Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law administered by the Department of Labor (DOL). This act regulates employment rules such as minimum wage, the rules for determining eligibility for overtime and how overtime is paid. Under the FLSA, employees are entitled to pay at the rate of one and a half times the employee's regular hourly wage for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a given workweek, unless that employee falls within one or more of the white collar exemption statuses.
What are the new changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?
Upon request from federal administration, the DOL has amended the rules that pertain to the eligibility to be exempt from the payment of overtime. This new rule changes the minimum salary an employee must be paid to be considered exempt from overtime to $47,476 per year or $913 week per week. This affects all employers who have more than 50 employees, not just Texas Tech University.
What is the difference between nonexempt employees and exempt employees?
Under the FLSA, nonexempt employees must be paid minimum wage, are entitled to pay at the rate of one and a half times the employee's regular hourly wage for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a given workweek and are required to report hours as they are worked.
Employees who are exempt from the FLSA must meet the criteria set forth by the DOL in one or more of the white collar exemptions. The qualifying criteria for a white collar exemption are:
- The employee must be paid a salary rather than an hourly wage.
- That salary must meet a minimum dollar amount set by the DOL which is $913 per week or $47,476 annually, and
- The employees must perform primary duties that the DOL deems consistent with executive, administrative, computer, and professional work. *Human Resources has developed exemption test worksheets to assist departments in verifying that their exempt employees meet the DOL standards.
Exempt employees are generally expected to devote the number of hours necessary to complete their respective tasks. Their compensation doesn't change based on actual hours worked. Exempt employees aren't paid extra for working more than 40 hours per week; they are paid for getting the job done.
How do I determine if my employee is now exempt or nonexempt?
The Texas Tech pay plan will be revised to comply with the FLSA rule changes. There are several job titles in pay grades that do not meet the new salary requirement and will no longer be considered exempt. Departmental administrators have been informed of the job titles that are changing from exempt to nonexempt and should be meeting with affected employees. Managers and supervisors are welcome to contact Human Resources Compensation & Operations for further information by emailing email@example.com.
What can I do to help my employee transition to the new status?
- Answer all questions as clearly and accurately as possible.
- Ensure your employees have been provided a copy of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Overtime Changes - Nonexempt Employee Overview. A helpful checklist has been provided at the end of this document.
- Put reminders on your calendar about payroll WebTime Entry timesheets or Time Clock Plus deadlines to ensure employees are paid on time.
- Suggest employees attend one of the Question and Answer sessions facilitated by Human
Resources and Payroll & Tax Services. Employees may reserve a seat through SumTotal.
Locations and times:
- Wednesday, September 7, 2016 from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm - Doak Conference Center Room 156
- Tuesday, September 27, 2016 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm - Doak Conference Center Room 156
- Wednesday, October 12, 2016 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am - Doak Conference Center Room 156
What is the standard workweek for Texas Tech University?
The Texas Tech University standard workweek is Sunday 12:01 am to Saturday 12:00 am (midnight).
How can I determine how many hours will be in each pay period?
A workweek is always 40 hours; however, the number of hours in each pay period fluctuates depending on the number of workdays in the pay period. Access the payroll website 2016 and 2017 Pay Frequency Worksheet calculator to see the hours for each pay period: www.depts.ttu.edu/payroll/documents/2016-pay-frequency-worksheet.xlsx
My employees are required to travel for their job. What are the travel rules for nonexempt employees?
The Department of Labor rules for paying travel time for nonexempt employees are very specific and must be followed. Please see the expanded rules for nonexempt employee working hours in OP 70.06: Employee Working Hours and the attached document detailing nonexempt travel. Please discuss employee travel before it occurs to determine how the work hours will be reported on your employee's weekly timesheet.
Are nonexempt employees allowed to carryover hours from one workweek to the next for compensatory time purposes?
Compensatory time policy for nonexempt employees was effective as of October 1, 2017 for Texas Tech University and Texas Tech System. More information about compensatory time can be found at: www.depts.ttu.edu/payroll/resources/faqs/index.php#comp
Supervisors still have the option to "flex" an employee's work hours during a workweek to maintain 40 hours per workweek.
What is a "flex schedule"?
Supervisors can adjust the normal work schedule for employees to occasionally work outside of that normal work schedule but maintain a 40 hour work week. It is important to report hours as they are worked.
For example, a department is hosting a 4 hour event for parents and students on Saturday. The supervisors allows staff to rotate taking afternoons off in the work week prior to the Saturday event. The supervisor is using a flexed schedule to accommodate the event, but maintaining a 40 hour work week.
At Texas Tech a work week is defined as a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hour, 7 consecutive 24-hour periods, beginning at 12:00am Sunday through 11:59pm on the following Saturday.
If I approved my employee's WebLeave Report as an exempt employee, do I now approve their timesheet as a nonexempt employee? How do I approve WebTime Entry timesheets?
Yes, all Web Leave approvers will be transferred automatically to WebTime Entry approvers. Time approvers access WebTime Entry through their RaiderLink portal. For specific instructions please access the following link: www.depts.ttu.edu/afism/training/documents/WTE%20WLR%20Approver%20Trainer%20Guide%202008%2010%2006.pdf
Detailed WebTime Entry video tutorials are also available at: www.depts.ttu.edu/afism/trainingv2/trainingVideos.asp?tabid=contentTab1
The deadline for approving WebTime Entry is 6:00 pm (CST) on the second business day after the last day of the pay period. If a timesheet is submitted and not approved, it will be processed through the payroll system. It is the WebTime Entry approver's responsibility to always approve timesheets. A proxy may be established to approve in your absence.
What if my employee does not submit a timesheet or misses the deadline?
It is the approver's responsibility to ensure employees submit timesheets on time. Employees who do not submit timesheets for approval by the deadline will not be paid on the normal on-cycle payroll. If your employee informs you that he/she was not paid; you must submit a manual check request for that pay period.
All manual check requests received by Payroll & Tax Services webmaster email, firstname.lastname@example.org, by Friday at 5:00 pm (CST) will be paid the following Friday via paper check. It is extremely important that timesheets are submitted and approved on time to avoid this issue.
Manual checks for the December 1st-15th pay period will not pay until January 6, 2017, due to the Winter Break. It is important to make sure your time is completed, submitted and approved before the deadline to avoid this delay in payment.
Do I have a budget for overtime pay?
Supervisors should consult with their department/business administrators to determine if funds are available for overtime pay.
If I don't have a budget to pay overtime, what can I do?
Supervisors will monitor the hours worked during the workweek and "flex" or change any workday hours in that given workweek in order to avoid overtime pay.
For example, employees may work 9 hours on Wednesday and Thursday and 6 hours on Friday. It is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to not pay overtime when nonexempt employees work over 40 hours in a given workweek. It is also a violation of the FLSA to add the overtime hours to the next pay period.
How is overtime calculated?
Employees who work in excess of 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to pay at the rate of one and a half times the employee's regular hourly wage for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a given workweek.
Employees who report a combination of leave time (sick, vacation, holiday, emergency, etc.) and hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a given work week will be paid for all hours at the regular hourly rate.
If a workweek is split between two pay periods, overtime pay will be paid to the employee with the second payroll period pay check.
The Texas Tech University's workweek is Sunday 12:01 am to Saturday, 12:00 am (midnight).
Are nonexempt employees eligible to receive cell phone allowances?
Effective November 1, 2016, all current employees that were receiving a cell phone monthly allowance as of August 1, 2016, will have that amount (up to $900 annual amount) rolled into base salary. No cell phone equipment allowances or monthly allowances will be permitted after October 31, 2016. The only exception will be for current employees with an existing employment contract that explicitly provides for a monthly cell phone allowance.
Rolling this amount into the employee's base salary is actually a nice benefit. Base salary is used for determining retirement contributions and also annual merits. By rolling the cell phone allowance into the base pay, both the employee's retirement contributions and the employee's future annual merits will increase.
Please remember that when a nonexempt employee accesses/answers work-related information on their personal cell phone in response to their supervisor or other requestors outside of normal work hours, they must report time worked. At Texas Tech time worked is reported in 15 minute increments when at least 8 minutes is worked; therefore, if the employee spends 9 minutes outside of scheduled work hours, he/she will report 15 minutes (.25) on their time sheet for that time worked.
How will employees be changed to a nonexempt status if they do not meet the FLSA exemption criteria?
Human Resources is working with Texas Tech University Information Systems to make this transition as seemless as possible. If an employee is staying in the current position and his/her status will follow the position change, the department will only need to check the HR121 report to ensure all changes were made appropriately and funding is correct.
Will this change affect any other pay grades in the pay plan?
Yes, pay grades 804 and 805 minimums will increase to $48,000 and $50,228 respectively. Human Resources will work with individual departments on making sure individuals meet those new minimum salaries for these pay grades.
Remember that deadlines may differ for ePAF, EOPS or other employee transactions for nonexempt versus exempt employees. Refer to the Payroll Deadline Calendars on your RaiderLink portal or the payroll website.