Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Policy No: 
4.9
Type of Policy: 
Administrative
Effective Date: 
January 2017
Last Revised: 
October 2016
Review Date: 
January 2020
Policy Owner: 
Human Resources
Contact Name: 
Julie Joyce
Contact Title: 
Sr. Director, HRBPs & Employee Relations
Contact Email: 
Julie.Joyce@ohr.gatech.edu
Reason for Policy: 
To establish Institute policies and procedures that comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting full time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments.
Policy Statement: 
The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments. Georgia Tech will provide compensation for the established workweek for employees covered by the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Georgia Tech also reserves the right to institute any processes and procedures necessary for complying with relevant state law(s).
Scope: 
The policy applies to all departments, all faculty, staff, and student employees.
Procedures: 

Exempt/Non-Exempt Status

Federal and state laws require that overtime must be paid for certain, but not all, jobs. The federal law is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The term “exempt” refers to jobs that are excluded from these overtime requirements. This means that employees are not entitled to (or exempt from) overtime pay, regardless of how many hours are worked.

The term “non-exempt” refers to jobs that are not exempt from legal overtime requirements. This means that employees in non-exempt jobs are entitled to overtime pay for all time worked beyond forty (40) hours in a work week. 

In accordance with the FLSA, whether a job is classified as exempt or non-exempt depends on the content of the job. It does not depend on how the employee (or the manager) wants the job classified. Human Resources, with advice from the Office of Legal  Affairs, makes the final determination as to whether a job is exempt or non-exempt, based on an evaluation of the job as compared to federal regulations.

Overtime Compensation

The overtime rate of compensation is 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for each hour worked over forty (40) hours in a “work week” or Regular Rate (RR) X 1.5 X Overtime hours (OT) = Overtime pay due.  (Example: a non-exempt employee’s regular rate of pay is $10.00 per hour.  He or she worked 10 hours of overtime in a regular work week.   Thus, $10.00 x 1.5 x 10 = $150.00 (overtime pay due).)  Georgia Tech defines the “work week” as beginning on Thursday at 12:01 a.m. and ending at midnight on the following Wednesday.

Departments at the Institute may grant compensatory time in lieu of payment for overtime, if the employee agrees to accept compensatory time.  See the section below titled “Compensatory Time” for additional procedures in using this payment option.

Based on the needs of the department, some overtime may be a condition of employment or continued employment. It is to be expected that some departments may engage in temporary periods of mandatory overtime as a result of workload and in order to meet expected outcomes.  In other situations, a job's work schedule may be different from the typical Institution workweek so that evening and weekend coverage can be provided without the Institution having to incur the expense of overtime pay. Managers are responsible for informing employees about the needs of the unit and each employee's expected schedule in a timely fashion.

Breaks and Meal Times

Both exempt and non-exempt employees are encouraged to take occasional breaks or a meal period as reasonable.  Managers and supervisors will generally designate any authorized breaks and meal times for each employee’s position and schedule.  Non-exempt employees are encouraged to take a daily meal period of thirty (30) minutes or more and are encouraged to use this time as personal time where work for the Institute is not expected.

Time spent working should be recorded as such even if worked during a designated meal time.  Time spent not working for a period of approximately twenty (20) minutes or more, i.e., a “break” period, should not be recorded as time worked.

Note that state law varies as to meal and break time requirements and to the extent it is in conflict with the above, the Institute complies with state law.

Calculating Overtime

For purposes of calculating overtime, only hours actually worked will be considered. Vacation, holiday, sick, compensatory time and other leave times granted by the Institute will not factor into the overtime calculation.

Timekeeping

Employees in non-exempt jobs are required to submit daily time records.  Any employee or supervisor who falsifies any time record, application for leave, and the like, is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. 

Travel Time

When a non-exempt employee is traveling, managers should meet with them to review and approve the travel itinerary (including, but not limited to, meeting schedule, route, and mode of transportation) and confirm what are considered working hours in accordance with University System of Georgia (USG) and Institute policies and Department of Labor (DOL) regulations.  All compensable hours worked during the travel period must be recorded and reported to ensure an accurate calculation for payroll purposes.

For additional guidance, please see Compensation for Travel Time Guide for Overtime-Eligible Employees [Include Link].

Approvals

Supervisors and managers are expected to monitor the use and impact of overtime on their department to ensure employees are consistently completing work in a reasonable amount of time, as well as ensure that employees are not working unauthorized overtime. 

Overtime-eligible employees must obtain approval from their direct supervisor for overtime before it is actually worked.  Non-exempt employees must be compensated for all overtime hours worked regardless of whether such time was requested in advance. Employees who work overtime without supervisor authorization or fail to report accurately all hours of work are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Compensatory Time

Compensatory time, or “comp time,” is an alternate way of paying for overtime worked. Instead of paying an employee overtime for work done over the time allotted in the normal work week, an employee’s department can allow one hour and a half of time off for each hour of overtime worked. This time may be used in emergencies, or scheduled and approved for personal use.

Comp time should not be confused with flexible working arrangements (including “flextime”) that allow employees to work a schedule with variable arrival, departure and/or lunch times (see Flexwork Arrangements, Policy 8.65). Flexible working arrangements (or “flexwork arrangements”), if approved, allow the Institute to enable employees to serve customers, meet Institute and departmental goals, and balance personal and professional responsibilities.  Comp time strictly refers to compensation for overtime worked.

Supervisors, with departmental approval, may grant comp time instead of overtime pay to non-exempt employees. The choice of comp time must be made in advance and documented by an agreement between the supervisor and employee. (LINK to FORM.)  Approved comp time is subject to a two hundred and forty (240)-hour maximum accumulation.  Employees are required to use accrued comp time prior to using other earned/accrued leave.

Employees who have reached the comp time maximum must receive a cash payment for any additional overtime.  Additionally, all comp time balances on record as of the last full pay period of the fiscal year must be paid out as well.  Such payment shall be at the employee’s regular earnings rate at the time the payment is made. 

Employees terminating from the Institution or transferring to a new department or other USG institution will receive a comp time payoff from the department in which they earned the compensatory time. The payoff will be calculated based on the employee's current rate of pay.

An employee’s request to use their comp time earned is approved utilizing the same process used for vacation. 

Pay for All Time Worked

Institute policy and practice is to accurately compensate employees in compliance with state and federal laws. If an overtime eligible employee works more than forty (40) hours in a workweek, he or she will receive additional pay (or comp time as previously agreed upon with his or her supervisor).  To ensure that employees are paid properly for all time worked, an overtime eligible employee must record correctly all work time and review his or her pay records to promptly identify and report errors.  Employees also must not engage in off-the-clock or unrecorded work.

      To Report Violations of This Policy, Communicate Concerns, or Obtain More Information

It is a violation of Institute policy for any employee, including management, to falsify a time record. It is also a serious violation of Institute policy for any employee or manager to instruct another employee to incorrectly or falsely report hours worked or alter another employee’s time record to under- or over-report hours worked. 

Employees are prohibited from committing the following actions: (1) incorrectly or falsely under- or over-reporting hours worked, (2) altering another employee’s time record(s) to inaccurately or falsely reporting that employee’s hours worked, or (3) concealing any falsification of time records.  If any employee is instructed or encouraged to violate this policy, he or she should report it immediately to the Sr. Director, HRBPs and Employee Relations or may submit his or her concern on an anonymous (or otherwise) basis through the Ethicspoint system at http://www.ethicspoint.com or call 1.866.294.5565. 

Non-exempt employees should not work any hours outside of their scheduled work day unless their supervisor has authorized the unscheduled work in advance.  Employees should not start work early, finish work late, work during a meal break or perform any other extra or overtime work unless authorized to do so and that time is recorded. Employees are prohibited from performing any “off-the-clock” work. “Off-the-clock” work means work performed but not recorded as time worked.  Any employee who fails to report or inaccurately reports any hours worked will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

An employee with questions about pay deductions or the accuracy of his or her pay record should contact his or her supervisor immediately.  If the employee’s supervisor is not available or the employee believes it would be inappropriate to contact that person (or if the employee has not received a prompt and fully acceptable reply within three business days), the employee should contact the Sr. Director, HRBPs and Employee Relations or may submit his or her concern on an anonymous (or otherwise) basis through the Ethicspoint system at http://www.ethicspoint.com or call 1.866.294.5565. 

Every report will be fully investigated and corrective action will be taken, up to and including discharge of any employee(s) who violates this policy. 

In addition, the Institute will not allow any form of retaliation against individuals who report alleged violations of this policy or who cooperate in the Institute’s investigation of such reports.  Any form of retaliation in violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

Minimum Wage

Effective July 24, 2009, the FLSA requires a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour to be paid to all employees covered under the Act.

Child Labor

The FLSA prohibits the employment of children of certain ages and in certain hazardous occupations.  It also establishes certain hours during which children may or may not work.

Exceptions to Policy

The policy outlined above applies to all units of the Institute. Any exceptions to policy must be approved by the AVP of Human Resources. Questions about the policy's administration can be directed to your Human Resources Representative/Contact.

Enforcement: 

Description of potential repercussions for those within policy scope who are found in violation of the policy.  As much as possible, there should be a prescribed set of consequences for the various types and frequency of noncompliance that may occur.

Optional: To report suspected instances of noncompliance with this policy, please visit Georgia Tech’s EthicsPoint, a secure and confidential reporting system, at: https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/en/report_custom.asp?clientid=7508

Policy History: 
Revision Date Author Description
October 2016 Human Resources Revisions to procedures