJ DCF Logo with reverse copy


New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual




DCF Wide

Effective Date:



Administrative Policies



Human Resources




Human Resources



Timekeeping Policy





To standardize Departmental timekeeping practices. 





This policy applies Department-wide.



iii. legal authority


N.J.A.C. 4A:6-1 et seq. Paid leaves

N.J.A.C. 4A:6-2 et seq. Hours of work - fixed, unlimited, holiday time, etc.

FLSA Fair Labor Standards Act





eCATS means the Electronic Cost Accounting and Timesheet System


Early Payroll Close means the adjustment of Centralized Payroll deadlines as a result of a holiday falling on a Monday that is a payroll submission day.


Timesheet means the electronic document used by the employee to record his/her daily time. 


Surrogate Supervisor means another supervisor designated by a supervisor to act in his or her place with respect to approving leave requests and timesheets if the normal supervisor is not available


v. policy


      It is the policy of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to utilize a reliable, formalized method for maintaining an accurate record for employee timekeeping and to ensure that all Department staff abide by the rules and procedures that govern the policy.





A.  Signing In and Out


All employees, including full-time, part-time, hourly, or Special Services staff, must sign in and out on the eCATS timesheet on a daily basis.  Employees must sign in and sign out at the exact moment he or she is scheduled to begin work and stop work. Employees are not authorized to sign in until they are actually scheduled to begin work.  Employees are not authorized to sign out after the time that they are scheduled to stop work.


B.  Submission of Leave Requests


Employees must submit an electronic leave request through eCATS in advance of any request for leave time, including administrative leave, unless it is an emergency.  In the case of an emergency, the employee must submit the leave request no later than the next working date.  Paper leave requests are not to be used as eCATS is the official timekeeping record of the Department.


C.  Entering eCATS


Supervisors should make every effort to log in to eCATS at least once per day to ensure they are acting on leave requests or rejected timesheets promptly.





A.  Employee


1.  Employees must accurately record their time on      their eCATS timesheet and submit it to their supervisor by Noon on the last day of the pay period (Friday).  In the case of an Early Payroll Close, the timesheet must be submitted as instructed by the DCF Payroll Unit.


2.Employees are responsible for submitting leave requests via eCATS in advance of  the start of the requested leave, or in an emergency situation, as soon as possible.



B.  Supervisor


1.  Supervisors must ensure subordinates sign in and out as required. 


2.  Supervisors must promptly review leave requests.


3. Supervisors must review and approve all subordinates’ timesheets by the end of  their shift on the last day of the pay period (Friday).  In the case of an Early Payroll Close, the timesheets must be approved as instructed by the DCF Payroll Unit.


4.   Supervisors must have as many Surrogate Supervisors listed in eCATS as necessary to ensure timesheets and leave requests can be approved in accordance with this policy.  It is the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure covering supervisors are able to approve their subordinates’ timesheets without the need for them to change the supervisor on the timesheets or leave requests.


5.   Supervisors must certify to the accuracy of each timesheet they are approving.


VIII      Procedures


A.  Recording of Time in eCATS


1.   Employees may record leave time to the half-hour.  Less than one-half hour of leave time will be rounded up to one-half hour.


2.   Employees must revise timesheets, where appropriate, to properly reflect time worked. However, leave time types (vacation, sick, compensatory time,          administrative leave) may not be retroactively changed unless approved by the DCF Office of Human Resources.


3.  Failure of employees or supervisors to meet timesheet or leave request submission and approval deadlines established in this policy may result in disciplinary action.


4.   Failure to submit the necessary documentation to the DCF Office of Human Resources to support a leave requiring documentation is not a defense to disciplinary action for failing to meet submission deadlines.


 5.  Employees who fail to submit necessary documentation timely for approval to permit the use of a leave time type on a timesheet must use their own paid leave time, or be docked if they have no leave time remaining, until the documentation is reviewed and approved by the Office of Human Resources. If the documentation is never provided, or is found insufficient and sufficient documentation is not provided, the employee will be charged his/her own leave time for the dates in question, or will be docked if no leave time remains and may be subject to disciplinary action.



B.  Overtime Payment and Approval Process


1.   Procedures for payment of compensable overtime are defined in the Department’s Overtime Policy No. 003-2008.




A.  Holidays will be governed by N.J.A.C. 4:1-18.3, 4:2-18.2, and 4:2-18.3. The same holiday rules apply for classified and non-classified employees. 


B. Legal holidays falling on Sunday are observed on the following Monday. For timekeeping purposes, Monday is considered the holiday. Employees in seven-day coverage positions whose regular day off falls on a holiday will have their regular day off changed to another day in that work week. 


C.  If an employee is scheduled to work on a holiday and is absent without permission on that day, the leave is unauthorized leave and a notation must be made on the time sheet indicating “unauthorized absence” via appropriate coding.


D   Religious holidays: Any religious observance not a legal holiday or declared a special day off by the Governor may be granted to an employee as a religious holiday but must be charged to either vacation or other accumulated leave (sick time excepted) or leave without pay if there is no accumulated leave.  Advanced permission from the supervisor must be obtained for such time off and should be granted unless the leave creates an undue hardship on the operations of the office.