4.15 FLSA, Overtime and Compensatory Time


The purpose of this policy is to outline provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for overtime and compensatory time for non-exempt employees, which may include institutional officials, academic administrators, professional & scientific (P&S), merit staff, student employees and graduate assistants. Faculty are considered exempt employees based on the FLSA teaching exemption and, therefore, are not eligible for overtime and compensatory time.


The FLSA requires that non-exempt employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. The FLSA allows public employers to use compensatory time off at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked instead of cash overtime pay.

The FLSA provides an exemption from both the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the Act for employees whose duties meet one of the exemption tests. These employees are commonly referred to as “exempt”. Job titles alone are not sufficient to determine the status of a position under FLSA. Whether a position qualifies for exempt status must be determined based on the duties and salary of the position. In order for positions to qualify for exempt status, positions generally must have a salary above the minimum threshold, be paid on a “salary basis”, and perform duties that qualify for an exemption.

Policy Statement

Human Resource Services (HRS) is responsible for determining the exemption status of all faculty and staff positions. Career Services is responsible for determining the exemption status of student employees and the Graduate College is responsible for determining the exemption status of graduate assistants.

In accordance with FLSA, non-exempt staff who work over 40 hours in a workweek will receive either overtime pay of one and one-half times the staff member’s hourly pay rate or compensatory time at a rate of one and one-half times each hour worked over 40. The decision whether to receive overtime pay or compensatory time rests with the employee, however, the employing department may require overtime to be paid in cash. An employee’s election of “Comp Time Earned” within a qualifying timecard signifies the employee’s agreement to earn compensatory time instead of a cash payment for overtime for that workweek. All hours worked must be recorded in the workweek that the work was performed and informal “banking” of time to other workweeks is not allowed. Non-exempt staff cannot volunteer for extra work in their position without pay for that time. Instead, all hours worked must be recorded on their timecard. Failure to accurately record time worked on the employee’s timecard may result in corrective action or discipline, including up to termination of employment.

Exempt staff are not eligible for overtime pay or compensatory time.


Workweek - The workweek is defined as 168 consecutive hours from 12:00 a.m. Sunday through 11:59pm the following Saturday. 

Hours Worked - Only actual hours of work and call back time are used for the calculation of overtime. Paid absences such as vacation leave, sick leave, holiday, and compensatory time leave are not hours worked for the purposes of calculating overtime and therefore will be paid at a straight time rate.

Compensatory Time - Time off in lieu of overtime pay.

Non-Exempt Procedures

Compensatory Time Accrual and Usage

Compensatory time can only be accrued up to 80 hours. Compensatory balances in excess of 80 hours will be paid as Comp Time Pay on the following month’s paycheck. Compensatory time balance limitations are separate and distinct from vacation accrual limits.  

Each department should have a process for requesting the use of compensatory time. Non-exempt employees who have accrued compensatory time must be allowed to use that time off within a reasonable period after making a request so long as the use does not unduly disrupt the operations of the department. The supervisor of a non-exempt employee who has accrued compensatory time may require the employee to use accrued compensatory time.

Compensatory time shall be paid to the staff member if they separate employment, transfer to a different state agency or regents institution, or move to a position designated as FLSA exempt. A move to a different department will result in a payout of any compensatory time earned unless approved otherwise by the receiving division head.

Supervisor Approval for Overtime Work

Each department shall have an overtime authorization process and inform non-exempt staff that they must obtain advance supervisor approval to work more than their regular work schedule. Non-exempt staff must be paid for all hours worked or be credited with compensatory time whether or not they received prior approval for such work. However, staff who work unauthorized overtime hours may be subject to corrective action or discipline, including up to termination of employment.

Concurrent Employment

When staff work more than one assignment with the University, payment for all assignments must be coordinated carefully to maintain compliance with the FLSA. Generally, a non-exempt staff will not be allowed to hold an exempt position at the same time.

Additional Resources:

Student Employment policy: https://policies.uni.edu/319

This policy revision is effective July 1, 2017.

Human Resource Services, approved April 18, 2017
President’s Cabinet, approved May 8, 2017
President and Executive Management Team, approved June 30, 2017