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HR FAQ’s

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Q: Do I have to do an I-9 for rehired employee? 

A: You must complete a new I-9 for all rehires and submit to everify@utk.edu for everification within 3 days of the rehire.  

Q: How do I update an employee’s work permission? 

A: Obtain the unexpired work permission and complete section 3 of the I-9 form. 

Q: Who completes the PSLF form? 

The PSLF form can be sent to hr@utk.edu using the vault.  HR will sign and return the form to you. 

Q: Where is the hiring manager log in for Taleo? 

A: You can access Taleo from the webpage https://hr.utk.edu/hiring-toolkit/ and select “Hiring Manager’s Login”. This will take you to the portal to access your Taleo Dashboard as a Manager or Collaborator, and view your positions, applications, etc.  

Q: How long does a position have to be posted? 

A: A position must be posted a minimum of 7 full calendar days before it can be unposted, or interview and hiring activities can commence.  

Q: When is a background check required for employment? 

A: Background checks are required for all temporary and regular staff and faculty. If a current employee transfers into a new role and has not completed a background check while employed at UTK, one will need to be completed.  If a previous employee has a break in service and returns to the University, a new background check is required regardless of the duration of time passed since a background check was conducted.  

Q: Are background checks required for student employees? 

A: Student employees are not required to undergo a background check unless they are considered a covered adult under Program for Minors.  

Q: During the hiring process, when should I request a background check? 

A: Since background checks can take some time to complete, we ask that the background be started as soon as possible. Background checks can be launched when a finalist(s) has been identified. To do this:   

  1. In Taleo, the selected candidate’s application will need to be moved to the “Ready for Background Ck” Step/Status.  This will trigger Taleo to send the candidate the background consent form; the consent must be completed for a background check to be initiated.   
  2. The department must notify their Recruitment Business Partner who they would like to start a background check for (this does not automatically happen). 

Q: How do I request a background check for a temporary employee? 

A: Department users can log in to https://hrbackground.utk.edu/ to request a background check for a potential temporary employee. You will need to have an email address for the candidate to complete the background check request. 

Q: How long does a background check typically take? 

A: Background checks on average take 3 to 5 business days to complete, however, they can take up to 2 weeks or longer. 

Q: How are applicants screened by Recruitment? 

A: Applicants are screened individually based on the following criteria: 

  1. Exempt Positions are screened based on education requirements only.  
  2. Non-Exempt Positions are screened based on minimum qualifications listed in the position description.  
  3. Internal Employees are screened for tenure in their current role, probationary status, most recent performance review score, and any current disciplinary actions. 

Q: Where are university jobs posted? 

A: Positions posted on the University’s webpage (https://ut.taleo.net/careersection/ut_system/jobsearch.ftl?lang=en) and are automatically listed on Higher Ed Jobs, Diversity Jobs, Inside Higher Ed, Linked In, and Indeed.  

Q: How do I ensure that my new hire will have accesses to computer systems on their first day? 

A: Offers and IRIS workflow must be completed no later than the Thursday prior to the new hire’s start date to ensure accesses on their first day.  

Q: Can new hires receive an official offer letter a cleared background check? 

A: Yes. Offer letters can be extended to the candidate without a cleared background based on the employment contingency in the offer letter, which states that the offer can be nullified in the event of a negative result in any pre-hire screenings.

Q: What can I expect from a CliftonStrengths facilitation with my team? 

A: The CliftonStrengths assessment will be completed for each member prior to the session.  We will identify the individual strengths as well as recognize possible barriers within those strengths.  We will share the team results and strategize how the team can work more effectively together.  All aspects of the facilitation can be discussed in advance and changed to meet the needs of the team.  

Q: How do I contact LOD and request support for myself or my team? 

A: LOD utilizes an online request process found HERE and complete all the fields in the form. LOD will contact you within 24 to confirm receipt of your request and LOD will schedule a initial consultation to gain additional relevant information about your request. The initial consultation should occur within 1 week of the request.  We will use this conversation to design and recommend the best available course of action. 

To provide time for development of support, actual live sessions should be planned to occur no sooner than 2 weeks after the request date 

Q: What is the best way to contact LOD? 

A: For individual questions LOD is available at lod@utk.edu. If you have a specific need to contact us individually, you may use our personal email addresses.   

For support requests please use our LOD request form found HERE. 

Q: I attended an event recently that was not previously listed in K@TE. How do I receive credits for this event? 

A: If you attended a professional development opportunity without signing up in K@TE, you will have to apply for External Training credits through K@TE. To request these credits, log in to K@TE and click “Add External Training” and follow the instructions.  

Q: Do I need to have a formal telecommuting agreement on file? 

A: Yes, a telecommuting agreement is required to be on file with Human Resources to detail the specifics of the telecommuting arrangement.   

Q: How often should a telecommuting agreement be reviewed? 

A: It is recommended that a telecommuting agreement be reviewed and renewed on an annual basis.   

Q: How do I get the template for telecommuting agreements? 

A: Contact HR Compensation at hrcompensation@utk.edu to discuss telecommuting agreements.  

Q: Who do I contact to discuss telecommuting agreements? 

A: Contact HR Compensation at hrcompensation@utk.edu to discuss telecommuting agreements.  

Q: Can I implement a hybrid telecommuting agreement for my employees? 

A: Yes, telecommuting agreements can describe an arrangement that includes a time working on-site as well as time working at a remote location.   

Q: Where can I find the policy on work schedules? 

A: HR0480 – Work Schedules establishes standards for work schedules and can be found at https://policy.tennessee.edu/.   

Q: How do I submit a position for review? 

A: Submit a completed position description along with a classification request form and Org Chart to hrcompensation@utk.edu. The position description and classification request form can be found here.  

Q: When should I submit a position for review? 

A: A position review is recommended when a position is vacant, when significant changes to the organization or workplace occur, when new work or tasks are added to the position, or when the employee in a position has progressively taken on more advanced or complex tasks. For additional information see Guidelines for Compensation Actions.   

Q: What materials should be submitted for a position review? 

A: The completed position description, a classification request form and an Org Chart are required to submit a position for review. The position description and classification request form can be found here.  

Q: How long does it take to have a position reviewed? 

A: A position review takes about a week to be started by a Compensation Analyst. Once the review is started the Analyst will be in touch to discuss the position description and classification recommendation.   

Q: What positions require a position description to be reviewed? 

A: Regular and Temporary staff positions require a position description. Students, Post-docs, and faculty positions do not require a position description.  

Q: What is the effective date of a reclassification? 

A: Typically, position reclassifications are effective the first day of the month following receipt of the review materials.   

Q: What is the transaction in IRIS to change a position? 

A: The position change transaction in IRIS is ZPPOSITION000. 

Q: Should I add workflow notes in the position change transaction? 

A: Yes. Workflow notes help the HR Compensation team know why position changes are being submitted.  

Q: When should I check “yes” on the requisition request option on the position change transaction? 

A: Check “yes” on the requisition request option when a position needs to be posted on the University’s job board to identify an employee to fill the role.  

Q: When should I check the job reclassification option on the position change transaction? 

A: Check the job reclassification option when a position has been reviewed by HR Compensation and the position attributes are changing.  

Q: When can I submit the personnel change transaction after a position has been reviewed for reclassification? 

A: The IRIS personnel change transaction (ZXFERCHGLOA) can be submitted after the IRIS position change transaction (ZPPOSITION000) has been fully approved.  

Q: What documents should I attach to the IRIS position change transaction? 

A: If you are going to post the position to identify a candidate to hire, please attach a job announcement to the IRIS position change transaction. You do not need to attach a copy of the position description or the classification letter.  

Q: How do I see the status of the IRIS position change transaction?  

A: To see the status of the IRIS position change transaction, select or directly enter the position change transaction ZPPOSITION000 in IRIS. Once in this transaction, select the “Workflow” option and enter the position number. Then select, and then select the work item history option.  

Q: How do I know when position changes have been approved? 

A: If you submitted the position change, you would receive an email when the position change has been fully processed.   

Q: What are acceptable effective dates to change a 9-month position?  

A: 9-month positions can be changed effective August 1, January 1, or February 1.   

Q: How can I modify the effective date of a position change? 

A: To make a change to the effective date of position changes, resubmit the IRIS position workflow or in extraordinary cases, contact the Compensation team at hrcompensation@utk.edu.   

Q: How do I determine the effective date of position changes when someone vacates a position? 

A: Changes to a position should happen after the last day the current employee works. Please use this as the effective date when submitting the IRIS position workflow.  

Q: Can I have multiple holders in a regular staff position? 

A: Yes, this is allowable during a short transition period when an employee is leaving a position and a new employee has been hired. This typically happens to allow for training of a new employee. Long-term, a regular staff position should not have multiple holders.  

Q: How can I request a temporary assignment, and when is a temporary assignment appropriate? 

A: A temporary assignment may be appropriate when an employee is taking on additional higher-level responsibilities on a temporary basis for more than 30 days, but less than one year. To discuss setting up a temporary assignment for an employee, please contact the HR Compensation team at hrcompensation@utk.edu.   

Q: How can I request a review of the pay for employees in my department? 

A: Please contact HR Compensation at hrcompensation@utk.edu to request a review of where employees are within their market ranges to determine if changes in pay are recommended. 

Q: When is a counteroffer request appropriate, and what is the process to request one? 

A: An employee must have an offer of employment from an external organization and the position is critical to operations and/or difficult to fill. Please contact HR Compensation at hrcompensation@utk.edu to discuss issuing a counteroffer.  

Q: When do pay actions require review by HR Compensation? 

A: The following actions should be reviewed by HR Compensation: Temporary assignments, bonuses, in-range salary adjustments, equity adjustments, and counteroffers/retention adjustments.   

Q: Where can I find the compensation policy? 

A: HR0406 – Compensation is the compensation policy and can be found at https://policy.tennessee.edu/.   

Q: How is Overtime calculated for non-exempt employees? 

A: Overtime is calculated at 1 ½ times the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay for every hour over 40   worked in that workweek.   

Q: Does the University of Tennessee allow Compensatory Time for non-exempt employees? 

A: Yes, the University of Tennessee does allow Compensatory Time to be banked. Compensatory time is accrued at the rate of 1 ½ hours of compensatory time for every hour over 40 worked in a workweek. Recording time over 40 hours worked in a workweek as compensatory time is the preferred practice for many departments.  

Q: Is flexible scheduling allowable for non-exempt employees? 

A: Yes, flexible scheduling is allowable to mitigate the amount of time over 40 hours worked in a workweek for non-exempt employees. The hours flexed must be within the University of Tennessee work week, which is Monday through Sunday.   

Q: How is a position determined to be exempt or non-exempt? 

A: A position is determined to be exempt or non-exempt based on the job functions performed. The Fair Labor Standards Act governs provisions for properly paying non-exempt employees.  

Q: Can I volunteer to do my job? 

A: No, you cannot volunteer to do work related to your job responsibilities.   

Q: My employee worked overtime without prior approval; do I need to pay them for that time? 

A: Yes, you will need to pay them for that time. It is also recommended that you reach out to HR Employee Relations to discuss how to address this with the employee.  

Q: What is the difference between Family Medical Leave (FML) and Tennessee Parental Leave (TPL)? 

A: FML is a federally mandated benefit that provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks off work due to a serious medical condition. TPL is a state mandated benefit that provides up to 4 months off work for childbirth or adoption only. These two benefits run concurrently, providing a total of 4 months of leave. 

Q: What is the order in which I take the leave/record time while on FML? 

A: The order is: banked comp time (if available), sick leave, annual leave and finally a personal day if available. 

Q: What do I need to do if there are changes to the time I need off from work while on FML? 

A: If additional time off is needed, an updated medical certification from the healthcare provider is required. This should be sent to Human Resources by faxing to 865-974-6066 or emailing to familymedicalleave@utk.edu and the FML Administrator will notify you if the extension is approved.  

Q: When should I request FML or when should we recommend an employee request FML? 

A: Per HR Policy 0338, if the leave is foreseeable, the paperwork should be submitted at least 30 days in advance of the FML start date. If leave is not foreseeable, paperwork should be submitted as soon as possible. 

Q: What does retained sick leave hours mean on the FML request form? 

A: HR Policy 0338 requires the use of leave accruals while on FML, and selecting this option allows you to retain up to 40 hours of sick leave to use outside of FML approved absences or for time off needed after FML is exhausted. 

Q: What happens if I run out of available leave but still have FML hours available? 

A: You will continue to remain on FML, however, the time missed from work will be unpaid. If you are a member of the sick leave bank, you may request hours from the bank. 

Q: Do I still accrue sick and annual leave when I am out on FML? 

A: If you are still in an active paid status while on FML you will continue to accrue sick and annual leave. If you utilize all leave accruals and are placed on unpaid leave, your leave accruals will cease until you are returned to active status. 

Q: Do I need anything to return to work earlier than my physician stated? 

A: Yes, you will need a note from the doctor clearing you to return to work at full duty or with restrictions (unless you’ve been on FML for birth/adoption).  

Q: Do I need submit a medical certification from my doctor to request FML? 

A: A medical certification is not required for birth, adoption, or foster care placement; however, it is required for any other serious medical condition. 

Q: My spouse also works for the University, do we have to share the 12 weeks of FML? 

A: If both spouses are requesting FML for the same reason (i.e. birth, adoption, to care for the same family member with a serious medical condition) the 12 weeks of FML are split between them.  

Q: If requesting Paid Parental Leave (PPL) do I also need to request FML? 

A: Yes. FML and PPL provide different benefits that run concurrently. PPL provides paid leave for childbirth or adoption while FML provides the benefit of job and insurance protections. 

Q: What is the process for a 9-month faculty member to request Family Medical Leave? 

A: 9-month faculty members should reach out to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs office at vpfacultyaffairs@utk.edu to discuss leave options when they require Family Medical Leave. 

Q: How long do Career Gateway positions last?
A: Gateway assignments can last from a couple of weeks up to a year. 

Q: Who is eligible for the Career Gateway?
A: Everyone is eligible for the Career Gateway. However, candidates must provide professional and or personal references and pass a background check. 

Q: Are these Full Time or Part Time opportunities?
A: The Career Gateway offers full time and part time opportunities. 

Q: Can a Career Gateway position become a career opportunity?
A: Many Career Gateway assignments can lead to a permanent career opportunity. 

Q: How long does it take to be placed through the Career Gateway?
A: Once you have applied for a position within the Career Gateway, your application is immediately reviewed and evaluated against current available assignments. Some departments will conduct an interview (if needed) and once you are selected, we will begin the hiring process. This includes a background check, completion of all new hire paperwork, and reference checks. This process can take 7-10 business days. 

Q: What type of positions are available through the Career Gateway?
A: Assignments can range anywhere from basic administrative assignments to assisting the Vice Provost of a department. The Career Gateway also has assignments for specific skills such as accounting, graphic design, and video production just to name a few. There is a continuous need for service aides, painter, and general laborers; these assignments are typically available year round. 

Q: Does the Career Gateway offer Benefits or PTO?
A: Career Gateway assignments do not offer benefits. The Career Gateway does offer an opportunity to work at the University of Tennessee, experience the campus culture, and give you the ability to try different assignments to see which ones you would like to pursue in building your career. We always encourage our Career Gateway employees to apply for any permanent full time positions with the university, all of which provide benefits, including health insurance, retirement, and paid time off.