FAQ's for the FLSA Changes
The purpose of this FAQ is to address key topics for UCBA employees and supervisors, regarding the transition from professional salaried (exempt) to professional hourly (non-exempt).
What is Changing?
The Department of Labor (DOL) updated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in May 2016, increasing overtime protection for employees with a base salary less than $47, 476 per year. This means that employees who fall under this salary threshold will be required by the federal government to transition from professional salaried (exempt) to professional hourly (non-exempt), effective October 1, 2016. These changes are in no way a reflection of your performance. Benefits elections, base rate of pay and/or job duties will not change due to the transition.
Pay and Overtime:
Q: How will I get paid?
A: All UCBA professional hourly (non-exempt) employees are required to clock in and out from their work computers for all time worked. All employees will need to work with their supervisors to review schedule needs of the week’s activities to complete the appropriate work within the 40-hour limit per week on campus.
Q: When will I be paid?
A: Professional hourly employees will receive their paychecks every two weeks or bi-weekly (unless a bank holiday, then the banking day before). Please refer to the payroll calendar for payment dates. http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/af/controller/payroll/docs/2016_PAYROLL_CALENDAR.pdf
Q: How will this transition affect my first bi-weekly paycheck?
A: The first bi-weekly paycheck will be paid on 10/18/16 (includes time worked from 10/01-10/08). Since this will be a partial paycheck, employees can elect to use up to 40 hours of vacation to be applied to the 10/18 paycheck.
The first full bi-weekly paycheck will be received on 11/1/16 (includes time worked from 10/09- 10/22). There will be three bi-weekly paychecks in November.
Due to the transition of being paid monthly to bi-weekly, employees are encouraged to consider any possible changes that should be made to automatic withdrawals, bill payments, etc. in their personal finances.
Q: How is overtime calculated?
A: All professional hourly employees who report over 40 hours in a defined workweek must be compensated for all hours in a pay period. Professional hourly employees must be compensated at time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a defined workweek. The computation of 40 hours worked does include paid time out of the workplace (e.g., sick leave, vacation time, etc.)
Q: Is overtime approved?
A: We realize there may be times (e.g., emergencies, peak volume times) when an employee may be asked by their supervisor to work over their normally scheduled workday (or 40 hours per week). Therefore, the supervisor will be required to submit any overtime request (both paid and comp time) to the UCBA HR Manager for approval with as much advance notice of the overtime as possible (no less than 48 hours, barring actual emergency situations). Because of the budgetary implications of overtime, it is far preferred that supervisors encourage employees to use compensatory (comp) time to flex employees’ schedules when needed.
Q: What exactly is compensatory time?
A: Compensatory (Comp) time is an alternative way for rewarding overtime work in lieu of overtime pay for all hours worked per week in excess of 40 hours. Comp time is recorded at time and a half the number of overtime hours. Comp time may be accumulated and used by an employee without having to use vacation time.
Q: What is the procedure for designating comp time?
A: Please refer to the Overtime and Compensatory policy https://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/hr/labor_and_employee_relations/policies/14_03_overtime_and_compensatory_pay.pdf
Q: I’ve heard that we can manage my new schedule across the 80 hours of the biweekly schedule? Is that true or will my schedule be managed within the weekly schedule of 40 hours at a time?
A: Work schedules must be managed within the weekly schedule of 40 hours at a time.
Q: Will my vacation and sick time accrual change?
A: Vacation and sick time accrual will remain the same; however, time will be accrued over 26 pay periods (bi-weekly) instead of 12 pay periods (monthly)
Q: Will I have to be paid if I work from home or check email, phone calls or text messages outside of business hours?
A: Yes. Time Worked=Time Paid. However, this constitutes overtime and must be pre-approved. Some norms may change as a result of FLSA; for example, emails, voicemail messages, and texts may be responded to the next morning rather than responding that evening after hours. Managers and employees will need to recognize this needed change in expectations. Typically, the college’s expectations for email responses is 24-48 hours anyway, so these expectations can still be met. Consider disabling email notifications from your phone, so you are not compelled to check messages outside of work.
Q: As a salaried employee, I work until the job gets done. How am I supposed to get all of my work accomplished within a 40-hour workweek?
A. Work with your supervisor to address tasks that may prohibit you from working within a 40-hour work week. This transition will be an adjustment for many departments. However, this is an opportunity for you and your supervisor to re-evaluate current processes for efficiencies that will benefit you and your department.
Clocking In & Out:
Q: How do I clock in and out?
A: Employees with access to a computer will clock in and out from their office computer using UC Flex. Employees without computer access will use the time clock stations located throughout the buildings to clock in and out. The timekeeping mobile app may only be used when an employee is working off-site. Employees must have prior approval from their supervisor before using the app to clock and in out. Employees should notify their supervisors on a weekly basis, regarding instances that will require them to use the mobile app. It is expected that the supervisor will notify the UCBA HR manager of these exceptions, as the time administrators (UCBA Business Office/HR) will be monitoring instances of employees utilizing the mobile app.
Q: Do I have to clock in and out if I attend a class during my workday?
A: Yes, unless you to choose to use your unpaid work time/break to take classes.
Q: Do I have to clock in and out if I teach a class during my workday?
A: Yes. Teaching is a separate work assignment, in which you will be paid separately.
Q: What if my schedule changes from semester to semester? Can I change my Master Work Schedule in UC Flex?
A: Yes. Changes can be made to your Master Work Schedule. However, if your schedule varies throughout a semester, flexible work schedules are ideal. Changes to work schedules should not exceed more than one time per semester. All requests for changes should be made by supervisors to the UCBA HR Manager.
Q: What if I clock in or out at a time outside my Master Work Schedule? Is this okay?
A: Yes. For example, if your work schedule is 8 AM-5 PM in UC Flex, and you clocked in at 8:30 AM on a Tuesday, your time will still be recorded, although an error may show on the timekeeper’s exceptions report.
Q: Who manages employees’ time?
A: Time is managed by a timekeeper. Supervisors will need to assign a timekeeper and an approver within their department to manage employees’ time. Generally, the timekeeper may be the supervisor and the approver is the head of the department. Contact the UCBA HR Manager for questions regarding timekeeper and approver roles.
Q: I am a new timekeeper/approver. Where can I find information about timekeeping in UC Flex?
A: For step by step timekeeping instructions, log into UC Flex > Help (top left corner) > Time Management
> Course > HR Hourly Time Administration
Q: How do I access the mobile device?
A: Refer to the Hourly Time Recording help link in UC Flex for instructions
Q: What happens if employees forget to clock in or out?
A: Notify the timekeeper in your department to edit the timecard. If an employee continues to miss clocking in or out or works off the clock, the supervisor should address the situation with the employee and inform them that the continued behavior could lead to disciplinary action. Clocking in and out ensures that employees are paid for all hours worked.
Q: How is time off submitted?
A: Time off requests will be submitted using UC Flex. For example, if you have a doctor’s appointment and come in 45 minutes after your normal starting time, you will report 45 minutes of sick time (assuming you have sick time accruals). Likewise, if you take three hours of vacation on a Friday afternoon, you will record three hours of vacation time. Supervisors may permit employees to ‘make up’ time during the 40-hour week.
Q: When is the cutoff time to edit timecards?
A: Refer to the payroll timecard cutoff dates
Q: How did UC determine who would be exempt and non-exempt?
A: UC HR reviewed each position description to identify position duties and conduct the exemption test for final exemption status (exempt or non-exempt).
Q: What happens if my professional hourly salary increases past the minimum base salary amount ($47, 476)?
A: You will then transition to exempt status.
Q: What are the positive aspects of the FLSA changes for professional hourly employees?
A: Transitioning to professional hourly gives employees an opportunity to create more work/life balance without feeling the need to work after hours. Also, employees have the ability to accrue and earn comp time without having to use vacation time.
We know that this FAQ may not address all of your questions, so you are encouraged to review the resources below for additional information on these related topics.
Hourly Timekeeping Training:
FLSA FAQ from HR website:
FLSA Live Training Webinars:
See the FLSA Training Resources page for details
FLSA Information & Resources:
As always, please feel free to reach out to Amy Owens Smith, UCBA HR Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 745-5615 if you have any questions.