For supervisors

Last updated Oct. 20, 2016 

When are the changes going into effect?

  • For university employees changing from exempt to non-exempt, the change takes effect Sunday, Oct. 23, which is the first day of the two-week pay period Oct. 23-Nov. 5.
  • For AUMC employees changing from exempt to non-exempt, the change takes effect Oct. 30. For AUMA employees, the change takes effect Oct. 31.

Isn’t the university date different from what we were originally given?

Yes, based on employee feedback we received through the Employee Advisory Council, we changed the implementation date.

What do my newly non-exempt employee(s) need to do as of the effective date?

Newly non-exempt employees need to begin logging their daily time into and out of TimeNet beginning on the effective date (Oct. 23 for university employees, Oct. 30 for AUMC employees and Oct. 31 for AUMA employees).

When will they receive their first two-week paycheck?

  • University: Nov. 10, and it will be for two full weeks pay for the pay period ending Nov. 5. After that, they will receive a paycheck every two weeks.
  • Health System: Nov. 18, and it will be for a full two-week period. Their second paycheck will come Dec. 2, with two more paychecks in December, on the 16th and 30th.

Why the delay from the end of the pay period to the paycheck date?

FLSA rules require a time lag so that all employee work hours can be accurately counted.

What is not changing?

  • Your employee’s annual budgeted compensation will not change
  • Your employee’s job and job title will not change
  • Your employee’s immediate supervisor will not change
  • Your employee’s benefits will not change

What will change about my job now that I am supervising non-exempt employees?

The law is very clear and very strict that non-exempt employees may not work more than 40 hours per week without overtime compensation. As a supervisor, you are responsible to monitor non-exempt employee time worked and to make sure they understand they are not allowed to work more than 40 hours per week without prior approval from a supervisor. This includes checking email or making phone calls after hours or while not in the office. You will be responsible for monitoring and approving non-exempt employee time worked in the TimeNet time and attendance system. Training will be provided.

More specifically, what do I need to do?

  • DO set expectations around hours to be worked weekly.
  • DO evaluate work responsibilities to determine how the work can be done within 40 hours each week.
  • DO set expectations around employees responding to emails, texts or phone calls after hours.
  • DO be clear with employees that they must request and receive your approval before working any overtime.
  • DO be clear with employees that all time worked must be captured within TimeNet. TimeNet is the system of record for recording all time worked.
  • DO be clear that working “off the clock” is not permitted. This could become an FLSA violation and subject the university to fines and other penalties.
  • DO consider flexible scheduling within each work week to minimize the need for overtime.
  • DO monitor TimeNet during the week to identify any employees who may be trending to exceed 40 hours in the week.
  • For University employees, DO emphasize that compensatory time is allowed under the allow rather than direct overtime pay and that AU a longstanding institutional practice of providing comp time before direct overtime pay.
  • For University employees, DO monitor Compensatory time and ensure that it is being used throughout the year and before June 30th.
  • DO recognize your budget management responsibilities and that any decision to make direct payment for overtime must be supported by your departmental/unit/grant budget. Departmental budgets will not be supplemented to cover overtime.

What should I NOT do?

  • DON’T allow employees to work “off the clock” or “volunteer” and address immediately if you determine that they have done this. (Recognize that you may have to follow up with corrective action if the employee continues to “work off the clock.”)
  • DON’T say or do anything to imply that employees must work “off the clock.” This is a direct violation of the FLSA and will subject the University to fines and penalties.
  • DON’T email, call or text after hours without being clear about response expectations. Set expectations up front and understand that our ability to work through technology will need to be counted as time worked, unless “de minimis.”
  • DON’T underestimate that employee’s are researching the FLSA and may have questions; please be sure to engage HR before answering.

What about TimeNet?

  • University employees will be paid as a monthly employee from Oct. 1-22. University supervisors must complete the October monthly timecard for affected university employees no later than COB on October 19th.
  • AUMC employees will be paid as a monthly employee from Oct. 1-29. AUMC supervisors must complete the October monthly timecard for affected university employees no later than COB on October 25th.
  • Payroll will update the panels in TimeNet that are needed to move these employees from exempt to non-exempt. The system will accept punches even if the employee is still showing as a monthly paid employee.
  • Please give TimeNet administrators until COB on 10/25 (University), 11/2 (AUMC) before making any inquiries to Payroll regarding an employee’s classification in TimeNet. They need a little time to get everyone transitioned over.

What happens if an employee works approved time over 40 hours?

  • University employees:The employee must be compensated either with compensatory time or overtime pay (both at 1.5 hours for each hour of overtime worked), and if overtime pay, your departmental budget will be expected to cover the additional cost.
  • Medical center employees:The employee must be compensated with overtime pay (1.5 hours for each hour of overtime worked), and your departmental budget will be expected to cover the additional cost.

Can I offer employees flex time instead of overtime or comp time?

Yes, you may elect to use flexible schedules to limit overtime. For example, your employee may need to work two hours extra on Tuesday to complete an assignment. You may flex their schedule (i.e., ask them to leave two hours early on Monday or come in two hours later on Wednesday) to keep their schedule within the standard 40-hour workweek.

How flexible can managers be in creating daily work schedules to ensure proper staffing levels?

As long as they are adjusting schedules in a consistent and fair manner, managers may adjust schedules to accommodate the needs of their operations.

How are managers to monitor and manage time of non-exempt employees who must travel for their work?  What guidance should a manager provide to his/her employee?

A manager is expected to manage the time worked of his/her employees even when the employee is traveling. Since all work-related travel must be approved in advance, the manager should review the proposed travel, the itinerary and any conference or meeting schedule to identify what time will be compensable and what time may not be compensable. The manager and the employee are expected to agree in advance how the time traveling will be treated.  Following the travel, the manager should confirm the hours worked with the employee and ensure that the start and end time for each day is properly entered into the TimeNet system.  The following guidelines from the Department of Labor Fact Sheet on “Hours Worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)” will apply:

“Travel Time: The principles which apply in determining whether time spent in travel is compensable time depends upon the kind of travel involved.

Home to Work Travel:  An employee who travels from home before the regular workday and returns to his/her home at the end of the work day is engaged in ordinary home to work travel, which is not work time.

Home to Work on a Special One Day Assignment in Another City:  An employee who regularly works at a fixed location in one city is given a special one day assignment in another city and returns home the same day. The time spent in traveling to and returning from the other city is work time, except that the employer may deduct/not count that time the employee would normally spend commuting to the regular work site.

Travel That is All in a Day’s Work: Time spent by an employee in travel as part of their principal activity such as travel from job site to job site during the work day, is work time and must be counted as hours worked.

Travel Away from Home Community:  Travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight is travel away from home. Travel away from home is clearly work time when it cuts across the employee’s workday. The time is not only hours worked on regular working days during normal working hours but also during corresponding hours on nonworking days. As an enforcement policy the Division will not consider as work time that time spent in travel away from home outside of regular working hours as a passenger on an airplane, train, boat, bus or automobile.”

For Augusta University, the following examples are based on the guidance above.

  1. An employee lives in Aiken, South Carolina, and drives to the Health Sciences campus every day for work. The drive to work usually takes about 25 minutes and the drive home takes about the same, depending on traffic. This time is not work time but rather normal commute time.
  2. The employee who lives in Aiken, South Carolina, needs to attend a meeting in Atlanta. The employee leaves her home at 7:00 a.m. The employee would be considered to be working as of 7:25 a.m. that day.
  3. An employee whose regular office location is on the Summerville campus but who regularly attends meetings on the Health Sciences campus will be considered to be engaged in continuous work when traveling to and from the Health Sciences location under the “Travel That is All in a Day’s Work” section listed above.
  4. An employee who lives in Grovetown, Georgia, who travels to Atlanta for a two-day conference, including overnight travel, will be covered by the “Travel Away from Home Community” section listed above. Travel will be considered work time when it cuts across the employee’s workday. Therefore, if the employee leaves his/her home at 7:00 a.m., arrives in Atlanta to begin the conference at 10:00 a.m. and participates in sessions that last until 5:00 p.m., excluding a one-hour break for lunch that was not a working lunch, the employee should be recorded as working nine hours. If the employee’s conference begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. on the following day, the employee takes a 30-minute lunch and then returns to Augusta to his/her regular work location on campus and works until 5 p.m. that day, the employee would then be credited for 8.5 hours of work time. If however, the supervisor has indicated that the employee need not return to the office when the employee arrives home, and the employee arrives home at 3:30 p.m., the employee will be credited with working seven hours for the second day.

What if I have an employee who wants to attend a lecture or training program that is not required for his/her job?

The DOL Fact Sheet includes the following: “Lectures, Meeting and Training Programs: Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as working time only if four criteria are met, namely: It is outside normal hours, it is voluntary, not job related, and no other work is concurrently performed.” Therefore, if you have an employee who is attending an evening lecture after regular work hours, there no requirement to attend the lecture, it is unrelated to his/her job and the employee is not engaged in work while attending the lecture, the time spent is not work time and thus no compensation is required. However, if you as a manager require your employees to attend a lecture after hours as a way of enhancing the employees’ job knowledge, the time spent at the lecture would be considered time worked and therefore compensable. In a week when this occurs, you can adjust the employees’ work schedule to allow them to leave early on another day to ensure that the hours worked for that week do not exceed 40 hours.

What if I have a non-exempt employee who, separate from his/her regular job with the university, serves as a voluntary advisor to a student group and will be traveling with the student group to an out of town location for a weekend trip? What amount of time is considered compensable?

If the advisor role is considered voluntary, then the out of town travel is also voluntary. If however, the university has chosen to treat the advisor role and any associated travel-related activities as not voluntary, then the employee’s activity should be addressed under the extra duty policy and an appropriate hourly rate established for the extra duty work. The hours working during the weekend trip must be recorded and reported to ensure an accurate calculation for payroll purposes. Prior to the trip, the responsible university administrator who oversees the student group should review with the advisor the itinerary for the trip and determine what time will be considered working hours and what time will not be working hours. For example, the administrator and the advisor may agree to exclude meal breaks and sleeping periods of not more than eight hours (the sleep time may be excluded provided at least five hours of sleep time is taken without interruption). Also, for advisor activities that occur on campus, the advisor should also complete the extra duty time recording sheet at the conclusion of each activity or at the end of each month and submit to an appropriate university administrator for approval who will then submit to payroll.

How will the annual and holiday/leave cash-out option work for newly non-exempt employees?

USG is offering employees the opportunity to “cash out” up to 48 hours of their annual leave and unscheduled holiday leave to help with the transition.

  • This is a one-time only option limited to affected employees, which may be exercised through May 5, 2017.
  • This is a voluntary option.
  • An employee may not use or convert sick leave for this purpose.
  • Employees with fewer than 48 hours will be allowed to use their full available annual leave balance.
  • Only hours that have already been accrued may be requested. (Employees may not request leave they expect to earn in the future.)
  • Employees will not be able to buy back hours at a later date.
  • Employees electing this option will receive the vacation and/or unscheduled holiday along with their regular pay for hours worked.

How do employees apply for the cash-out option?

  • Employees will fill out the Vacation Cash-Out Request Form and provide it to you.
  • You will confirm that the employee has the leave hours available and that any leave already requested and approved will be adjusted, if necessary.
    • For example, an employee with 58 hours of annual leave who has been approved for a week of leave (40 hours) in December and who now decides to request 48 hours of vacation cash out for their October check may have to void or reduce the leave requested for December, since they will no longer have the hours available. You may still approve the leave, but remind the employee:
      • that any leave in excess of their balance will be leave without pay, and
      • that leave may not be taken before it is accrued.
    • You will sign the form and return it to the employee to submit to Tamara Rehbein in the Payroll Office.
    • Deadlines to receive the cash-out pay for each pay period can be found [here]. Forms received after the specified deadlines will be paid out on the following payroll (with the exception of the final deadline of May 5).
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