Wage and Hour Law
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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is federal law that sets minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, record keeping, and child labor standards. At the University of Florida, each department is responsible for ensuring compliance. The university’s classification, pay, and payroll regulations, forms, and procedures are designed to achieve compliance. Accordingly, departments can maintain compliance by carefully following the established regulations and procedures. The Department of Labor may recover back wages and levy fines. Violations may result in civil or criminal action.
Effective January 1, 2018, all University of Florida employees must be paid at least $8.25 per hour in order to comply with the minimum wage for the state of Florida. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, however, employers in the state of Florida must comply with the higher state minimum wage. The University of Florida minimum hourly wage for TEAMS and USPS employees is $12.00 per hour, effective January 1, 2016.
All faculty employees are exempt from the provisions of the FLSA. Many classifications in the USPS and TEAMS pay plans are designated exempt from FLSA overtime payment provisions. All hourly USPS and TEAMS classifications are designated as non-exempt; and as such require that time worked be recorded on an hourly basis (Web Clock or Weekly Punch Time). In addition, all hourly OPS employees appointed through Human Resource Services or as Student Assistants are non-exempt and, as such, have the same requirements for accurate time worked records.
Employees in non-exempt (Web Clock or Weekly Punch Time) classifications are not permitted to begin work before the established starting time nor work beyond the established quitting time, unless specifically authorized by the employee’s supervisor. Every employee in a non-exempt classification must account for all hours in the workweek as each starting and stopping time occurs. Under no circumstances may a non-exempt employee be allowed to take work from the workstation to be completed at home; and non-exempt employees must leave their workstations during their regularly scheduled lunch periods. Conducting any job related activity during scheduled lunch periods is time worked and must be recorded as such. Non-exempt employees’ time records must be approved by the supervisor, and in approving these entries in the Time & Labor the supervisor verifies the accuracy of the recorded time worked.
Appropriate supervision of non-exempt employees must be maintained at all times to ensure the integrity and accuracy of time-worked records. University of Florida policy prescribes that supervisors be present during their employees’ working hours so they may verify hours worked.
Any employee or supervisor who falsifies any time record, including time-worked cards or time records (slips), applications for leave, and the like, is subject to dismissal.
Note that hourly OPS employees do not receive any type of paid leave. Specifically, hourly OPS employees are not eligible to receive paid annual leave, sick leave, administrative leave or paid holidays. OPS employees are not allowed to record hours taken off as time worked. Falsification of time records can result in severe consequences for employees and supervisors. It is important to note OPS employees may have eligibility for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Each department is required to keep accurate records of all hours worked and approved leave for each employee. This is achieved through proper and timely recording and approving of time worked in the Time and Labor feature of PeopleSoft. For non-exempt or hourly employees, accurate actual start and stop times must be recorded.
The ultimate responsibility for the accuracy and proper maintenance of all attendance and leave records rests with the head of the department.
Overtime is defined as work that is required or permitted beyond the 40 hour University workweek. It is a supervisor’s responsibility to insure that unauthorized overtime is not worked. The work schedule should be arranged so that overtime usually is not required. In situations where the department’s mission cannot be carried out unless overtime work is authorized, overtime work may be allowed. Departments should follow procedures established by their Vice President for obtaining prior authorization for use of overtime.
Overtime worked by employees in non-exempt USPS and TEAMS positions must be paid in one of two ways. The employee may be paid one and one-half times his or her regular hourly rate of pay for each hour of overtime worked. As an alternative, if the employee and supervisor so agree in advance, the employee may be compensated by crediting the employee with up to 120 hours of overtime compensatory leave; i.e., 80 hours of overtime work, on the basis of one and one-half hours of leave for each hour of overtime worked. Upon reaching the 120-hour limit of overtime compensatory leave, employees must either receive cash for additional hours of overtime worked or use accrued overtime compensatory leave before receiving further overtime compensatory leave credits. No other “arrangements” are allowed, as they constitute falsification of time records.
Supervisors are encouraged to make a reasonable effort, based on departmental needs and mutual agreement, to allow employees to specify a preference between overtime compensatory leave and cash payment. If agreement cannot be reached, cash payment will be made.
Payment for overtime worked should be made no later than the end of the pay period immediately following the pay period during which the overtime was worked. All payments for overtime must be made from authorized budgeted funds for salaries.
Exempt USPS employees who are required to work more than 40 hours in a workweek are eligible for regular compensatory leave on an hour-for-hour basis, not to exceed 120 hours.
Exempt TEAMS employees are not eligible for any compensatory time. Supervisors are encouraged, when possible, to adjust the workweek to compensate for additional hours worked by these employees.
Hourly OPS Employees Must Be Paid Overtime
Hourly OPS employees appointed through Human Resource Services or Student Employment must be paid one and one-half times their regular hourly rate of pay for each hour of overtime worked. No other arrangements are allowed. OPS employees are not eligible to earn overtime compensatory leave.
If an employee works for more than one UF employer, a request for Additional University Employment must be approved prior to the employee’s engaging in secondary employment. In most cases where the secondary employment exceeds 1.0 FTE and the primary employment is non-exempt (hourly), the secondary compensation will be 1.5 times the primary rate. However, if the employee solely at their option, works occasionally or sporadically on a part-time basis in a different capacity from their primary employment, the secondary employment will be exempt from overtime.
Travel to and from an employee’s home to the employee’s regularly assigned headquarters cannot be counted as hours worked. If an employee is called back to work after his or her scheduled hours of work for the day, the employee should be credited with actual time worked, including time to and from the employee’s home to the assigned work location, a minimum of two hours of work–whichever is greater.
If an employee is required as a result of University of Florida employment to attend a meeting or conference, or otherwise work at an out-of-town location, this attendance or work is considered time worked. Travel time on the first and last day of the event, whether or not such travel occurs during the employee’s normal work schedule, is considered time worked. Please discuss specific situations with Leave Administration at 392-2477.
When a non-exempt employee is in official travel status, time spent in travel may result in total hours for the week exceeding 40, in which case the employee is in overtime status and must be compensated according to standard overtime policies.