FLSA FAQs for Managers and Supervisors | Kent State University

FLSA FAQs for Managers and Supervisors

Are all employees on all Kent State campuses affected by the overtime changes?

No. There is a relatively small percent of employees throughout the multi-campus system who are directly affected due to salary rates that fall below the new salary threshold of $47,476.

Are there exceptions to the new salary threshold under the FLSA?

Yes. Teachers are exempt from the new FLSA regulations if their primary duty is teaching, instructing, lecturing or tutoring. This includes graduate students whose primary duty is teaching or serving as a teaching assistant.

Certain academic administrative personnel, such as counselors, department heads, and academic advisors are exempt if they are paid at least as much as the starting salary for teachers at their institutions.

Athletic coaches and assistant coaches are exempt if their primary duties involve teaching. This includes instructing athletes on how to perform their sport but excludes recruiting.

What will happen to employees who are currently exempt from overtime, but whose salaries are below the new threshold of $47,476?

This group of affected employees will become salaried, non-exempt, which means they will continue to receive a consistent amount of pay each pay period. The difference is that if/when these employees report over 40 hours in a defined work week, they will be paid overtime for those additional hours.

How is overtime calculated?

All non-exempt employees who report over 40 hours in a defined work week must be compensated for all hours worked. Non-exempt employees must be compensated at a premium rate (time and a half) for all hours worked over 40 in a defined work week. Our work week is Sunday through Saturday. Please keep in mind that paid leave time (vacation and sick) does count towards the total hours worked in a defined week.

Will the affected employees have to punch a time clock (clock in and clock out) every day?

No. They are considered to be salaried and will receive the same pay amount each pay period. They will still be expected to report leave time (vacation and sick). The only change is that they will also report any time worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week. The determination of 40 hours “worked” must also include vacation and sick time.

What should I discuss with my employees who are becoming eligible for overtime?

Managers and supervisors may need to set new expectations and change department schedules or behaviors in order to manage hours worked within budgets. It is important to clearly communicate any new department standards or business processes to newly non-exempt employees. These communications should include:

  • Guidelines for using mobile devices outside of normal work hours to respond to calls or emails (See related FAQ)
  • Expectation to seek approval for overtime (See related FAQ)
  • How to report time worked in excess of 40 hours a week (See related FAQ)
  • Adjustments to work schedules when work must occur outside of normal business hours (See related FAQ)

Communicating a clearly defined overtime approval process to your non-exempt employees can assist you in managing both time and budget resources. However, while non-exempt employees should seek pre-approval before working overtime, it is important to remember that all overtime must be paid, whether pre-approved or not.

How will salaried non-exempt employees report overtime?

Employees in this group will report overtime directly to their supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for recording the overtime hours worked on a designated webpage. Overtime hours need to be submitted by noon on Tuesday’s for the hours worked in the previous week.

How will salaried non-exempt employees report exception time (vacation, sick, and personal time)?

Employees will continue to report sick, vacation and personal time by going into the employee self-service (FlashLine).

Does an employee need to be paid for overtime if I did not approve it?

Yes. If overtime hours are worked by non-exempt employees they must be paid, even if unapproved. That is why it is critical to establish how overtime approval will be handled and communicated to everyone in your unit. The guidance for affected employees should reiterate that employees should seek approval before working any overtime, but you can help by establishing rules in your unit for seeking approval in advance for projects or events that may be deadline driven and require additional hours. Since more employees in your unit may now be eligible for overtime, you will need to consider this impact when planning your overtime budget. Note that if an employee continues to work overtime without supervisory approval, then the supervisor could begin the appropriate disciplinary action with the employee.

Will a non-exempt employee still get a check if I don’t approve and submit their time reports on time?

Yes. Salaried non-exempt employees will continue to be paid on a salary basis. Moreover, we are required to pay the overtime if it has been worked. If a change is needed after the cutoff date, you will need to work directly with Payroll and additional information may be required. Therefore, it is very important for you to review the information to ensure that your employees are paid accurately.

How will vacation and sick leave accrue for employees who will be salaried nonexempt as of Dec. 1, 2016?

Vacation and sick leave accrual will remain the same at the standard rates based on unclassified, assignment length, and years of service accrual rates.

Does time spent answering emails or using a mobile phone for work outside of normal hours count towards overtime for non-exempt employees?

For salaried nonexempt employees who respond to emails or calls outside of normal work hours on a “regular” basis, that time is counted as work time for overtime purposes. (If a non-exempt employee responds to emails or calls briefly and “very occasionally,” then court cases have considered that to be “de-minimis” and therefore not counted for overtime purposes.) However, supervisors have discretion to establish overtime approval processes.

What happens if employees move from full-time to part-time? Can they remain exempt?

After Dec. 1, 2016, if an exempt employee moves from full-time to part-time, he or she must be reclassified as hourly if the change causes the compensation rate to fall below $47,476. Managers should be sure to discuss this implication with any employee considering a reduced schedule. Prior to changing to an employee to part-time, there must be a conversation with Human Resources (i.e., Talent Acquisition and Compensation).

How are employees on a leave of absence or extended sick time impacted by the 2016 FLSA changes?

A staff member on a leave of absence, using extended sick time or on a work break during the implementation period may be identified for transition to salaried non-exempt status. This change will be effective when the employee returns to work.

Are nine- and 10-month assignment employees impacted by the 2016 FLSA changes?

The revised FLSA salary threshold is $47,476 annually or $913 per week. These employees may be considered exempt under the FLSA if they make at least $913 during the weeks that they are employed (and their duties meet the exemption test). It is critical that employees in this category perform no work outside of the nine- or 10-month period. 

If salaried non-exempt employees are “on-call” outside of work hours, is this paid overtime?

In general, simply being on call does not create an overtime situation. However, if the employee is required to remain at a particular place to wait to be contacted for possible work (i.e., the employee is “engaged to wait”), this will normally result in the time waiting being treated as overtime.