Leave Usage and Time Reporting
Effective Date Aug 1, 2016
Applicable Employee Classes:
All Florida Tech Employees
Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, President
2.7 Leave Usage and Time Reporting
This policy will provide guidance about how to report time and leave usage for both exempt and non-exempt employees.
By way of background, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a Federal law that defines minimum wages, overtime pay, equal pay for equal work, and child labor standards. Based upon the detail provided in the FLSA, some employees are determined to be exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA, therefore the term “exempt employee”. In order to be classified exempt, an employee must be paid on a salary basis, meet the minimum salary threshold set by the DOL, and also meet one of the Duties tests. Exempt employees are often referred to as “salaried.”
“Non-exempt” employees are not exempt from the overtime regulations of the FLSA. Consequently, any time a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a pay week, the employee must be paid at the overtime rate of time-and-one-half of the regular hourly rate of pay for all hours worked over 40. Overtime calculations are based upon a defined pay week, not a biweekly pay period.
The University’s pay week runs from 12:01 a.m. Sunday to midnight the following Saturday. For an exempt/salaried employee, while they do not earn overtime, they will be subject to keeping track of any exceptions to their time- such as sick or vacation leave- and logging their timesheets accordingly for each pay week. For non-exempt/hourly paid employees, they will be paid for each hour worked as defined by the pay week. For example, a non-exempt employee who works 45 hours in week one and 35 hours in week two of a pay period is owed overtime for the five (5) hours worked over 40 in the first week. While true that the employee physically worked 80 hours total in a biweekly pay period, overtime is based on the defined pay week and not an average of the total hours worked. Note that the overtime rate is not applied until the employee physically works over 40 hours. Paid leaves (vacation, sick, holidays, etc.) are not counted as "hours worked" and do not apply to the 40 hour per week limit. Overtime hours must be approved by the supervisor in advance of working the hours. Unauthorized overtime will not be permitted and continued violations may be subject to disciplinary action.
Standard Work Schedules
Employees must follow established work schedules. The standard work schedule for most full- time employees is a 40-hour week consisting of five (5) 8-hour days. The usual hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, but this may vary depending on business needs. Part-time employee hours are based on a schedule determined by the supervisor and employee to meet the needs of the department. An employee will be informed of their particular work schedules by their immediate supervisor.
Work schedules for hourly/non-exempt employees normally include an unpaid meal period of at least 30 minutes. During the meal period the employee shall be free from all work. Additionally, work schedules may provide for one paid 15-minute rest period for each consecutive four (4) hours worked. At departmental discretion other employees may receive rest breaks. If conditions warrant, employees may be asked to work through the normally scheduled rest period. At such times employee cooperation is expected. Rest periods may not be saved to shorten the employee’s workday, to extend meal breaks, or to alter the work schedule. Rest periods not taken will be forfeited. Rest periods will be arranged in a manner that does not disrupt the operation of the department.
Work schedules for salary/exempt employees normally include a meal period and break period similar to the above. However, a salary/exempt employee is expected to work to the completion of their tasks and duties, regardless of the number of total hours worked per week. At times, this may require them to work through a break period, stay past normal hours of operation, or come in on weekends.
Some flexibility does exist within the pay week. For example, if a non-exempt employee is working on a project early in the week and has physically worked 40 hours by the end of the day on Thursday, the employee may be permitted to take the rest of the week off without additional pay. In this way an overtime situation is avoided but this type of schedule must be approved in advance by the employee’s direct supervisor However, if the employee works any hours on Friday or Saturday, those hours must be paid at the overtime rate.
Recording Paid Time Off
An employee cannot use sick, vacation, holiday or any other combination of hours to exceed 80 hours per pay period, unless the hours are directly related to time worked and the employee is owed overtime pay.
Full and/or partial day absences for non-exempt employees should be charged to the appropriate leave category of sick, vacation or holiday leave provided sufficient leave is available. Leave usage is recorded in 15 minute increments and rounded to the nearest quarter hour (i.e. .00, .25, .50, .75). If leave is not available, absences are unpaid and the employee is “docked” for that time.
All non-exempt employees will report actual hours worked and forward it to his or her manager for approval on a bi-weekly basis. If an employee uses a time clock for hours tracking, the clock will be set to round hours worked to the nearest 15 minute increment. Overtime hours and time off requests must be approved in advance by the employee's supervisor.
Exempt employees are expected to work until a particular task is completed or goal accomplished; be that forty hours in a week or sixty hours in a week. According to 29 CFR 541.602 an exempt employee must receive the full salary for any week in which the employee performs any work without regard to the number of days or hours worked except for the reasons listed below:
- Deductions from pay may be made when an exempt employee is absent from work for one or more full days for personal reasons.
- Deductions from pay may be made for absences of one or more full days occasioned by sickness or disability (including work-related accidents) in accordance with the university’s leave policies.
- An exempt employee’s absences due to jury duty, attendance as a witness, or temporary military leave can be offset by any amounts received by an employee as jury fees, witness fees or military pay for a particular week against the salary due for that particular week without loss of the exemption.
- Deductions from pay of exempt employees may be made for penalties imposed in good faith for infractions of safety rules of major significance. Safety rules of major significance include those relating to the prevention of serious danger in the workplace or to other employees.
- Deductions from pay of exempt employees may be made for unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days imposed in good faith for infractions of workplace conduct rules.
- An exempt employee is not required to receive a full salary in the initial or final week of employment. A proportionate part of an employee's full salary for the time actually worked in the first and last week of employment is permitted.
- An exempt employee is not required to receive a full salary for weeks in which he/she takes unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Rather, when an exempt employee takes unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the employee may be paid a proportionate part of the full salary for time actually worked. For example, if an employee who normally works 40 hours per week uses four hours of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the university could deduct 10 percent of the employee's normal salary that week.
Exempt employees must submit their timesheets on a bi-weekly basis. All exempt employees should record leave (vacation, sick and personal time) taken only and forward to his or her manager or designated approver for approval on a bi-weekly basis. Leave usage is recorded in two hour increments and rounded to the nearest ½ hour.
As an example, if an exempt employee is gone for a two-hour doctor appointment, two hours of sick leave must be recorded in the time record for that day. Vacation time for exempt employees should also be recorded in two hour increments. If an exempt employee arrives late in the morning at 10:00am, takes a one hour lunch, and leaves at 5:00pm, they should record 2 hours of vacation for that day. Similarly, if an exempt employee works half a day and leaves at noon, they would record 4 hours of vacation time for that day.
It is the responsibility of the employee to review all available reports to ensure the accuracy of their time records.
Based upon this information, a supervisor should not attempt to withhold pay from an exempt employee for deficiencies in the quality or quantity of work produced by an exempt employee. Disciplinary procedures have been established to provide supervisors with a method by which they may deal with an employee’s performance problems. The question of discipline is an individual matter that is based upon specific circumstances of the employee involved.
Federal laws do not permit the use of compensatory, or “comp” time for non-exempt employees. If a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a pay week, they must be paid for those hours at the rate of time-and-one-half of their regular hourly rate of pay. Furthermore, the University does not offer Comp Time as a standard practice for salaried employees and it should be avoided.
Travel time for non-exempt employees
Travel time for non-exempt employees is paid in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Whether time spent traveling by an employee is compensable work time depends on the type of travel and its purpose. Most of the rules governing travel time are contained in the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947 and are applicable to employees covered by the FLSA. (Portal-to-Portal Act §4; W-H Regulation 29 CFR §785.33 -§785.41).
Travel from Home to Work: In general, the time an employee spends going from home to work and from work to home is not work time, whether the employee reports to a fixed location or to different job sites.
There are some instances when travel from home to work is considered work time:
If an employee who is already home from work is called in for an emergency and must travel a substantial distance to get there.
If an employee has a special assignment for one day in another city and travels outside the regular workday to get there and back (although time spent traveling from home to a railroad station or airport would not be compensable),
Single-Day Travel: Time spent by the employee in travel as part of his or her normal work activities – such as travel from the job site to a seminar during regular working hours is considered hours worked. If the employee is required to travel to another city and return home in the same day, the travel time to and from the other city is considered hours worked. If the employee uses public transportation, the travel time between the employee’s home and the point where he or she obtains this transportation (i.e. bus station, airport, etc.) is not considered hours worked. If the employee takes a lunch break, it is not considered hours worked.
Travel Away From Home Overnight on a Work Day: Travel time involving a required overnight stay is considered hours worked only when it is during the employee’s regular workday. The employee is simply substituting travel for his or her regular work hours. Travel time that is outside of normal work hours is not considered hours worked.
Travel on a Non-Work Day: If the employee regularly works from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, traveling during the same hours on Saturday and/or Sunday is considered hours worked. The usual lunch break is not considered hours worked. Time spent in travel away from home outside of regular work hours is not considered hours worked. Any work that the employee performs while traveling is considered hours worked even if these hours are outside his or her normal work schedule.
Travel as Part of Job: Time spent traveling as part of an employee’s daily work activity (during normal work hours) is compensable work time, including travel from one job site to another or travel from a designated meeting place to a job site.
Travel to and from Home in a Company Vehicle: Use by an employee of an employer’s vehicle for commuting and other incidental travel is not part of the employee’s principal activities and is not compensable time if the vehicle is used within the normal commuting area for the employer’s business.
Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA)