[Minor revision –posted 5/4/16 (replaces 6/15/07 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 32.12: Faculty Absence for Observance of Religious Holy Day
DATE: May 4, 2016
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to ensure understanding and a standardized approach to handling faculty absence for observance of a religious holy day.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in April of even-numbered years by the Senior Vice Provost with substantive revisions presented to the Provost and Senior Vice President.
Regular Faculty Member: An employee with academic rank paid to teach in full or in part from the line item faculty salaries for at least fifty percent of time or for at least four and one-half months per year, excluding students employed in positions that require student status as a condition for employment.
A regular faculty member shall be entitled, without deduction in salary, to absence for observance of religious holy days subject to the following conditions:
a. "Religious holy day" means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Texas Tax Code §11.20.
b. A faculty member who is absent from work for the observance of a religious holy day and gives proper notice of that absence will not be discriminated against or penalized.
c. Proper notice should be provided by the faculty member to the department chairperson before the observance of the holy day. This notice will consist of a listing of religious holy days to be observed during the semester.
d. Notice must be in writing and should be delivered personally to the chairperson of the department, with receipt of the notice acknowledged and dated by the chairperson, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the chairperson.
e. The chairperson will attempt to provide class coverage from among regular faculty of the department or area.
f. Advance written notice, if needed, will be provided to all students whose class would be cancelled because of the faculty member's absence.
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