Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Hours of Work
The following information applies to Non-Exempt employees only.
Work time includes all the time an employee is required to be on duty, or on the employer's premises or at a prescribed workplace. Work is defined as all efforts that are suffered (i.e. endured), permitted, or required by the employer, i.e., all time spent in physical or mental exertion that is controlled or required by the employer and pursued necessarily and primarily for the benefit of the employer.
Work that is not requested but suffered or permitted (allowed), is still considered work time. This rule is applicable to work performed at the work site, away from the work site or at home. For example, an employee may voluntarily continue to work at the end of the day or shift. The employee may wish to finish an assigned task, complete a report, or correct errors. If the employer knows, or has reason to believe that work is continuing or there is evidence thereof, then the time is compensable working time. The mere existence/announcement of a rule against such work is not enough to deny compensation. Supervisors should use the disciplinary process to address employees who work before or beyond the normal work shift without prior authorization.
If an employee is unable to use time effectively for personal purposes while waiting for work, instructions, or preparation of the work site, then the time is considered to be working time. These instances are usually of short duration. For example, an employee waiting on machinery to arrive or be prepared, a keyboard operator waiting on software to be installed, or an administrative employee waiting on seminar participants to arrive or depart would be considered working.
Preparatory or Concluding Activities
Preparatory and concluding activities that are an integral part of the employee's work are compensable. Examples include: turning on machinery or equipment and conducting safety checks; filing away documents at the end of a shift; reporting to a duty site to receive an update on events which occurred on the previous shift, and changing into special clothes that are required for the job.
Meal and Rest Periods
Rest Periods. Breaks or rest periods must be counted as hours worked if they last 20 minutes or less. Whether breaks are granted, and the length of a break, such as 5 minutes or 15 minutes, is at the discretion of the supervisor. Click here for more information on Rest Periods at PSU
Meals. Bona fide meal periods are not work time. Meal periods do not include coffee breaks or time for snacks: these are rest periods. During a bona fide meal period, the employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purposes of eating regular meals. Ordinarily, 30 minutes or more is long enough for a bona fide meal period. The employee is not considered to be relieved of duties if the employee is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating. For example, if an employee must sit at a desk and incidentally answer the telephone, the time would be compensable. The employee must be free to leave the duty post, but there is no requirement that the employee be allowed to leave the premises or work site. If an employee’s time and attention are primarily occupied by a private or personal pursuit, such as relaxing or eating, rather than work responsibilities that prevent the employee from comfortably and adequately passing the mealtime, then the employee is relieved from duty. Click here for more information on Meal Breaks.
On-Call and Stand-By Compensation (Non-Exempt Classified Employees Only)
An employee who is required to remain on call on the employer’s premises, or so close thereto that the employee cannot use the time effectively for personal pursuits, is considered to be working while "on-call." In this instance, an employee must be paid for this time at the regular rate of pay instead of receiving stand-by compensation. An employee, who is not required to remain on the employer’s premises but is merely required to leave contact information where he can be reached, is not working while on-call. However, the FLSA allows employers to choose whether to compensate employees for time spent on-call, but not working.
The stand-by rate of compensation is set at $1.00 per hour for each hour the employee serves on stand-by status. If an employee is called in to work, the employee will be compensated for the actual hours worked, but not also be paid stand-by compensation for those hours. Hours on stand-by pay are not considered when determining hours worked for overtime purposes.
Call In/Call Back to Work (Non-Exempt Classified Employees Only)
Employees may be called in to work on a regular day off or may be called back to work after a regular work schedule. In these instances, non-exempt employees will be paid at the appropriate rate of pay for the number of hours worked. Such employees will be paid for a minimum of two hours except in the following circumstances:
- The employee was on stand-by status when called in or called back; or
- The employee was called in or called back during the two hour period immediately prior to the beginning of the employee's next regularly scheduled work shift. Only hours actually worked will be credited in determining eligibility for overtime compensation.
Insubstantial or insignificant periods of time outside scheduled working hours may be disregarded in recording time. This rule applies to only those times where the work involved is limited to a few seconds or minutes that cannot as a practical administrative matter be precisely recorded for payroll purposes. Such time is considered "de minimis," i.e., minor or trivial. At Pittsburg State University, time for non-exempt employees is recorded in quarter hours. If an employee works greater than 7 minutes, it must be reported as time worked.
Shift Differential (Non-Exempt Classified Employees Only)
Pittsburg State University has established the day shift from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Normal day shifts must fall entirely within those specified hours. A shift differential will be paid to non-exempt classified employees whose regularly established work shifts begin before or end after the designated 12-hour period. For example, an employee who is regularly scheduled for and works from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. will be paid shift differential for their entire work shift.
The amount of shift differential is set by the Governor and is currently $.30 per hour. Shift differential will not be paid to an employee for any unscheduled hours that occur before or after a normal day shift, or when an employee is on any type of leave or holiday.