Faculty Policies and Procedures

Faculty and Academic Staff Overtime and Time Tracking Policy and Procedure


Applies to all Faculty and Academic Staff classified as non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal act that requires payment of overtime and the minimum wage for all employees considered “non-exempt” under the Act. In addition to the overtime requirement, the law requires the tracking of time of those employees who are non-exempt. There is no such requirement for exempt employees.

Overtime: Overtime is defined under the FLSA as hours worked in excess of 40 during a single workweek. Paid leave time is not considered time worked and cannot be counted toward the 40 hour per workweek overtime calculation.

At MSU, overtime must be approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor. Employees working overtime without prior approval are subject to discipline up to and including discharge. 

Compensable time: A non-exempt employee is entitled to compensation for all hours worked. If a supervisor allows an employee to work, or has reason to believe an employee has worked certain hours, the University is responsible for compensating the employee for those hours. A nonexempt employee cannot waive the right to compensation for hours worked.

Compensatory time off: A non-exempt employee may be paid compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay. This must be paid at a time-and-a-half rate as well (e.g., an employee who works 5 hours of overtime is entitled to 7.5 hours of compensatory time). Compensatory time must be mutually arranged between the employee(s) and the supervisor (see Faculty and Academic Staff Compensatory Time Policy & Procedure for details). Supervisors must track compensatory time earned and taken in the HR/Payroll System through the EBS portal.

Flexible time: At the supervisor’s discretion, an employee’s work schedule may be adjusted or flexed within a workweek. However, this does not abdicate the requirement to pay overtime for all hours worked over 40.

Part-time: Part-time, non-exempt employees will report all time worked, just as full-time employees will. They will earn overtime only after 40 hours worked in a week. They will receive straight time pay or compensatory time for all time worked under 40 hours in a week, even if hours worked are in addition to the employee’s normal schedule.


Time tracking procedures: All Faculty and Academic Staff classified as non-exempt must accurately track and record their hours worked each day, as well as leave taken, using this time sheet. Time will be tracked to the nearest tenth of an hour. Supervisors must review and verify non-exempt employees’ time, entered on their time sheets, weekly. 

Procedure for time reporting in EBS: Supervisors or unit time administrators must also report all absences and additional hours worked beyond their scheduled work hours into the HR/Payroll System through the EBS portal by the time due for payroll processing. 

Supervisor Responsibilities:

  1. Be familiar with the University’s policies which govern overtime, hours worked and time reporting. Information and resources you will need are contained at www.hr.msu.edu/flsa
  2. Regularly utilize the Salaried Employees Below the FLSA Threshold HRP1149 Report to identify salaried faculty and academic staff who require overtime/compensatory time in addition to hourly-paid faculty.
  3. Remind employees that they are responsible for knowing the time tracking procedures contained in this policy and the importance of adhering to all policies and procedures.
  4. Ensure employees have the MSU approved timesheet.
  5. Review and verify time weekly. Correct any erroneous or missed entries on a timely basis. 
  6. If you discover that overtime was reported, but not preapproved, you should address it as a policy violation which may mean discipline. However, you must still pay the time as time worked, regardless of whether preapproval was granted.
  7. If you know, or have reason to believe, that an employee worked more than the hours they reported, you should address it as a policy violation which may mean discipline. However, you must still pay the time as time worked, regardless of what they reported. 
  8. Determine if overtime is needed and schedule employee(s) accordingly.
  9. Provide as much advance notice to the employee(s) as is practicable.
  10. Maintain records of time sheets and other records created per this policy for three years.

Employee Responsibilities:

  1. Ensure that your time is tracked properly and that your time is recorded completely and accurately on a weekly basis. If you work more than you record, you are in violation of this policy. If you believe you are being coerced, persuaded or otherwise encouraged to record inaccurate hours, you should report this to Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs immediately (contact information below). If you would rather do so anonymously, you may report this to the MSU misconduct hotline at http://misconduct.msu.edu/
  2. Adhere to all University policies, procedures and departmental rules related to time and attendance.
  3. Report promptly any discrepancies or inaccuracies in time worked, compensatory or overtime earned and in pay to your supervisor or Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs (contact information below).

Supervisor/Unit Time Administrator Responsibilities: Enter exceptions in the HR/Payroll system through the EBS portal by the time due for payroll processing.  If an employee worked overtime, entering the hours will trigger the overtime payment in the next paycheck.

Refer questions to:
Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs
Dr. Suzanne Lang, ahr@msu.edu

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