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Wage and Hourly Policy and Procedures

Human Resources Policy: HR 05 94

PURPOSE: To insure that the University Wage/Hours provisions conform to the requirements of both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the State's Policy on Hours of Work and Overtime Compensation.

SCOPE: This policy covers SPA (staff) employees, both permanent and temporary.

POLICY: 1.    Minimum Wage: Student employees (including College Work-Study Program students) must be paid the Federal minimum wage.

2.    Wage/Hour Status: The wage/hour status of a position is determined when a position is established. The wage/hour status of a position subject to overtime is a Federal requirement. Departments that have questions or wish to change the wage/hour status of a position should contact the Personnel Office at extension 6279.

All SPA employees, (employees subject to the State Personnel Act), are subject to overtime unless their positions have specifically been determined to be Exempt. All SPA employees appointed less than 40 hours are designated non-exempt to ensure proper benefits and leave administration. All student and temporary employees are non-exempt. All non-exempt employees must be compensated at time-and-one-half for hours worked over 40 during a single work week.

Permanent SPA employees may be exempt from overtime if their duties have been determined to be executive (primary duty is management of recognized department or subdivision, supervises two or more employees 80% of the time, makes decisions on hiring, firing, etc., and uses discretion and independent judgment); administrative (office or non-manual work involving management policies or general business operations, and exercises independent judgment and discretion); or professional (requires scientific or specialized study, work must be intellectual and varied in character, and exercises discretion and independent judgment). The determination is based on the nature of work and is not directly related to salary or salary grade.

3.    Managing Work Time: Vice Chancellors, directors, department heads, and other supervisory personnel are responsible for assuring compliance with Wage/Hour provisions. Violation of University Wage/Hour provisions may result in disciplinary action. Any violation may result in fines by the Federal Department of Labor Wage-Hour Division.

The department head is responsible for managing hours worked through such measures as:

  • establishing and communicating work schedules for employees. Schedules should be established to meet departmental operating needs, but whenever possible should be flexible enough to meet employees' needs as well.
  • managing work time so that non-exempt employees do not perform unscheduled work. Because of wage/hour concerns, non-exempt employees must perform work only during their regular work schedule unless it is approved in advance or in the case of a bona-fide emergency.
  • approving in advance any change of an existing work schedule, including overtime work and budget time off.

Hours worked (over 40 hours) by an employee without the department head's permission or knowledge may not be compensated.

4.    Work Day: The work day is the 24-hour period beginning at 12:01 a.m. and ending at 12:00 midnight. Working more than eight hours in a work day does not necessarily constitute overtime. Overtime occurs only after actually working more than 40 hours in a work week.

When the time changes from Daylight Savings Time to Eastern Standard Time, employees on duty at this change actually work a 9-hour shift rather than the usual 8-hour shift. The State, under the overtime pay policy, must compensate for this additional hour at one-and-one-half time.

5.    Work Week: The University's work week is from 12:01 a.m. Sunday to 12:00 midnight Saturday. Variations of the official work week may be approved.

6.    Hourly Rate: The hourly rate is determined by dividing the employee's annual salary by 2080 (40 hours x 52 weeks).

7.    Regular Rate: The employee's regular rate is the hourly rate and any shift premium pay and call-back pay earned for the work week. The \"regular rate\" is determined by dividing the employee's straight time earnings for the shift including any shift premium pay, call-back pay, and longevity pay by the total number of hours worked during that week. When overtime is paid, it must be paid at time and one-half the \"regular rate\" as required by the FLSA.

8.    Overtime: Non-exempt employees earn time and one-half for all hours worked over 40 in a work week. Paid leave time which is not worked such as vacation, sick leave, civil leave, family medical leave, and holidays does not count as work time for the purpose of determining overtime. An employee must actually work over 40 hours in a work week in order to earn overtime. Prior to authorizing paid overtime work, the supervisor must insure that funds are available.

If an employee works more than eight hours in one day, but is directed or allowed to take off an equal number of hours on a subsequent day within the same work week, no overtime obligation is incurred.

An employee working in more than one SPA position is covered by the regulations governing the payment of over time of the combined hours worked in excess of 40 per week.

9.    Budget Time Off: Within the same pay period, an employee may be scheduled one and one-half hours off without pay in one work week of a pay period for each overtime hour worked in the other work week of the same pay period. This is called Budget Time Off. The time taken off without pay offsets the overtime earned in the other week. Thus, the employee's pay for the entire pay period would remain the same as if he/she had worked the normally assigned work schedule.

10.    Exempt Employees: Executive, administrative, and professional employees are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Exempt employees are eligible to receive holiday pay, holiday premium pay, and equal time off. They are also eligible to receive travel time as appropriate. Effective September 1 1996, UNCP's policy is that exempt employees may receive equal time off (compensatory time) for hours worked over forty hours (40) per week. Such time must be approved by the immediate supervisor prior to the work being performed. Furthermore, exempt employees may not accumulate more than sixty (60) hours of compensatory time.

If any employee has more that 60 hours of compensatory time. That employee will be given an \"adequate\" period of time to take the excess compensatory hours off and return the comp balance to 60 hours or less. What constitutes \"adequate\" time will have to be defined on an individual case-by-case basis. If the compensatory time balance is not reduced to 60 hours or less within the time period determined as \"adequate\" the excess compensatory time balance may be reduced downward to the (60) hour balance maximum.

Supervisors are responsible for monitoring the approval and accrual of compensatory time in their work areas. This policy change has been reviewed by the Employee Recognition Committee, the Vice Chancellors, and the Chancellor.

11.    Record-keeping Requirements: Time sheets are required for all non-exempt employees and must be retained in the Personnel Office for four years. Time sheets are not required for exempt employees.

12.    Recording Work Time: Each non-exempt employee is required to maintain his/her own time record. In a situation where the form is completed by another authorized person, an employee is required to verify the data at the end of the month and signify its completeness and accuracy at the end of the reporting period. The employee's immediate supervisor must review and sign the time record.

Work time is recorded to the nearest tenth of an hour. Non-work time is accounted for through leave, holidays, or other reasons and is recorded according to instructions on the \"Employee Time Sheet.\"

13.    Accuracy of Records: A falsified \"Employee Time Sheet\" violates State and University policy. Anyone who prepares, certifies, or approves a falsified record is subject to disciplinary action.


14.    Hours Worked (Work Time): All time during which an employee is \"required or permitted\" to work is considered hours worked (work time). Ordinarily, all hours from the beginning to the end of the work day are considered work time, except for periods when the employee is relieved of all duties for meal periods or other absences accounted for by approved leave.

Examples of work time:

  • changing clothes, if required by job;
  • charitable work, if required by employer;
  • cleaning or repairing equipment;
  • fire drills;
  • blood donorship during employee's regular work schedule;
  • initial assessment under the Employee Assistance Program;
  • grievance or appeal activities during employee's regular work schedule (counseling, case preparation and presentation, serving as a witness, etc.);
  • make-up work time (such as Adverse Weather)
  • meal periods when employees are not free to leave work stations;
  • writing job descriptions; and
  • approved University training programs or other required instruction.

Examples of non-work time:

  • absences, including sick leave, vacation, holidays, weather related absences, or other approved leave;
  • voluntary charitable work; court appearance not related to job;
  • shut down activities, such as power outages or enforced holidays, when employees are    released from work;
  • personal waiting time prior to or after regular work hours as long as employee is not permitted or required to perform work; and
  • blood donorship outside the employee's regular work schedule.

14.1    Required Training: Required training is considered work time whether or not it occurs during regular work hours. Time spent in \"homework\" for required training also is work time. Attendance is considered to be required when an employee is led to believe his/her working conditions or continued employment would be adversely affected by non-attendance.

14.2    Voluntary Training: Training that is taken on an employee's initiative and that is not required (not directed or reimbursed by management) is not work time. (Also see \"Hours Worked\" in this Section.)

14.3    Travel Time: Whether travel time is compensable depends on the kind of travel involved. Travel from home to work is not considered work time even if the employee must report to work at various job sites.

Travel from one job site to another job site during the work day is always counted as work time. Travel from an outlying job site at the end of the day to the normal work site is work time.

Travel out of town during the work day is counted as work time except for the period of time that normally would be considered as home to work travel time and bona-fide meal periods. Travel out of town overnight, is counted as work time only for those hours which fall within an employee's regularly scheduled shift. This applies to non-work days (such as weekends) as well as regularly scheduled work days.

Overnight travel outside of the regularly scheduled work hours is not counted as work time. The employee receives travel time off. Travel time off is equal time off, granted on an hour-for-hour (not overtime) basis. This applies to both exempt and non-exempt employees.

Management may adjust an employee's schedule in the same work week to accommodate these hours and not incur liability for overtime pay.

14.4    Adverse Weather: When adverse weather requires an employee to leave work early or prevents an employee from reporting to work, lost time is not counted as work time. Time lost due to adverse weather must be made up within one year, charged to an employee's vacation leave account, charged as leave without pay, or any combination of these.

In order to avoid overtime liability, make-up time for non-exempt employees must be scheduled during a week when the employee does not work 40 hours. It must be made up in the week the time is missed, in weeks when the employee uses sick or vacation leave, or during a week when there is a paid holiday.

14.5    Break Periods: Break periods are not required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). However, as operational requirements permit and working conditions warrant, University employees may be permitted to take one 15- minute paid break during any work period of four consecutive hours. Break periods are counted as hours worked.

Normally, full-time employees may take one 15-minute paid break period during the first half of their shift (prior to the meal period) and one 15-minute paid break period during the second half of their shift (after the meal period). In certain occupations, as deemed necessary for safety and health reasons, management may allow more than one break period per four hours.

Break periods may not be combined with the meal period itself or with another break period, may not be used in order to report to work late or leave early, and may not be used in conjunction with any type of leave. Break periods may not be accrued. If breaks are not taken during specified time frames, they are lost.

14.6    Meal Periods: A typical work schedule provides for a meal period of one hour. A meal period must be at least 30 consecutive minutes. Meal periods of greater length may be approved by management. During the meal period, the employee must be completely free from assigned work. If an employee is required (or permitted) to take a meal period at the work station and is required to work while eating, the time is considered work time and is subject to overtime. Meal periods scheduled, but not taken, may not be used as leave.

14.7    Call-Back Time: Non-exempt employees called back to work in an emergency, before or after regularly scheduled work hours or on non-work days, are credited with a minimum of two hours. If this results in overtime during the work week, time worked over 40 hours is compensated at overtime rates.

14.8    Guidelines: Only the time from when the employee is notified (including one-way travel to the job site and actual work time) is subject to overtime provisions for non-exempt employees. Call-back time which is not worked does not count toward determining overtime. Return travel from the job site to home is not compensated.

If call-back work does not take two hours to complete, only travel time and actual work time are subject to overtime provisions. The remainder is paid at straight time. For example, if travel and task completion take one hour, that hour may be subject to overtime. The second hour is paid at straight time, and is coded as \"Paid Call-Back Time -- Not Worked.\" If call-back time is more than two hours, the employee is compensated for actual time worked.

If it is necessary to continue work immediately following the end of a regularly scheduled shift, call-back does not apply. However, any hours worked are considered an extension of the work week and could be subject to overtime provisions.

14.9    Eligibility: The call-back procedure is intended for non-exempt, technical and clinical, personnel whose regularly assigned duties allow little flexibility in work schedules. FLSA Exempt employees may vary work schedules and are not entitled to additional compensation for reporting back to work after regular hours.

An employee who receives call-back pay also is eligible, when circumstances apply, for shift or holiday premium pay.

NOTE: Call-back is not part of the annual salary set for a specific classification title.

If the employee is called back to work, call-back time provisions apply. (See \"Call-Back Time\" in this Section.) Situations in which the employee works longer than two hours are counted as time worked and recorded on the Employee Time Sheet. The hours may be subject to overtime provisions.

If it is necessary to continue work immediately following the end of a regularly scheduled shift, the hours may be subject to overtime provisions. Any hours worked (if over 40 in a work week) are subject to overtime.

14.10    On-Call Time: If an employee must remain on University property or so near that time cannot be used freely, it is recorded as time worked.

14.11    Age Limitations: All permanent SPA employees must be at least 18 years of age. Persons 16 or 17 years of age may be considered for temporary employment only. State law requires that persons under the age of 18 have an \"Employment Certificate\" from the County Social Services Department. Further, the specific duties to be performed must comply with the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Violations of this policy may result in penalties or fines from the Federal and/or State Department of Labor.

Employees under age 18 may not work more than nine hours per day, 48 hours per week, or six consecutive days per week; nor may they work before 6:00 a.m. or past 12:00 midnight.

Employees under age 18 may not work in occupations declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor. Of particular interest to all departments are the \"Hazardous Orders\" prohibiting the employment of minors between 16 and 18 years of age in such activities as:

  • truck driving (operator or helper);
  • roofing operations;
  • operating any hazardous equipment or machinery; or
  • handling, storing, or being exposed to radioactive substances, or ionizing radiation.

14.12    Nurses: When it is necessary for a registered nurse to work more than a regularly scheduled 40-hour work week, the excess hours shall be subject to overtime compensation. When the person in the position normally has 24-hour responsibility, as in the case of some supervisors and most directors, overtime compensation will not apply since they are treated as exempt.

14.13    Volunteers: Volunteers are not in an employer/employee relationship. Volunteers perform hours of service for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons. The following conditions must be met in order for volunteer status to be maintained:

  • volunteer services (from current employees) must be offered freely without pressure or coercion;
  • volunteer services (from current employees) may not involve performing the same type of services as those for which the individual is employed;
  • volunteer services must be offered without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation;
  • while nominal expenses may be reimbursed, they cannot be a substitute for compensation and cannot be linked to productivity; and
  • voluntary arrangements should be made in writing, including a waiver of University liability.