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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions will be added to as more questions are asked and answered.

My question is...

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WHY DO WE HAVE TO IMPLEMENT THIS NEW SYSTEM?

WSDOT’s current time, leave and attendance systems were custom built in the 80’s. They are old, unstable and do not support current business needs. Current challenges include:

  • Timekeeping processes are labor intensive and paper-based with manual reviews and approvals prior to data entry into timekeeping or payroll systems.
  • Current timekeeping processes are often at risk for entry errors. Manual processes and limited edits at the point of data entry increase the potential for errors. Risks include overtime earned but not paid, pay for hours not worked, and time miscalculated or miscoded.
  • Implementing, tracking and enforcing provisions of collective bargaining agreements is difficult, primarily relying upon manual processes. Modern timekeeping systems contain edits and controls that incorporate the terms of collective bargaining agreements.
  • Current WSDOT timekeeping systems rely upon weighted labor rates which are estimates of expenditures and create challenges in reporting and budget management.
  • Current systems lack adequate internal controls. Lack of internal controls in timekeeping results in ineffective use of resources, increases the risk of over and under payments, and the probability of miscoded charges.
  • Lack of information impedes timely, data-driven decision making, impacts daily operations, and impairs the state’s ability to effectively bargain labor issues and manage state resources.
  • Duplication of effort – managing and maintaining the 100+ timekeeping systems currently in use in state government is expensive and inefficient.
  • Complying with the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is highly complex and difficult to track in the current environment. TLA will provide the ability to comply with FLSA and a myriad of other state and federal labor laws.



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ABOUT THE NEW TLA SYSTEM

What can we do in the new system?

The new TLA system will allow us to more efficiently and consistently:

  • Track and report leave
  • Access leave balances
  • Approve and track leave requests
  • Process complex collective bargaining rules , including training and certifications, notifications and crewing requirements


What will change?

There are many benefits to this new system including:

  • Empowers employees with self-service time entry and self-service leave requests. You will have the online access to historical timesheets and leave activity, as well as robust functionality for management of your various types of leave.
  • Makes various options available for accessing the new system. Depending on where you work, options for access may be available through personal computer, dedicated time capture device, mobile device, or interactive voice response system.
  • Employs automated rule based workflows for routing of timesheets and leave requests for approval.
  • Standardizes and simplifies procedures among workgroups and among represented and non-represented employees.
  • Facilitates accurate pay by automating business rules based on collective bargaining agreements, WAC, and other required criteria.
  • Enables flexible online shift schedule development, assignment and management as well as the more complex shift scheduling and dispatch functionality required by the Ferries Division.
  • Improves reporting and access to detailed labor data which will support data driven decision making.
  • Uses actual labor expenditures to improve reporting and budget management.


Who’s involved with this project?

WSDOT and Ecology are working with the Department of Enterprise Systems (DES) and the Office of Financial Management (OFM) to be the initial implementers of the new TLA system.

WSDOT was chosen due to its pressing need to address timekeeping issues and the complexity of its systems. Moreover, to adequately address recommendations from a performance report (pdf 1.3 mb) , WSDOT must replace our TLA system.

More than 120 WSDOT employees, supervisors and managers from various departments are part of the WSDOT TLA project team. The project team consists of a “Primary Team” and “Extended Team”.

  • The Primary Team is made up of individuals appointed by management and project sponsors that will spend a considerable amount of time dedicated to project work and coordinating with members of the Extended Team. Management selected these members for their extensive knowledge, spanning all areas of the agency.
  • The Extended Team is made up of individuals that will represent their respective organizations as subject matter experts throughout the project.

See the list of project staff (pdf 86 kb) . It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that ONLY these people will be involved, it just designates staff appointed by management. We welcome you to engage with members of the TLA teams.


Are we developing or buying a TLA system?

Washington state purchased the services and licensing of a software solution from WorkForce Software. WorkForce Software has a proven track record for providing time, attendance and leave tracking with other state and local governments. This means we will be able to tap into the expertise of a vendor that has done this before for government institutions, large manufacturing companies and even airlines like American Airlines.

Workforce Software was selected after an extensive requirements process that included input by a number of state agencies. A request for proposals (RFP) was released in February 2013. The RFP process began last spring, and extended through the summer with proposal reviews, product demonstrations and finally contract negotiations.


Can the system support busy times like 3:30-4:30 where lots of staff may be accessing/using the system?

Yes. One of the ways in which we measure the success of this project is that the system can support large numbers of staff using it at the same time. This is written into our contract with our vendor, WorkForce Software.


Currently you have to use a paper form and have the signatures, etc. for shift schedules. This looks as though we might be able to automate that process as well?

We will be working with the software vendor to evaluate opportunities to streamline and automate shift schedule changes.


In maintenance we use weighted labor rates for our repair cost estimates is there still going to be a table or something we can use for the estimating tool to give us a good general cost of a Maintenance Tech II (top step)?

Yes, you will have access to a labor pricing tool that will provide salary and benefit cost for a job class and step.


How will this information be “archived” per current retention schedules?

Information within TLA will be stored electronically within TLA. The retention periods will be determined by state/agency policy, but the system can support any length of time.


Can you tell me how, if needed, signatures will be utilized?

Signatures as you know it today will not be needed. TLA will electronically track submittals, approvals, denials and certifications.


How will you get signatures from the employee? How will the supervisor be able to check and sign the timesheet? If corrections need to be made, how will this be taken care of, and will signatures be needed for the corrections?

Employees will electronically submit leave requests and electronically certify time sheet submittals. Supervisors will electronically review and approve the time sheet. Depending on the timing of when a correction is made to a time sheet, the time sheet may be routed back to the employee for correction and resubmittal or the supervisor may make the correction on the employee’s time sheet. Electronic attestation may be necessary, depending on the path for the correction. WSDOT will be establishing timekeeping policies to ensure employees understand their responsibilities for time sheet changes.


Who is worrying about the retention of these records? Since they are all electronic and we are creating the record aren't we responsible to retain them?

Employees will not be responsible for retaining pay records. Pay records will be retained electronically within the TLA system and HRMS.


Retaining these records, how does that work?

Pay records will be retained electronically within the TLA system and statewide payroll system HRMS in accordance with records retention schedules.


How will the system handle exception reporting (managers who only report leave)?

Employees that are exception coded will only submit their leave taken into TLA similar to way they use the current daily timesheet for leave taken.


What are internal controls?

Time and attendance internal controls consist of policies, procedures, system edits and other measures designed to ensure that time and attendance activities are properly administered and consistent with collective bargaining agreements and state and federal laws.


What is, “Robust functionality?”

The system has a lot of features that are valuable to Washington state employees, namely you can easily view projected leave balances, check schedules, request leave, etc.


What are, “Automated rule based workflows?”

The system automatically applies the provisions of the CBAs, WAC, etc.


Where are we as far as using biometrics for systems/program/everything, access?

That is still being determined.


Your email on 2/17 stated that you would have the video of your demo on your website in a few weeks. What is the current timeline for this to occur?

It’s taken longer than expected to complete the videos. Once they are ready, we will post them to the website and communicate out to employees about them. Thanks for checking in and be sure to check out our FAQ page as it may have answers to many questions asked at the demos.


Currently our office is required to collect paper documentation for cross org charging overtime, Jury Duty, etc. These documents are attached to the time sheet to be stored. Will the new system accommodate any attachments, such as PDF or Word documents?

Currently the system does not allow attachments at the timesheet/leave request level. However the vendor is planning to implement that feature in Q3 of this year and would expect to have that functionality by the time WSDOT deploys.


Will there be reporting capabilities other than leave reports available. Reports on charge code information, like the financial reports we get from Firs or Datamart currently?

We are still in the early stages of determining what system we will use to gather the different reports.

Will there continue to be “short payroll cutoffs with the new system?

No. With the implementation of TLA short cutoffs will be eliminated.


Will the new time keeping system still require employees to fill out and sign their timesheet prior to the end of the pay period?

Employees will be responsible for entering their own time into TLA. However they will not have to print or sign the timesheet. The approval will be electronic.

Will the new system send warnings to individuals with excess leave balances?

Discussions are underway on this subject, but final decisions have not been made regarding warnings and alerts. It is important to note that employees will be able to view leave balances in their dashboard.


Will I, as I currently do, be able to view individual leave balances and warn them they’re about to lose leave and/or Personal Holidays (PHs)? If not, can such a warning system be built into the program?

Discussions are underway on this subject, but final decisions have not been made regarding user roles, views, and warnings/alerts.

There are times when employees request to adjust their work hours within their work week (working different hours than their approved schedule). Currently, when this is preapproved by the supervisor or Org manager, a note is added to the timesheet and the actual hours worked are shown on the time sheets. How will approved adjustments such as this get documented and tracked? Will this occur within the system? Will the system have the ability to show that the person worked different hours than their typical schedule? Or will the system block the ability to show a person worked on a different day than their schedule?

We are currently working with Workforce to determine how this will be accomplished. We expect the system will support temporary schedule adjustments.

Will Maintenance Lead Techs be able to review employee time sheets for mistakes and make corrections? Or just the Supervisor?

We are currently in the process of determining employee roles and system access. Once that is determined, we will be better prepared to answer this question.


On the web page http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Employees/TLA/default.htmjust what does “pending management approval” mean? And who is “management”? Does it mean the employee’s manager must approve? Or does it mean an agency decision must be made?

It means that a business decision has to be made by WSDOT TLA Steering Committee and executive management if employees will be able to access TLA using a mobile device. 

How is the system configured to know when to pay penalty pay? How will the system know I am entitled to penalty pay?

We are currently identifying business requirements and penalty pay is one of the areas that we are working on with DES and Workforce to understand how that will work within the new TLA system.

Will the system notify you when you are in ‘a lose or use it’ situation with your annual leave, personal leave day and personal holiday?

We are currently identifying business requirements and continue to work with Workforce (our vendor) to determine how and when employees will be notified for various payroll events.


Will all employees be required to have an e-mail or domain name to log into TLA?

In order for employees to receive e-mail notifications from TLA, they will be required to have an e-mail address.


If e-mails are required, who will be responsible for setting up the e-mails?

Responsibility for establishing email accounts has not been determined at this time.


Who will be responsible for paying for devices?

WSDOT continues to collaborate with DES on the funding plan for Data Collection Devices.



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HOW THE SYSTEM WILL WORK WITH OTHER SYSTEMS



How/will this system link to or provide data/calculations needed for the Washington retirement system (PERS) and for retired staff who then come back to WSDOT and are limited to only working a certain number of hours (perhaps this reflects a WAC or business rule)?

Information in TLA will feed HRMS which will be the system of record for reporting new hire, re-hires and retiree re-hires. The payroll office will continue to run reports to identify retiree rehires that are approaching the number of hours they are allowed to work.

In the Traffic Signal/ITS maintenance offices throughout the state our employees have been using a program called SIMMS for many years now that we input work report, K3 third party damage, and inventory data on a daily basis. This generates our daily timesheets showing work operations, work hours, leave usage, vehicle and equipment utilization how will TLA interface with the system we have in place?

Employees will be required to enter their time into TLA. Currently, a workgroup has been tasked with identifying the different systems that may be affected by the implementation.

Is there a way to file for and track per diem? And will the system have the same problems we occasionally currently experience with people who are on night shift getting per diem when their single shift spans more than one calendar day?

TLA will not be the system to track employees per diem. That will be handled outside of TLA through vendor payments.

The Bridge & Structures Office currently has Dive Pay that is keyed manually onto an excel spreadsheet then reported to payroll, who then process the information. Will the new system have this as an option for the employee to select, much like other forms of assignment pay (Bridge or Ubit)?

Yes. The TLA system will maintain the many different specialty pay that employees receive.

Hello this is my third attempt to get an answer to this question, how will the TLA interface with the automated system (SIMMS) we use statewide in the Traffic Signal & ITS shops? We do daily work reports, K jobs, and inventory, SIMMS generates our daily timesheets based on our input showing labor, leave, and equipment used.

The WSDOT TLA Legacy Remediation team is working with the SIMMS team to determine the specific requirements and what is in scope for the project. However, TLA will be the single source of time entry, and other system will not “feed” TLA with time information. This is to ensure consistency from a process and audit perspective.


In the Bridge Design Office, there is a Bridge Code which is the letter that we add to the Work Order number when we have more than one bridge or major structure on the project. For example, if work order XL4500 has two bridges, we would report our time as XL4500A or XL4500B. Please let me know if the new TLA system will be able to handle this kind of coding.

The TLA system will only accept valid work order codes as defined and set up with in TRAINS.



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SCHEDULE


When is the anticipated rollout date for the South Central Region? I have had several employees ask this question.

The estimated deployment dates for Eastern regions is 6/1/15 and Western regions is 6/30/15.


Is there some reason I should be concerned about this? If I can’t enter my time in 2015 I guess I will worry about it then.

Even though some employees will not be entering their time until 2015, they will still want to keep up to date on TLA activities and communications.


About the same time we began getting emails on this upcoming TLA program I also began getting emails from "Avant Education dot com" with about the same kind of information. Are they ”with you” or may I block them as Junk Mail?

Avant Education dot com is not part of the TLA project communications. You can block the e-mails you receive from them.


Why is the estimated date for the rollout for the western regions 06/30/15? This is right at the end of the biennium and the final day of a pay period as well. I anticipate that many employees will have questions or need help with the new system on rollout day, and this will be a burden when office staff is already tasked with closing out the biennium. I realize that this is an estimated date and it may change, but I was wondering why this date was selected instead of, say, July 1?

Based on the new schedule, Western regions rollout will begin July 1, 2015 not June 30.


Is IT staff from WSF part of the HQ rollout?

Yes, all employees with a HQ org code will be part of the initial implementation of TLA.

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TIMEKEEPERS


What role will timekeepers have in the future with TLA?

With the implementation of TLA, many manual processes will be automated. Employees will use TLA to enter timesheets and leave requests. Automating both activities avoids the creation of a paper time sheet or leave slip and manual entry into the existing system by a timekeeper. TLA also includes automated management of leave balances which eliminates the need for manual spreadsheets to track employee leave.

The automation of activities typically performed by a timekeeper should free up staff capacity to support other activities. As we continue to configure TLA, we will identify business changes and work with those impacted by them. We anticipate timekeepers may be involved in activities such as:

  • Developing business requirements as part of TLA configuration and deployment.
  • Training of staff on use of TLA on an ongoing basis.
  • Supporting our agency as a “super user” of TLA in support of staff and management, offering assistance as necessary.
  • Validating and tracking employees and supervisors to ensure they have completed time and leave submission and approval within established deadlines.

WSDOT’s timekeepers have a variety of other job responsibilities that often times get ‘put on the back burner’ due to short labor cutoffs or other payroll deadlines. The new system should help alleviate some of that by allowing more time in the day, including more opportunities for timekeepers to work on other assignments that could help with career development goals.


What will my duties be, if a great portion of my job is timekeeping? Will I just be entering my timesheet? Seems like this is just taking away one of my major duties.

With the implementation of TLA, many manual processes will be automated. Employees will use TLA to enter timesheets and leave requests. Automating both activities avoids the creation of a paper time sheet or leave slip and manual entry into the existing system by a timekeeper. TLA also includes automated management of leave balances which eliminates the need for manual spreadsheets to track employee leave.

The automation of activities typically performed by a timekeeper should free up staff capacity to support other activities. As we continue to configure TLA, we will identify business changes and work with those impacted by them. We anticipate timekeepers may be involved in activities such as:

  • Developing business requirements as part of TLA configuration and deployment.
  • Training of staff on use of TLA on an ongoing basis.
  • Supporting our agency as a “super user” of TLA in support of staff and management, offering assistance as necessary.
  • Validating and tracking employees and supervisors to ensure they have completed time and leave submission and approval within established deadlines.

WSDOT’s timekeepers have a variety of other job responsibilities that often times get ‘put on the back burner’ due to short labor cutoffs or other payroll deadlines. The new system should help alleviate some of that by allowing more time in the day, including more opportunities for timekeepers to work on other assignments.

I am currently a Fiscal Tech 2 in ER and curious if this new timekeeping system will eliminate my job or cut my hours?

No. With the implementation of TLA, no one will lose their jobs. However if part of your current Fiscal Tech 2 responsibilities is to perform timekeeping duties, your role will change with the implementation of TLA.



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ENTERING MY TIME


Will I be responsible for entering my own time into the TLA system?

Yes, each employee will be responsible for entering their own time into the TLA system.


Will we be processing our time online instead of on paper?

Yes, the TLA system will convert the current paper system to an online system saving paper and providing better access to leave balances for both employees and managers.


If I am working in the field, how will I be required to report my time?

Employees that work in the field will use an approved time capturing device to record their time and leave.


Lots of employees don’t have access to computer terminals or there is only one for many employees (i.e. at maintenance sheds). What are our options and how will we train staff to use these tools?

Site surveys will occur over the next few months to identify necessary equipment is available and can support the number of employees at a location. Additional computers and Data Collection Devices (DCD) will be deployed to areas supporting employees as determined by the site surveys.

Where does the money come from for the technologies we are looking at?

The TLA project is an enterprise project led by the Department of Enterprise Services (DES). Primary funding was provided by the legislature to DES.


How can staff (i.e. supervisors) access past timesheets from employees?

The system will allow access to historical information such as past time sheets, leave requests, etc.


Some of our Maintenance Supervisors have a concern with some of our employees having the ability to enter their own time. We have some folks in the outlaying shops that don’t have a computer at home, and literally never get on the shop computer. Basically don’t even know how to turn one on let alone use one. I know that there will be training etc. but if these people cannot grasp it, then I assume it will be up to the Lead Tech or Supervisor to get their time in for them? Any input that I can pass along would be appreciated.

As a standard all employees will be required to enter their own time. The combination of training, support, and in-person guidance will hopefully help employees with any challenges.

Overall, the system was selected due to its general “ease of use”. To determine this, usability testing was conducted during the procurement process. Usability testing consists users of all backgrounds (including non-computer users) coming in with no training and attempting to perform tasks in the system. The selected system scored significantly higher than other vendor’s systems.

To ensure employees have access to the system, site surveys will occur over the next few months to identify if the necessary equipment is available and can support the number of employees at a location. Additional computers and Data Collection Devices (DCD) will be deployed to areas supporting employees as determined by the site surveys.


If people take work related phone calls from home during their off hours, how will they be able to enter the related work time?

Employees will be able to enter the associated time used for the off hour call the following day or if it is the last day of payroll cutoff and the employee is off, the supervisor or designee will be able to enter the time for the employee.


A problem I have seen several times is when employee completes his/her time sheet at the end of pay period and by then has forgotten they had a sick day and puts on their time sheet 8hrs worked instead of sick. Sometimes even the supervisor has forgotten, and signs off on the time sheet. Fortunately the time keeper always double checks the leave calendar and the mistake is corrected. How will this new TLA catch something like this?

Any leave time that is submitted and approved through the TLA time off request module will auto populate on the time sheet. In the event leave is taken that was not approved through the TLA time off request module, the supervisor will enter that time directly to the employee’s time sheet. It will still be the responsibility of the employee and supervisor to review the hours reported on the time sheet for accuracy.


Will someone be reviewing the time entered by the employee? How will this system prevent people from over stating their hours? For example, those in construction offices work a lot of overtime; how will they be held accountable for entering the actual hours worked and not abusing the system? Even with our current system I've heard of abuses with people charging too much overtime.

It will be the responsibility of supervisors, managers or their designees to review hours entered into TLA. The system will match the hours entered compared to the employees schedule in the system. These hours will be matched against rules that are in place for overtime.


Are we going to be going to a 26-pay-period per year system (vs. the current 24-pay-periods), as was recommended to the Ferries system in one of their audits?

No, TLA will not change the number of pay periods in the year.


Will we be required to enter our time daily?

Yes, or the day after as time allows.


Winter shift employees – working on Saturday night shift and it’s the 15th. Current practice is an approximate timesheet estimating the work to do and through the supervisor to the payroll person.

Employees will no longer need to estimate their time. Due to the use of paper timesheets, employees had to estimate time in order to give timekeepers an opportunity to enter time in order to meet payroll deadlines. With employees responsible for entering their own time, short cutoffs will be eliminated along with estimating time.


What happens if I am unable to enter my time because I am out sick for an extended period of time? Will there be a way to enter the time keeping system from a home computer? How would something like this scenario work?

We are still determining if employees will have access to TLA from home. However, supervisors or their designee will have the ability to enter time for employees that are out sick for extended periods of time.


How will corrections be handled? For example, this past Friday was labor cutoff which was 2/14/14. We had employees called out on Saturday 2/15/14. We normally would process an over/under to make those corrections. How will this process work with TLA when the end of the pay period is on a Saturday or Sunday and the supervisor is off? Will timekeeper submit a correction similar to an over/under or is this all handled via the supervisor electronically?

With the implementation of TLA, early cutoffs will be eliminated. In this scenario, the employee can electronically submit their time on Saturday or Sunday for the hours worked. Once the hours have been submitted, their supervisor can approve the hours worked over the weekend.


What is a dedicated time capture device? Lose the jargon. Speak English.

There will be a couple of different ways to access the system including a PC or laptop (if shared it would be a TLA PC Kiosk), a data collection device (DCD) from the vendor, a mobile app (pending management approval), or IVR (phone). Any reference to a time capture device means a TLA PC Kiosk or DCD.


Is there more than one type of device? What are the types?

There are multiple types of devices that can be used. Site surveys will occur over the next few months to identify what equipment is available and if it can support the number of employees at a location. Additional computers and Data Collection Devices will be deployed to areas supporting employees as determined by the site surveys.


I’ve recently spent several days in the hospital, then at home in recovery while my wife administered medications and treatment. If I am on heavy medication both in the hospital and at home, how will my time be entered? After several days, I was able to communicate with my supervisor and by making my password available, she was able to access and update my time sheet. Will this system require someone else at the office to update my time sheet if I’m out of the office for over two weeks like last time and also last July? In the hospital I was not allowed to have a cell phone or personal computer and under medication, I’m not sure I could even use it correctly, would my wife be allowed to enter data? Will training be available to family members for backup?

We are still determining if employees will have access to TLA from home. However, supervisors or their designee will have the ability to enter time for employees that are out sick for extended periods of time.


What happens if I don’t turn in my time because I’m out on sick leave for several days or on extended sick leave?

We are still determining if employees will have access to TLA from home. However, supervisors or their designee will have the ability to enter time for employees that are out sick for extended periods of time.


Will I be able to enter my time from home if I’m out sick for multiple days?

We are still determining if employees will have access to TLA from home. However, supervisors or their designee will have the ability to enter time for employees that are out sick for extended periods of time.


Would I be able to access the system from an unsecured home computer to enter my time?

We are still determining if employees will have access to TLA from home. However, supervisors or their designee will have the ability to enter time for employees that are out sick for extended periods of time.


Will I be issued a time capturing device if I don’t currently own one? Will all employees be issued a time capturing device?

A method to enter time will be provided. Devices will not be issued to employees but rather installed in shared locations for group use.


I currently work off site and will need to use the system with remote office or remote desktop. Have you confirmed that system will be compatible with those remote connections without any special machine settings?

There are multiple types of devices that can be used. Site surveys will occur over the next few months to identify what equipment is available and if it can support the number of employees at a location. Additional computers and Data Collection Devices (DCD) will be deployed to areas supporting employees as determined by the site surveys.


In looking at posted Q&A at TLA FAQ page...... one "thread" was noticed....it weaves through many of the questions: if I'm sick.... who/how will my time get into system? It's an odd question, which may reveal a larger issue..... The answer to that question doesn't change - from current system to new "TLA": if an employee cannot fill out timesheet [current system] or data enter [new TLA system] - it is the SUPERVISORS responsibility. Perhaps what we are seeing.... supervisors have not been performing required duties of their position? And for the inevitable question - What happens if my supervisor is sick? Presume system has been designed to address [bumps up to your supervisor's manager, keeps going up the “chain” until someone performs the necessary review & approves in the system. (same as today with paper timesheets)].

The system will provide the ability to delegate responsibilities until a suitable approver is assigned. Also, an administrative override is possible that “forces” delegation from one supervisor to another (approved) supervisor in the case of their absence.


As a supervisor, when a staff member calls in sick on the day the semi-monthly is due, how will this be handled on the new system? Will the supervisor be able to edit the staff members information, or will an under/over have to be done when they return?

In the event an employee is unable to enter their own time, supervisors will be able to enter time for the employee or an approved delegate.


When the new system comes out, will our pay stub clearly indicate the number of hours we work and on which vessel?

The new TLA system will not change the look of employee’s earning statements. Through TLA dashboard, you will be able to see the hours worked on each vessel.


I hope you all realize that most of the Ferries have very limited connectivity to the network. This has been an issue for more than 10 years and IT has no solution. This issue has already caused the MPET system to fail as a useful tool on the vessels. You will probably be looking at issuing some sort of cellular device for vessel payroll.

Connectivity on vessels is a key area of focus at this time. The team is working with WSF management, and line staff to determine what methods of accessing the system will work best for employees on vessels.


Will the supervisor be able to designate someone to do the time sheet review on their behalf?

It will be the responsibility of the supervisor to review time entered by their staff. In the event a supervisor is out of the office they will be able to delegate their approval process to another person.


Many times during the year, supervisors provide erroneous charge codes to employees. And sometimes this charge code was given in error to the supervisor. The in-house timesheet person is the one who would catch the error during data input and query til solution was provided. Q: Solution to problems such as this occurring is what method?

TLA will not fix this problem entirely, however the system will ensure that only valid codes are entered as part of the timesheet. Also, designated staff will have the ability to review reports to catch errors made pertaining to coding.


I don't trust DES or WSDOT to answer the hard questions without retribution to their employees, so we are using this interface. A large number of individual in my organization are on exception coding. This means they only turn in sick or leave sheets when time is taken off. Will the new system handle this? If you did not implement exception coding, why are you treating professionals on Salary (e.g., engineers) like hourly employees? Why are you having hundreds of people who make > $25.00 per hour spend 1-2 hours a week entering time when you could have 20 people at $15 per hour doing it?

Yes. Employees that are exception coded will not be required to submit hours worked. They will only be required to submit time off request.


I am an "exempt" employee and the only time I've been required to submit a timesheet was when vacation, sick, or holiday pay was involved. Will this change with the new TLA program?

No. Employees that are exception coded will continue to only turn in time off requests and will not be required to report hours worked.


If an employee is inputting their own time, will the system automatically let them know if their balances are too low for a day off? For instance, someone working a flex schedule (10 hour days) and wanting to take a vacation day. If the vacation balance is only 7 hours, will the system let them know automatically that they don't have enough vacation time to cover their 10 day? That way, when the supervisor gets it the employee will have the appropriate leave figured out to cover the time.

Yes. Employees will be able to view their current leave balances on their TLA dashboard to ensure they have the available leave balance to cover their requested time off.


Because of so many staff reductions the work load of my manager has doubled, as has mine and many, many others through-out our agency. We are stretched to the max. The refrain "do more with less" has been on-going now for years. Currently it appears we have reached the limits and can only do "less with less"! How can my manager have the time for this amount of additional detailed work? Will they be able be able to delegate to others?

It will be the responsibility of the supervisor to review time entered by their staff. In the event a supervisor is out of the office, they will be able to delegate their approval process to another person. Overall the new system should REDUCE the workload, especially for timesheet approvers. Many of the manual reviews/steps required will be automated and streamlined.


How would I cancel a vacation period after TLA is implemented for WSF? How would I request to have an open vacation slot? How would I request a day off during my work week?

While the team hasn’t detailed the exact specifics of how the system will work, we do know that the new system will provide a mechanism for employees to submit time, view their vacation requests, view status (approved/rejected) and any other leave management activity. Existing requirements state that the system would have to account for the employee’s work schedule when submitting a leave request. These functions can be performed at any time before the actual leave is taken.

We are currently in the process of gathering business requirements and therefore have not yet begun the functional design process. The business requirements describe what needs to happen. The functional requirements supporting system design will describe how the system will achieve the business requirements. Once the functional requirements are complete we will be able to answer these types of questions.


I work a week on week off work schedule. How is over time recorded if I am called in on a day off?

You would still enter the appropriate time and the system would calculate the appropriate pay codes against that time (e.g. penalty pay, overtime, etc.)


What happens if an employee does not submit their time into the new TLA system by labor cutoff? I've read the new system will send email reminders and supervisors will be tasked with reminding employees, but at what point does the responsibility ultimately fall on the employee? i.e. - Could it be possible that an employee would not get their next paycheck if they failed to get their time submitted? It might be a good lesson and would probably only happen once. And they could of course still get that paycheck during the next pay cycle, as long as they eventually got their time submitted.

There will be employee notifications, supervisor notifications and reports to identify employees that are missing time entry for the day or pay period based on their work schedule. It is the responsibility for the employee to ensure that they have their hours and leave entered into TLA. There will be those occasions when supervisor will be required to enter time for an employee that is unable to do so to ensure that they receive pay for the work they have done.


How will the employees that work in the field and don't have computers access the site to submit time or leave?

Site surveys will occur over the next few months to identify necessary equipment is available and can support the number of employees at a location. Additional computers and Data Collection Devices will be deployed to areas supporting employees as determined by the site surveys.


During winter shifts employees work for different Supervisors than they normally do during the summer will it be easy to transfer employees from one Supervisor to another?

TLA will be designed to ensure supervisor/employee relationships are maintained and/or adjusted as employee’s transition to new responsibilities and duties.


We use a high number of temporary employees and wait a week or two to get employee identification numbers for them. I am assuming that we will need to use our employee identification number in the system and am wondering, how will employees be able to enter time between being hired and receiving their ID numbers?

All employees will continue to be entered into HRMS and then loaded into TLA. Once employees are entered into HRMS, they will receive an employee ID number and will be able to enter time into TLA. We are looking at the business processes for entering employees’ to ensure they are entered into HRMS in a timely manner.


There’s still a statement that employees will have to enter their time daily or the day after, which is inconsistent with Ferries’ concept of operations for fleet employees.

Most WSDOT employees will enter their time into TLA with the exception of Deck, Engine and Eagle Harbor employees. These employees will follow timekeeping processes recommended by Ferries management and staff.


Our WSF Fleet Operations have employees in various unions that do not have access to computers in their normal job and currently their Mate or other lead staff create their paper timesheets and submit them. Then they are scanned and routed to review by management. I had heard that the TLA system would have a better method of collecting 'Attendance' as in using the proximity chip or readers to collect some data and was happy to hear this. Now I've been told that this was pulled off the table as unobtainable in the timeframe. I have to ask why this was taken off the table?

The Workforce time collection hardware has limited functionality for time collection in an off-line mode. As a result, WSDOT is working with DES and the vendor to develop a solution that meets our requirements. This solution must be addressed in order to use time capture devices utilizing badge swipe technology. Please note that we have not made a decision regarding the use badge swipe technology.

 
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TRAINING, TESTING AND DEMOS

Will we receive training on how to use the TLA system?

Yes. Prior to implementation, ALL employees will receive training on the TLA system.


Will testing for the system include people from regions?

Yes. Outreach to regions regarding testing dates, times, locations and participants will happen as we get closer to deploying TLA to Washington State Ferries (WSF) and regions.


Will system testing and training be conducted out in the field?

Yes. Training will be conducted at regional headquarters and field offices (like maintenance area offices, etc.) using tools specific to that area like computers and other Data Collection Devices (DCD). A schedule will be put together as we get closer to deploying TLA to WSF and regions. Testing will include staff from WSF and regions.


Will employees get a sneak preview (i.e. demos) before the system goes live?

Yes. Demonstrations will be given using the system at various stages of configuration. Not all regions will receive a live demo, but the plan is to have videos sent out.


Will there be a demo/road show? If so, when and where?

It is in the plan, but details have not been solidified. TLA project team members will work with WSF and regional offices to determine dates, times and locations.


Are there any plans to present a demo on the east side of the state? Or perhaps the ability to video conference or view the demo over the intranet? There are many interested parties in the Central and Eastern regions who may not be able to travel to Olympia on short notice.

Yes. The demos were videotaped and we will be editing them to place on the WSDOT internet in the next couple of weeks.


When will TLA classes be forming for the Seattle area?

Yes. We are still in the development and planning phase for TLA training. There will be more information about training opportunities for WSDOT employees in the next few months.


Is there going to be an opportunity to take this training online? I’m a person of disability and going to OB2 Auditorium from here is not easy. I am not allowed to do stairs, so would have to drive over there and look for parking. It would require a lot more time. I would prefer to take the training from my desk.

The demos on the 12th were not training on TLA. There will be a number of training opportunities in the future. The demos were videotaped and we will be editing them to place on the TLA webpage in the next couple of weeks.


Before we change over to TLA, will we be able to practice on a 'demo' setup?

Yes. We are still planning and developing TLA training. There will be more details on when, where and how training will be delivered for WSDOT employees soon.


When will TLA classes be forming for the Seattle area? We are Org 309020 of HQ/Olympia, but are located in downtown Seattle.

Yes. We are still planning and developing TLA training. There will be more details on when, where and how training will be delivered for WSDOT employees soon.


What role/responsibility will IT desk top support have during implementation of TLA and after implementation of TLA?

TLA support planning will be starting in the next month. More details will follow.


I have another question about demos. Will there be an opportunity for a demo to be hosted at our office or the ELG Building?

Potentially. This would depend on resource availability and the system to demo. The intent is definitely to have another round of demonstrations.


Your email on 2/17 stated that you would have the video of your demo on your website in a few weeks. What is the current timeline for this to occur?

We are currently reviewing and editing the demos. Once that process is complete, we will post it on the internet.



A big percentage of our staff works out in the field and is scheduled approximately a month in advance. Will the Training schedule (calendar) for the TLA system be available to the supervisors, within a 6 week period, so they can schedule their staff accordingly?

Yes, we are developing a schedule so that training times, rooms, etc. will be communicated in advance so that schedules and travel arrangements can be made.

We are still in the process of developing the TLA training curriculum for WSDOT employees. Once we have a better understanding of the different modules associated to employee rolls, we will let everyone know the training schedule based on phased implementation.


When will the training begin for supervisors and for employees?

Outreach to regions regarding testing dates, times, locations and participants will happen as we get closer to deploying TLA.


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Check out some of the FAQs found on DES’s TLA website . However, please note that some of them may not apply to WSDOT.