Time off general notice

 System General Notice 223 – Time Off


Please keep up with all your general notices for the most current information.

                              July 28, 2021
BNSF Railway Co.

                            SYSTEM GENERAL NOTICE NO. 223



BNSF System General Notice No. 206 is canceled.

Explanation: Effective August 1, 2021
The following sections are amended to update contact information:
* Section C. Bereavement Leave and DIF Layoff Codes
* Section E. Lay Off Process for Military Personnel
* Section F. Jury Duty

Table of Contents

A. Laying Off On Call
B. Emergency Lay Off
C. Bereavement Leave and DIF Layoff Codes
D. Pre-Approved Lay Off System
E. Lay Off Process for Military Personnel
F. Jury Duty
G. Lay Off Fatigue
H. Lay Off/Mark Up for Outlying Assignments
I. High-Impact Days

A. Laying Off On Call

Employees MUST NOT lay off on call.

For employees in planner activated pools a layoff while on the active
board will be considered as laying off on call.

B. Emergency Lay Off

Lay off code "FEM," Family Emergency, is defined as a lay off code for an
emergency situation involving an employee or his/her family.  An
"emergency" under this code is an unforeseen circumstance that requires
immediate action and is of such seriousness and magnitude that the
employee must immediately absent himself/herself from duty and no other
layoff code governs the situation, e.g. DIF, LOS, SIF, etc.  Employees
must use the lay off code that most appropriately describes the reason
for the absence and may not use "FEM" as an excuse to be absent from duty
for reasons other than those that can accurately be described as an
emergency.  Use of code "FEM" will be closely monitored.

Once granted authorization for layoff code "FEM," the employee
must contact his/her supervisor within 24 hours to provide reason for the
FEM. Misuse will result in corrective action against the offender and
review of the code "FEM" as an unrestricted emergency code.

C. Bereavement Leave and DIF Layoff Codes

Train, yard and engine employees who unfortunately suffer the loss of a
family member covered by Bereavement Pay agreements can use the layoff
code DIF (Death in Family) in the Workforce System to mark off.
Employees will be automatically marked up from DIF at the expiration of
the approved time off.

Family members who are covered by all the Bereavement Pay agreements
include brother, sister, parent, child, spouse and spouse's parents.
Based on the location and craft of the employee's current assignment,
additional family members covered may include grandchildren, half and
step brothers and sisters, step-children and legally adopted children.
Refer to the agreement covering the employee's area or visit the Labor
Relations' website under the TYE Payroll Services link.

The Bereavement Pay agreements provide for three day's pay at the agreed
to pay rate. The employee need not have stood for work on one or more of
the days to receive payment, and all three days qualified for bereavement
pay will not count as an absence under the Attendance Guidelines.

Employees claiming bereavement leave should use CA Code 05 on a special
claim and send the obituary notice with the special claim ticket number
to TYE Payroll Services via email at FINDLTYEBereavementPay@BNSF.com or
fax to 785-676-5186 or 8-676-5186

BNSF understands a person may lose a family member not covered by the
Bereavement Pay agreements. The DIF code should not be used in these
cases, but the code FEM (Family Emergency) is available for immediate
layoffs. Documentation must be maintained that explains the absence in
the event the employee is required to provide the information to his/her
supervisor. The supervisor may also help schedule additional time off
through use of alternate codes such as LOP (Layoff Personal), PLD
(Personal Leave Day), or a Leave of Absence if applicable.

Employees who lay off DIF, but do not send the supporting documentation
to TYE Payroll Services by the 10th of the following month will be
considered unavailable for duty and handled in accordance with the TYE
Attendance Guidelines.

D. Pre-Approved Lay Off System

The following enhancements have been made to the pre-approved lay off
system.  The supervisor should be contacted if there are any questions.

* In the 30-day period between day 90 and day 60, BNSF will accept and
  hold all requests for PLD and SDV only. On the 60th day prior to the
  lay off date TSS will distribute the allocation of days according to
* Requests 60 days in advance and less, employees can be approved for up
  to four unpaid personal days (identified by layoff code LOP). Employees
  are still able to request all of their PLD and SDV days. When
  calculating LOP days, any portion of a calendar day is considered one
* Once approved, individuals can move an LOP, SDV, or PLD up or back one
  calendar day. The employee can request this change of start day within
  48 hours of requested start time.
* There is a monthly process for supervisors, crew managers and local
  chairmen to review availability and set allocation for upcoming
  advance allocation periods
* Employees may request a single day of vacation or a personal leave day
  between 60 and 90 days in advance of the day it would be taken. For
  example, on Sept 8, an employee could request a day off that he/she
  plans to take Nov 7. The employee will be able to check if the request
  has been approved 60 days in advance or at 0001 Sept 9th. Employees can
  request as many vacation or personal leave days they have currently
  available to them.

Bidding process and sliding process

Employees can enter a pre-approval layoff request for a single day or
multiple days. If a multiple day request is entered, the request cannot
be submitted until the whole request is within the request window. None
of the days will be considered for approval until the entire request is
within the approval window as the program will not address (approve/deny)
until of the last calendar day of the multi-day request.

Employees desiring high demand days off are encouraged to enter their
requests one day at a time so that each day will be considered as it
reaches the approval date.  For example, an employee makes a three-day
request for PLD. All 3 days have to be within the 90 day window before
the request can be entered into the system.

Sixty days prior to day one of the request, the first day of the request
will not be considered for approval because portions of a three-day
request cannot be approved. All 3 days of the request have to be within
the 60 day window for any of it to be considered   Entering single days
at a time eliminates the possibility of an allocation being full before a
multiple day request will be taken into consideration.

Assigned employees cannot slide their requests as they already have
assigned rest days.  The slide function was designed for unassigned
service where start times are not known in advance.

E. Lay Off Process for Military Personnel

Two distinct lay off codes have been established which apply to military
service.  It is important to use the appropriate lay off code to
distinguish between these two types of military service, as these codes
ultimately drive benefit and pay eligibility.

Code = Purpose
NGD  = This code should be used only for National Guard, Drill, Training
       or State Emergencies.

       Note: NGD leaves greater than 10 days must be covered by a leave
       of absence.  The supervisor must be contacted to complete this

MLV  = This code should be used for all other military service including:
       Global War on Terror (Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Noble
       Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom), enlistment into the
       military, or any other military service or training (other than
       National Guard).

       Note:  Military leaves greater than 10 days must be covered by a
       leave of absence.

Benefit Coverage
Employees who wish to retain coverage under the BNSF program while on
leave will continue to pay the monthly contribution.  Contribution will
be taken out of any make whole payments received from BNSF while on
leave. Otherwise, these contributions are required to be caught up upon

Employees should send paperwork supporting Military Pay claims and any
questions regarding pay for Military leaves to FINDLTYEMilitary@BNSF.com

F. Jury Duty

BNSF and the Labor Organizations representing BNSF employees support
employees summoned to perform their civic duties in the form of Jury Duty
by providing negotiated agreements for compensation for time lost to
employees who are summonsed for Jury Duty.  The collective bargaining
agreements will govern any dispute as to compensation for Jury Duty.
However, the following guidelines are provided to minimize such disputes
and provide for prompt and proper payment of valid Jury Duty claims. In
the event of a dispute, BNSF and the appropriate Labor Organization will
work to resolve the matter.

Employees instructed to report for Jury Duty at a specific date and time
are authorized to mark off for Jury Duty to make sure they are rested and
available for Jury Duty. They are also expected to make an effort to
perform their normal duties whenever reasonably possible.

Employees subject to certain call-in or "stand by" notification
procedures used by some courts will remain marked up except in
circumstances where protecting service will obviously jeopardize such

If there are questions about the ability to protect service, the employee
should consult with a designated supervisor before marking off and
jointly set up a strategy to ensure compliance with the court's
instructions and to protect his/her assignment when reasonably possible.

Employees will be expected to mark up immediately upon release from the
courts or, if on call, immediately after receiving notification he/she
will not have to report to the court.

To validate qualification and provide the proper documentation with the

Qualifies For Jury Duty Lost Wages:
* Reporting at a specific location and time for jury selection and/or
  Jury Duty when an actual loss of wages occurs.
* Reporting for Jury Duty conflicts with the employee's ability to
  obtain rest under the Hours of Service Act before or after the Jury
  Duty.  Booking additional rest does not apply to Jury Duty.
* Extra board personnel who mark off for 24 hours or less will receive
  the equivalent of a day's guarantee if the trip missed is not
  completed prior to the mark up.

Does Not Qualify For Jury Duty Lost Wages:
* Jury Duty that occurs on a rest day or other periods of scheduled or
  unscheduled time off when no loss of wages occurs.
* Layoffs when courts are not in session.  Examples include weekends and
  major holidays.
* Any days over the 60-day maximum.  The Agreements provide for a
  maximum of 60 days in any calendar year.
* Failure to follow supervisor's recommendations for protecting service
  or reporting at the court without specific instructions to do so.

Supporting Documentation for Jury Duty Claims:
* The following information must be included on the Jury Duty claim:
  - Date(s) scheduled for Jury Duty
  - Location
  - Time scheduled to report
  - Time released for each day
  - Lost trip information.
* The following documents should be sent to TYE Payroll Services via
  email at FINDLTYEJuryDutyPay@BNSF.com or fax to 785-676-5186 or 8-676-
  - A copy of the Jury Duty notice
  - The Court's reporting instructions.
  - A copy of the Court receipt for amount paid while performing Jury
    Duty which will be deducted from the lost wage payment.  Note:  If
    payment is delayed or there is no payment for that day from the
    Court, authorization must be obtained from the supervisor for
    payment of lost wages.

G. Lay Off Fatigue (LOF)

BNSF wants to ensure that everyone is rested and prepared to work safely.
Employees who are fatigued as a result of working numerous trips in a row
or working consecutive long trips can use the LOF to take 24-hours off
for rest.  The LOF code may not be used for any other purpose and
employees who misuse the LOF code will be subject to discipline under the
Policy for Employee Performance Accountability.  For example, this code
may not be used to extend rest days, vacation, or other codes.  An LOF
counts as an unavailable day under the TYE Attendance Guidelines.

H. Lay Off/Mark Up for Outlying Assignments

Following a layoff, employees assigned to outlying positions must mark-up
prior to the tie-up of their regular assignment in order to release the
extra board employee covering their position. If an assigned employee
fails to mark-up prior the tie-up of their regular assignment, the extra
board employee will be held to protect the assignment's next tour of duty
and the regular employee will be charged an unavailable day under the
Attendance Guidelines. This does not apply going into the rest days of
the assignment.

Example: Employee Smith fails to mark-up from a one-day sick layoff prior
to the tie-up of their assignment and, as a result, ends up missing two
days of his/her assignment. Employee Smith will be charged with 2 days'
absence under the ATG.

I. High-Impact Days

BNSF has the responsibility to provide our customers with reliable
service every day, including High-Impact Days.

High-Impact Days are days that have historically reflected higher train
crew absenteeism and more missed opportunities to meet customer
expectations. Those days are currently identified as:  New Year's Day,
Super Bowl Sunday, Easter Sunday, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's
Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, Day after
Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve.

Employees who demonstrate frequent and/or a pattern of unpaid layoffs on
High-Impact Days may be subject to discipline.

Employees who wish to keep track of their recent layoff history can do
that at any time through the Workforce Hub by clicking on "Time Off" and
then on "Attendance Guidelines."

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