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.
I will be moving to a nonexempt status, how will this change affect me?
With the implementation of the FLSA overtime changes, your position will now be nonexempt. Please understand this change will, in no way, adversely reflect the level or value of your work, or your importance to the university. The change of your position to nonexempt is necessary to comply with the revised regulations and it provides you with wage and hour protections that you did not have as an exempt employee.
When will I be paid?
As a nonexempt employee, you will be paid twice per month based on the following pay periods and pay dates. If the pay date falls on a weekend or holiday, nonexempt employees will be paid on the last work day prior to the weekend or holiday.
|Pay Period||Pay Date|
|1st - 15th of the month||25th of the month|
|16th - last day of the month||10th of the following month|
Will my annual salary change?
Although your annual pay will not be reduced as a result of the change to nonexempt, paycheck amounts will fluctuate from pay period to pay period based on the number of hours worked in that pay period.
How will my payroll deductions be affected now that I'm paid twice per month?
Automatic Bank Drafts and Bill Pay: If you currently have automatic bank drafts scheduled through your bank, you may want to review the timing of those drafts with your new pay schedule.
Direct Deposit for Multiple Accounts: You will want to review your direct deposit information if you currently have your pay check distributed to multiple accounts with set dollar amounts assigned to each account.
For example, if you currently have $300 per paycheck designated to a savings account while the remainder of your paycheck is deposited into a checking account, you will want to change the savings account amount from $300 per paycheck to $150 per paycheck so that you still have only $300 total per month deposited into your savings account instead of $600 per month. To make changes, please follow the instructions provided by Payroll & Tax Services www.depts.ttu.edu/payroll/direct-deposit.php.
Payroll Deductions: Payroll deductions will be collected in equal amounts from each check. Insurance benefits and retirement contributions are addressed in the benefits section below.
Important: If you currently have additional Federal Income Tax withheld from your paycheck and do not want to double the amount of additional taxes withheld each month, you must submit a new W-4 form.
For example, if you currently withhold an extra $200 per paycheck as an exempt employee who is paid monthly, you must revise your W-4 form to request only $100 of additional Federal Income Tax be withheld per paycheck as a nonexempt employee who will be paid twice per month.
If you would like to make a change to the Federal Income Tax withholding, complete a new W-4 form with the change to Line 6 and submit the completed form to Human Resources. The link to the W-4 form to make changes if needed is: www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf.
Change Deadline: Revised W-4 forms must be submitted to Human Resources by October 24, 2016, to ensure the correct deduction will be effective November 1, 2016.
Will my benefits be affected?
No, your overall benefits will not be affected.
Insurance Benefits: Your insurance benefits will not change; however, the premiums will be divided equally between your two paychecks each month.
Retirement Contributions: Overtime payments are eligible for Teacher Retirement System (TRS) contributions; therefore, you will be contributing to TRS on the overtime payment and the employer matching will be contributed on your behalf. If you work overtime, your annual contributions to TRS will increase.
Longevity: Longevity is paid on the check issued on the 10th day of the month.
Leave Accruals: Your leave taken will be removed from your balances with each pay cycle. Your monthly accrual will be added with the processing of the first pay period of the month.
How can I determine how many hours are in each pay period?
Nonexempt employees should access the 2016 and 2017 Pay Frequency Worksheet calculator on the payroll website www.depts.ttu.edu/payroll/documents/2016-pay-frequency-worksheet.xlsx. This will help you determine your pay each pay period.
How do I report my hours worked?
WebTime Entry or Time Clock Plus will be the time keeping systems in which nonexempt employees will use to report hours worked. Your supervisor will direct you on which system to use.
WebTime Entry system users must have time sheets completed, submitted and approved by the supervisor 6:00 pm (CST) on the second business day after the end of the pay period. Time Clock Plus system users may have a different deadline.
Recommendation: Put reminders of pay period deadlines for timesheet submissions on your calendar to make sure your timesheets are completed, submitted, and approved on time to avoid a delay in payment.
Additional information on how to access WebTime Entry to report hours worked can be found at the following link: www.depts.ttu.edu/afism/training/documents/WTE%20WLR%20Employee%20Guide%202008%2010%2006.pdf
Detailed WebTime Entry video tutorials are also available by accessing the following link: www.depts.ttu.edu/afism/trainingv2/trainingVideos.asp?tabid=contentTab1
IMPORTANT: Employees who do not submit their timesheets for approval by the deadline will not be paid on the normal on-cycle payroll. If this happens to you, you will need to contact your department administrator and have them submit a manual check request.
All manual checks requests received by Payroll & Tax Services by Friday 5pm CT will be paid the following Friday via paper check. It is extremely important to submit your timesheet for approval 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.
If I'm approved to work overtime, how and when will it be paid?
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 workweek is Sunday 12:01 am to Saturday, 12:00 am (midnight).
How do I calculate my gross pay?
Nonexempt employees should access the 2016 and 2017 Pay Frequency Worksheet calculator on the payroll website www.depts.ttu.edu/payroll/documents/2016-pay-frequency-worksheet.xlsx. This worksheet was developed to assist a full-time nonexempt employee budget for financial obligations based on the fluctuations of workdays for each pay period.
This is an estimate only based on the assumptions of a standard full-time nonexempt employee working 8 hours per day (Monday - Friday) and based on the employee's hourly rate entered into the spreadsheet to determine what the gross base pay will be for each pay period.
How do I complete my last Exempt Leave Report?
You will need to submit your monthly October Leave Report by November 3, 2016. This leave report is for leave taken in October 2016. The October leave report must be submitted to ensure your leave balances are correct.
If you have an issue with submitting the October leave report, please send an email to the payroll webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org assistance.
Will I be able to carry over any hours from one week 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
My job responsibilities require that I travel. How will I be affected since I am now nonexempt?
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 working hours in OP 70.06: Employee Working Hours and the attached document detailing nonexempt travel. Please discuss your travel before it occurs with your supervisor to determine how you will report your work hours on your weekly timesheet.
I have a cell phone allowance. Will I get to keep it?
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 your base salary is actually a nice benefit. Your base salary is used for determining your retirement contributions and also your annual merit. By rolling your cell phone allowance into your base pay, both your retirement contributions and any future annual merits will increase.
Where can I find out more information and ask specific questions?
Human Resources and Payroll & Tax Services will be hosting an information session where questions can be asked. Please reserve your 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
Checklist for November:
- Open your WebTime Entry timesheet on your first working day for the pay period of November 1st-15th. If you are on Time Clock Plus, you must clock in.If you are unable to access your timesheet, send an email to email@example.com. and provide your name, R number, and the name of your time sheet approver. Payroll will research the issue to get you access to your timesheet as soon as possible.If you have an issue with clocking into Time Clock Plus, please contact your immediate supervisor.
- Review the payroll calendar to understand the pay periods and the pay dates associated with those pay periods.
- Review direct deposit information
- Review W4 information
- Put reminders on your calendar about payroll WebTime Entry timesheets or Time Clock Plus deadlines to avoid a delay in payment.