Recording and Approving Hours Worked and Overtime

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University Policy Number 2205

Categorized:

Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure:

Related Law & Policy:


I. Scope

This policy applies to all employees of George Mason University. Section II.B. of this policy applies to employees eligible for overtime (Non-exempt employees) and all managers who approve time.

II. Policy Statement

All employees must accurately and timely submit and approve time sheets. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

A. Recording

All employees (except 9-month faculty members) must submit hours worked and leave taken according to procedures established for their employment type (use of leave is subject to verification and approval).  Failure to do so may result in non-payment, incorrect payment, and disciplinary action.  An employee who fails to submit hours worked and leave taken in a timely manner, must submit a corrected timesheet no later than the next regularly scheduled payroll process for that employee.

The supervisor or approver must establish adequate control to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the hours worked and leave reported by deadlines published by the Human Resources & Payroll Department.

As long as the employee accounts for his or her hours worked each work week (e.g. 40 hours per week if full-time) and office coverage is not compromised, the supervisor has flexibility in managing his or her employees’ time to include the reasonable use of such opportunities as flexible work options, personal and professional development, and attendance at Mason community events.

The supervisor or approver must establish a proxy to act on his or her behalf during periods of absence.  In the event that an employee is absent or otherwise unable to submit his or her time by deadlines published by Human Resources & Payroll, the supervisor or approver is responsible for notifying Human Resources & Payroll by emailing payroll at payroll@gmu.edu.

Each supervisor, approver, or designated proxy must approve hours worked and leave taken by assigned staff or faculty according to schedules published by Human Resources & Payroll.  Failure to do so according to such schedules will result in repayment of erroneous pay and may result in disciplinary action.

If an approver or a designated proxy approves his or her own time, documentation must be retained to show that the approver or proxy’s supervisor has reviewed and approved the hours worked and leave taken.

B. Overtime

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 USC 201, et seq., directs, among other things, that Non-exempt employees (employees eligible for overtime) be paid at a rate of time and a half for every hour physically worked in excess of 40 hours in one workweek.  Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime and are not required to be compensated for overtime work.   Non-exempt employees may not exceed 40 actual work hours within a workweek without supervisor approval. Employees who work overtime hours without supervisor’s approval may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

University business operating procedures and federal policies prohibit tracking employee time “off the record”.  University policy does not allow for any off-the-clock work for Non-exempt employees.  Non-exempt employees must enter the exact number of hours worked on their electronic timesheets in PatriotWeb (or complete a paper timesheet for departmental input) or otherwise authorized departmental timekeeping system.

Weekly work schedules may be adjusted by the supervisor so that no overtime is worked. Adjustments must be made within the same workweek that extra hours are worked in order to avoid overtime liability for Non-exempt employees.

If the employee uses paid leave during the workweek, hours paid over 40 may be paid at the straight time rate.  For semimonthly paid employees, when the workweek splits between two pay periods, overtime will be credited in the pay period that the week ends.

A Non-exempt employee may elect Overtime Leave as an alternative to overtime pay.  Employees can elect to receive Overtime Leave at a rate of 1.5 hours for every hour physically worked over 40 in a workweek.  The election is made by completing the Overtime Leave Agreement and sending the form to Human Resources and Payroll during the election period.  The election is considered irrevocable until the next election period.

The following stipulations and limitations apply to this Overtime Leave provision:

  1. All overtime must be authorized in advance by the supervisor or reviewer.
  2. Each Non-exempt employee may accrue not more than 240 hours of Overtime Leave. Individual managers may set a lower maximum Overtime Leave accrual. Overtime Leave accrued by Non-exempt public safety, law enforcement, emergency or seasonal positions shall not exceed 480 hours.
  3. Overtime Leave balances do not expire; the hours are either used by the employee or paid out to the employee upon separation, termination or certain status changes.
  4. Overtime Leave will be paid out upon Non-exempt positions transitioning to an Exempt status.
  5. Non-exempt employees who transfer within GMU, and remain in a Non-exempt classification, may be allowed to keep their accrued Overtime Leave hours, provided the new department will accept the leave liability. In cases where this is not practicable, the leave balance or a portion thereof will be paid out.
  6. Once the employee reaches the maximum accrual, all other overtime hours must be paid as overtime pay until Overtime Leave balances drop below the 240-hour maximum.
  7. The Overtime Leave option is available only to Non-exempt classified. Wage employees never qualify for paid leave and must be paid cash for any and all overtime hours worked.
  8. Overtime Leave must be used before annual leave can be taken.
  9. Overtime Leave may not be used in leave sharing.

Although a Non-exempt employee is required to obtain proper authorization in advance to earn overtime compensation, any verifiable hours physically worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek period must be paid at the time and one-half hourly rate, even if prior authorization was not obtained.

Overtime for Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Personnel

Overtime for Law Enforcement Personnel is covered in Section 7(k) of the FLSA.  Section 7(k) provides that employees engaged in fire protection or law enforcement may be paid overtime on a “work period” basis.  A “work period” may be from 7 consecutive days to 28 consecutive days in length. For work periods of at least 7 but less than 28 days, overtime pay is required when:

For fire protection: (# of work period days)/28 < (# of hours worked)/212

For law enforcement: (# work period days)/28 < (# of hours worked)/171

For example, fire protection personnel are due overtime under such a plan after 106 hours worked during a 14-day work period, while law enforcement personnel must receive overtime after 86 hours worked during a 14-day work period.

C. Compensatory Leave (“comp time” or “comp leave”)

Non-exempt employees earn Compensatory Leave for hours worked on a holiday; hours worked on an authorized closing if in designated positions; or when over 40 hours have been accounted for during the workweek, but not physically worked over 40 (if leave was taken, for example).  Granted hour-for-hour, Compensatory Leave must be authorized by a supervisor.  It may be used for any purpose and must be used within 12 months of the date earned or it will expire.  Once lapsed, accrued Compensatory Leave may not be used or paid off upon an employee’s change of status.

Exempt employees do not earn Compensatory Leave except when required to work on a university holiday or during inclement weather.

III. Definitions

A. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): means the federal law, 29 U.S.C. 201, et seq., that establishes overtime pay affecting full-time and part-time workers.

B. Compensatory Leave: means an arrangement by which employees may take leave in compensation for working in certain circumstances. This is different from Overtime Leave.

Exempt Employees: means employees not eligible for overtime according to the FLSA under the Executive, Administrative, Computer, Academic Administrator, or Professional exemptions.

D. Non-exempt Employees: means employees eligible for overtime according to the FLSA.

E. Recording of Time: means the process by which an employee documents hours worked and leave taken.

F. Submitting of Time: means the process by which an employee transmits a fully complete and accurate record of hours worked and leave taken for a pay period to a supervisor or approver.

G. Bi-weekly Payroll: means the payroll schedule that generally pays employees every other Friday.

H. Semi-monthly Payroll: means the payroll schedule that pays employees twice per month. Pay periods run from the 10th of the month to the 24th of the month and from the 25th of the month to the 9th of the following month.

I. Supervisor: means the individual responsible for managing, directing, and evaluating the work and work environment of another.

J. Approver: means the individual assigned the responsibility for approving another employee’s report of hours worked and leave taken. Approvers are not necessarily an employee’s supervisor.

K. Proxy: means the individual temporarily assigned responsibility for approving another employee’s hours worked and leave taken due to the absence of a supervisor or approver.

L. Workweek: means the standard GMU workweek, running from Sunday 12:01 a.m. through Saturday midnight 12:00 a.m.

M. Overtime Pay: means money paid to Non-exempt employees for working overtime.

N. Overtime Leave: means leave granted to Non-exempt employees for working overtime.

O. Schedule adjusting: means rescheduling normal work hours to ensure that the employee works no more than forty hours in the workweek.

IV. Compliance

A. Wage and student employees are responsible for accurately recording hours worked on a daily basis, and submitting timesheets for approval by their supervisor or approver, by established deadlines.

B. Non-exempt employees (overtime eligible) are responsible for recording hours worked on a daily basis, recording leave hours in advance of scheduled leave or no later than the day of their return, and submitting timesheets for approval by their supervisor or approver, by established deadlines.

C. Exempt employees are responsible for recording leave hours in advance of scheduled leave or no later than the day of their return, and submitting timesheets for approval by their supervisor or approver by established deadlines.

D. Exempt 12-month instructional and research faculty are responsible for recording leave hours in advance of scheduled leave or no later than the day of their return, and submitting timesheets for approval by their supervisor or approver by established deadlines. Leave should be recorded in 1-hour increments.

E. Exempt Administrative/professional faculty are responsible for recording leave hours in advance of scheduled leave or no later than the day of their return, and submitting timesheets for approval by their supervisor or approver by established deadlines. Leave should be recorded in 1-hour increments.

F. Employees are further expected to:

 

  • Adhere to their assigned work schedules,
  • Never work “off the record”,
  • Take rest and unpaid lunch breaks as required,
  • Notify management as soon as possible if they are unable to adhere to their schedule, such as late arrivals or early departures,
  • Work additional and/or different hours when required by management, and
  • Submit their hours in a timely manner.

G. Supervisors are responsible for setting a work schedule of 40 hours per week for full time employees, monitoring attendance, and verifying and approving work hours in PatriotWeb in a timely manner. Further, supervisors are expected to permit the reasonable use of work time, when feasible to the operation, for their employees to participate in Mason-sponsored personal/professional development and University-wide events.

H. Departments who have selected to use a maximum Overtime Leave accrual lower than 240 hours are responsible for monitoring their employee’s Overtime Leave balances. Departments are also responsible for managing Non-exempt Admin/Professional Compensatory Leave within their own departments. VPs, directors, and supervisors are expected to monitor compliance within their own areas in terms of allowance of overtime.

I. Human Resources & Payroll is responsible for providing faculty and staff members and supervisors or designated proxies information on the proper procedures for the recording and submission of time worked and leave reports.

J. The Payroll Director or designee is responsible for reporting to management when employees and supervisors, approvers, or designated proxies fail to fulfill their responsibilities with regard to the approval and submission of time worked or leave taken.

V. Dates:

A. Effective Date:

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost and Executive Vice President.

B. Date of Most Recent Review:

January 16, 2018

VI. Timetable for Review

This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed.

VII. Signatures

Approved:

__/S_____________________
Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance

__/S______________________
Provost and Executive Vice President

Date approved: September 24, 2002
Revised date: October 25, 2011

Revision Approved: January 16, 2018