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FLSA Regulatory Change Implementation FAQs

The UA will implement the new FLSA threshold on November 21, 2016, which is the first day of the pay period that includes December 1, the federal deadline for implementation.

Supervisor/Department/Business Manager

I have an exempt employee who will become non-exempt. Do I need to process a MSS transaction to change that person’s FLSA status?

No. Upon implementation all employees who are affected will be automatically converted. 

How will employees be notified of a change in their exemption status?

Supervisors of affected employees will be provided guidance on how to communicate the change to each employee. Additionally, all affected employees will receive direct communication in the form of email.

Appointed Personnel who become non-exempt will get a new notice of appointment that contains an hourly wage. 

Is there a report I can use to see which employee will be impacted by the changes?

Yes. A report is available in UAccess Analytics.

Go to UAccess Analytics > Dashboards > Employee > Workforce, then select the “FLSA Impact Report” tab.  

What resources are available to help supervisors communicate the changes to the FLSA threshold?

Supervisors will receive communication that explains their new roles and responsibilities as well as talking points to guide conversations with employees.

Also, the Department of Labor has created a short video that supervisors can share with their employees. See dol.gov/featured/overtime/

Is increasing an employee’s salary above the new salary threshold enough to meet the FLSA exempt status?

Not necessarily. All jobs must meet also meet at least one of the FLSA duties tests to be exempt. Jobs that do not meet at least one of these duties tests are non-exempt, regardless of salary.

Is training available for supervisors regarding FLSA and time approving?

Yes. Supervisors who have been provisioned in UAccess to be Time Approvers should use the resources on the Financial Services Office website under Time Approver Duties

What steps should a department take to prepare for the FLSA changes?

  1. Ensure current job descriptions exist for all employees
  2. If any jobs appear to be inappropriately categorized as exempt based on FLSA job duties test, contact your assigned HR Organizational Consultant for assistance. (Remember, exceeding the minimum salary threshold alone does not make an employee exempt; the job duties test still applies.)
  3. Review populations to determine which employees will be affected by these changes. Estimate the amount of overtime these employee typically work and how that may impact budgets.
  4. Department business managers should work in conjunction with local leadership to determine the financial and human capital impact within their areas. (Guidance on how and whether to adjust pay for those who regularly work more than 40 hours a week will be provided shortly.)

What should we do if we are currently recruiting for a position that will no longer meet the criteria for exempt status?

Please continue hiring practices as normal until further notice.

Who is responsible for authorizing and scheduling overtime?

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring non-exempt employees are informed they may not work overtime without prior approval. Non-exempt employees are responsible for gaining approval prior to scheduling and working overtime. Occasionally non-exempt employees may be requested to work overtime by their supervisors. 

Are there other options for overtime payment?

Yes.

Non-exempt employees who normally work less than 1.0 FTE work more hours than usual, but no more than 40 hours in a workweek, they are compensated by one of the following methods:

  • Pay at the employee's regular rate of pay, or
  • Accrual of compensatory time at straight time for each hour worked over the normal FTE.

When a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek, the employee must be compensated by one of the following methods:

  • Pay at 1½ times the employee's regular rate of pay for each hour worked over 40, or
  • Accrual of compensatory time at 1½ time for each hour worked over 40.

Generally, compensatory time off is the preferred means of compensating non-exempt employees for overtime hours worked.

Is there a maximum accrual for compensatory time?

Yes. After a nonexempt employee has accrued 120 hours of compensatory time off (prorated by FTE), all subsequent overtime hours worked are paid in cash. Exceptions to this rule are possible only with written approval in advance from the appropriate dean or vice president; however, the accrual of compensatory time off may never exceed 240 hours (prorated by FTE).

Because compensatory time is an unfunded fiscal liability, department administrators may establish fiscally prudent departmental policies that further limit the accrual of compensatory time. Department administrators are responsible for ensuring that compensatory time balances do not become excessive.

If an employee does not report overtime hours worked on his/her timesheet and it the supervisor discovers this after the close of the pay period, what should the supervisor do?

In order to comply with the FLSA, it is important that employees report overtime hours within the relevant pay period. However, if overtime hours are not properly recorded, the employee should go back to the timesheet and add the hours to the pay period in which they were worked (with a clarifying comment) and submit them. The supervisor will have to re-approve the timesheet. This may only be done 28 days following the missed time period. Beyond 28 days, contact Payroll.

If an employee works overtime without having obtained prior approval from his/her supervisor, do they still have to receive compensatory time or overtime pay?

Yes. According to the FLSA, non-exempt employees must be compensated for all hours worked. However, as long as the supervisor has clearly communicated the pre-approval requirement, failure to gain pre-approval may be addressed through the disciplinary process to prevent future occurrences. In that case, supervisors should work closely with their designated HR Organizational Consultant. 

If an employee voluntarily does “casual” work beyond 40 hours per week (such as checking or responding to work email or texts or listening to messages, etc), does that count as time worked?

Yes. All work-related activities, even voluntary or casual, must be reported as time worked. Employees may not volunteer their time and supervisors may not instruct or allow employees to do so.

How will the winter closure be handled for individuals who have recently become non-exempt?

In the interest of greater consistency, the University is standardizing its approach to managing time during University Closure. For the upcoming University Closure period, paid time for employees eligible for full University benefits will be pre-loaded as follows:

Monday, December 26, 2016           

Holiday

Tuesday, December 27, 2016           

Holiday

Wednesday, December 28, 2016      

University Closure Time

Thursday, December 29, 2016          

University Closure Time

Friday, December 30, 2016               

University Closure Time

Monday, January 2, 2017                  

Holiday

 

Do holiday, vacation, and sick hours count as hours worked when calculating overtime/ compensatory time?

No, only hours actually worked are counted. Please consult the following DOL resources for clarification of overtime and compensatory time calculations:

dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs23.pdf
dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs22.pdf

Will a change in FLSA status from exempt to non-exempt result in any changes in accounting or budgeting?

Yes.  A change in status from exempt to non-exempt will result in a change in the expenditure and encumbrance of the position from a 11XX Salary Object Code to a 13XX Wage Object Code.  When the position is reclassified, Business Managers will need to process a Request for Budget Change (RBC) to move both Current Year and Next Year Budgets into the new Object Code for the position/Budget Line.  Please contact the Budget Office if you have questions or need additional clarification at (520) 621-1634.

Does FTE factor into determining if an employee's pay meets the threshold?

Yes, FTE must be considered. Even if the weekly pay for an employee would be above the $913 per week threshold at a 1.0 FTE, but a reduced FTE drops their weekly pay below the threshold, that employee must be non-exempt.

How can I watch the video recording from the FLSA town hall meeting on November 8, 2016?

Watch the recorded FLSA Livestream here (make sure to select "NetID" in the dropdown menu.)

Employee

I have been told I will be changing from exempt to non-exempt. What does that mean for me?

As a non-exempt employee, you must receive compensation for all hours worked, so you will become a positive time reporter. If you work extra hours above your FTE, but do not exceed 40 hours per week, you will receive compensatory time or overtime pay at your normal rate. If you work more than 40 hours in a week, you will receive compensatory time or overtime pay at 1½ times your normal rate for the additional hours.

You must receive approval from your supervisor before you work any extra hours.

What are my responsibilities as a non-exempt, positive time reporter?

  • Report your hours on your timesheet in UAccess each day.
  • Submit your time before the close of the pay period.
  • Check your timesheet before the approval deadline to verify your hours were approved. Approval deadlines are 5:00 PM on Friday of the non-pay week for Monday–Friday employees, or 9 AM on Monday of pay week for weekend employees. Contact your supervisor immediately if any hours are not approved.
  • Ensure you use the proper time reporting codes when submitting time.
  • Submit hours ahead of time if you will be out of the office when the pay period closes. If your hours change after you submit them (e.g., if you become ill and take sick time), contact your supervisor to change the hours for you.
  • For additional information and training, please complete the UAccess Positive Time Reporting online training. Information on your timesheet and best practices for reporting time are published at fso.arizona.edu/payroll/employees/timesheet.

How do I report my hours?

Non-Exempt Positive Time reporters must report their hours daily, using UAccess. Use the following link for instructions: Positive Time Reporters

If I missed reporting overtime hours worked on my timesheet and I realize it after the close of the pay period, what should I do?

In order to comply with the FLSA, it is important that employees report overtime hours within the relevant pay period. However, if overtime hours are not properly recorded, the employee should notify their manager immediately, go back to the timesheet and add the hours to the pay period in which they were worked (with a clarifying comment), and submit them. The supervisor will have to re-approve the timesheet. This may only be done 28 days following the missed time period. Beyond that, the supervisor must contact Payroll.

Is my supervisor able to limit my work communication (e.g., checking or responding to work-related e-mails or texts) outside of work hours?

Yes. You must first receive approval from your supervisor to work any hours that are above your regular FTE, especially if you will plan to work more than 40 hours in a week. “Work” includes even casual activities like checking or responding to work-related e-mails or texts and checking messages.

If your supervisor expects you to be available or to respond to e-mails, phone calls, or other communications outside of your scheduled work hours, discuss with your supervisor how you will be compensated for that time.

As a non-exempt employee, am I permitted to voluntarily work extra hours beyond my normal schedule and not get paid?

No. You must document all time you spend working, and you must be compensated for that time. 

What should I do if I am told or feel pressured to not report all the hours I work by a supervisor?

Please contact your designated HR Consultant right away.

What can I count as compensable work time under FLSA?

In addition to your regularly scheduled hours, work time may include overtime, certain types of travel time, training time, and shift preparation/transition time. See the University’s Fair Labor Standards Act and Overtime Policy at policy.arizona.edu/employmenthuman-resources/fair-labor-standards-act-and-overtime-policy

The FLSA guidelines are available on the Department of Labor website at dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs22.pdf

If I am appointed personnel now, will I be able to remain appointed personnel even if I change to non-exempt under FLSA?

Yes. You will remain in the appointed employment category, and will receive a new notice of appointment with your compensation listed as an hourly wage. 

My current weekly pay is $875, my FTE is 1.0 and my job is categorized as exempt. How will the new FLSA regulations impact me?

Because your weekly earnings do not meet the new FLSA threshold, you will be converted to a non-exempt employee and will also become a positive time reporter. 

Are Appointed Personnel who are non-exempt employees considered at-will?

No. Appointed Personnel who become non-exempt will remain on appointed contracts.

As a non-exempt appointed employee, am I eligible to receive compensatory time?

Yes, as a non-exempt employee, you are eligible for compensatory time if you work more than your normal hours in a workweek. Once you accrue 120 hours of compensatory time (prorated by FTE), you must be paid in cash for any subsequent overtime you work. Your dean or vice president may give advance written approval for exceptions to this rule; however, in no case can you accrue more than 240 hours of compensatory time (prorated by FTE). Because compensatory time is an unfunded fiscal liability, department administrators may establish departmental policies that further limit the accrual of compensatory time. Department administrators may also limit compensatory time to make sure balances do not become excessive.

Can a non-exempt employee receive Supplemental Compensation?

No. Supplemental Compensation is available only to exempt employees.

Will Other Professional Services (OPS) compensation continue to be available to Appointed Personnel who are non-exempt?

No. OPS is not permitted for:

  • Compensation paid on sponsored accounts
  • Non-exempt employees
  • Limited-Term Adjuncts
  • Employees with a combined or total FTE of less than .50
  • Assignments longer than one semester

For more information see hr.arizona.edu/managers-supervisors/compensation/compensation-definitions-faculty-and-appointed-professionals

Can my supervisor limit the number of overtime hours I work?

Yes, your supervisor must give advance approval before you work any extra hours beyond your usual work schedule. 

How does becoming non-exempt benefit me as an employee?

As a non-exempt employee

  • You are compensated for every hour you work.
  • If you work more than 40 hours in a workweek, you are paid 1½ times your base pay for overtime hours or offered compensatory time at 1½.

For more information, see the Overtime video on the Department of Labor website at dol.gov/featured/overtime/.

Are Graduate Assistants/Associates affected by the FLSA changes?

No. Graduate Assistant/Associates are considered students, not regular employees of the University.

Are faculty, physicians and attorneys affected by these changes?

No. Faculty members whose duties consist primarily of teaching and attorneys and physicians will remain in an exempt status under the FLSA, regardless of compensation amount.

How can I watch the video recording from the FLSA town hall meeting on November 8, 2016?

Watch the recorded FLSA Livestream here (make sure to select "NetID" in the dropdown menu.)


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