Understanding FLSA Compliance
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is federal law that sets minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, record keeping, and child labor standards. 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. Violations may result in civil or criminal action, as well as award back wages and levy fines.
Effective January 1, 2019, all Florida Gulf Coast University employees must be paid at least $8.46 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.
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 SP positions must be paid or awarded compensatory leave at one and one-half times his or her regular hourly rate of pay for each hour of overtime worked. No other “arrangements” are allowed, as they constitute falsification of time records.
Hourly OPS Employees Must Be Paid Overtime
Hourly OPS employees 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.
Additional University 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.
The Classification & Compensation Team will make a determination on the exempt or non-exempt status of a position. In order to qualify for exempt status, positions generally must meet three tests:
FLSA provides an exemption from the overtime pay requirements of the Act for certain kinds of positions and duties. Employees whose duties meet the tests for exemption are commonly referred to as "exempt employees." This means that the overtime provisions of FLSA do not apply to those positions. It is important to note that whether a position qualifies for exempt status must be determined based on the duties for that specific position. Titles alone are not sufficient to determine the status of a position under FLSA.
Employees who do not meet the exemption tests above (or other specific exemptions tests) must be paid overtime as defined above. Nonexempt employees must complete timesheets so that precise work hours are documented.
Employees in non-exempt 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 the supervisor verifies the accuracy of the recorded time worked.
Any employee or supervisor who falsifies any time record, including time records, leave, etc., is subject to dismissal.
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. 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.
Official University Travel
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 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.
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.
In May 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) released updated regulations that would have required employers to change certain policies and practices in order to comply with the law. Effective December 1, 2016, these new regulations would have changed the overtime exemption status for many employees. Employees who were salaried but made less than the revised minimum salary threshold of $47,476 per year would have become eligible for compensatory time or overtime pay (if allowable) for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
On November 22, 2016, a federal court granted a preliminary injunction postponing the December 1st implementation of changes to the FLSA salary threshold for exempt positions. The current rule remains in effect. Subsequent actions have extended the delay on implementation, and there is currently no specific date for a new exemption threshold to take effect, nor is there certainty that any change will be made in the existing regulations.