About the Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA) and Overtime
What is FLSA?
FLSA is an acronym that stands for Fair Labor Standards Act. This federal law establishes minimum wage and overtime requirements.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) affects most private and public employment. The FLSA requires employers to pay covered non-exempt employees at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week. Covered employees must be paid for all hours worked in a work week. In general, compensable hours worked include all time an employee is suffered or permitted to work, or in other words, whenever an employee is required or allowed to perform work for the employer. This would generally include work performed at home, travel time (except for travel to and from work), waiting time, training, and probationary periods.
- Federal Minimum Wage: $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009
- Overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week: One and one-half times an employee's regular rate of pay
To qualify for exemption from overtime pay, employees must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at or above the minimum salary threshold. At K-State, the minimum salary threshold is currently $35,568 per year ($684 per week).
Positions can be submitted to the Compensation team for review to determine FLSA exemption eligibility. Reviews will require a current position description so that the evaluation is based on what the job looks like today. HCS Liaisons: please see this training guide for submitting position descriptions for FLSA review in PageUp.
Common FLSA Myths & Misconceptions
MYTH: FLSA status is determined based on job title.
FACT: There are many factors that contribute to an FLSA status including salary threshold, how the position is paid, and duties test.
MYTH: All unclassified employees are exempt and all University Support Staff (USS) employees are non-exempt.
FACT: FLSA status has nothing to do with being unclassified or USS.
MYTH: Employees can volunteer additional work hours and decline pay protection under FLSA.
FACT: Employees must be paid for all hours worked. Employers are liable for payment of time worked if they knew (or should have known) that an employee was working.
MYTH: If a job regularly requires working variable hours on evenings and weekends, it is likely exempt.
FACT: There are many factors that contribute to FLSA status and when the time is worked is not a consideration.
MYTH: If the overtime is not approved, it does not need to be paid.
FACT: Any time worked does need to be paid. If the overtime was not approved, that may be a disciplinary issue and it may be helpful to contact Employees Relations & Engagement. Kansas State University must follow all aspects of FLSA. Some specific compliance priorities to highlight include:
- All hours worked by non-exempt employees must be recorded and compensated. No off-record arrangements should be made. Hours worked must be recorded in official system of record.
- Example: If a supervisor observes an employee working before work, during lunch or after hours, the supervisor has a responsibility to ensure all hours are recorded. Supervisors should not sign or approve an employee’s timesheets without careful review and confirmation.
- It is helpful and beneficial to the institution to ensure supervisors are trained. An on-demand online training is available.