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Human Resources

FLSA Resources for Managers


Take our online FLSA Training to learn more about FLSA. If interested in in-person training, please email hrcomp@ksu.edu.

Approving time

As a manager of non-exempt employees, you will need to utilize your department's chosen method of recording time and leave for your non-exempt staff. If you are unsure of the appropriate method, please contact your Human Resources (HR) liaison for guidance.

If using a hard copy time recording method, please keep in mind that default work schedules (xls) (based on position) and holiday schedules (xls) print on time documents for full-time employees. Managers should consult with their HR liaison regarding time and leave for non-exempt employees, and to have time documents printed. Hours are recorded by earnings code (xls) and must be used in quarter-hour increments. Please keep in mind that deviations from the default schedule must be documented in order to ensure employees are accurately compensated for their time worked.

Addressing employee concerns regarding a transition from Exempt to Non-exempt

Concern 1: Status and morale

To some employees, transitioning from exempt to non-exempt may feel like their stature at the university has changed, which can have an impact on morale.

Talking points for discussing with employees:

  • Explain the intent of the law - it is intended to protect workers. Remember that FLSA is a federal law with which the university must comply.
  • Remind the employee that most other employees likely would not know another's exempt or non-exempt status.

Concern 2: Flexibility

Because employees moving from exempt to non-exempt will need to track their hours in quarter-hour increments, many employees will perceive a loss of flexibility.

Talking points for discussing with employees:

  • Clarify your expectations about working flexibly. For instance, will employees be expected to work 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, or can they work 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM? Which schedule deviations will need to be cleared by you and which will not?

Concern 3: Career opportunities

Related to Concern 1 regarding employee morale and status, employees may perceive that transitioning from exempt to non-exempt will negatively impact their career.

Talking points for discussing with employees:

  • Explain that moving from one exempt status to the other should not have any impact on future career opportunities.

Addressing employee concerns regarding a transition from Non-Exempt to Exempt

Concern 1: Working long hours

To some employees, transitioning from non-exempt to exempt may trigger concerns about regularly working more than 40 hours per week. Although no additional pay is required to compensate exempt staff for additional hours worked, departments should not regularly expect an employee to work significantly more than 40 hours in a week. Routinely working long hours may eventually lead to burn out, resentment and loss of productivity.   

Talking points for discussing with employees:

  • Clearly articulate schedule expectations – what does a “normal” week look like? How will each of you address or communicate about alterations to the expected work schedule?
  • Encourage your employee(s) to communicate concerns and seek clarity when needed.

Concern 2: Loss of overtime earnings potential

Because employees moving from non-exempt to exempt may be accustomed to earning overtime, they may regret the shift to being salaried if the expectation is that they complete the same work for “less” money. Even if the workload is reduced, they may be used to having additional earnings.


  • Is it necessary for the employee to regularly work more than 40 hours in a workweek?
  • If so, you may consider a few avenues:
    • Is it possible to increase the employee’s base salary to account for the loss in overtime earnings?
    • Is it possible to adjust the employee’s workload?
    • Are there efficiencies that could be gained by streamlining or reducing redundancies?

Concern 3: Using paid leave

One of the most practical differences for newly exempt (salaried) employees to adapt to is in using paid leave. Unlike non-exempt (hourly) staff, exempt employees will use paid leave in four (4) hour increments.

Talking points for discussing with employees:

  • Provide direction for using the timekeeping process in place within your department. Enlist the help of your HR Liaison if you need direction or assistance.

Overtime and compensatory time: what is the difference?


Overtime occurs when an employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek. Overtime results in additional cost as the employee earns one and one-half time for any overtime hours. To learn more about overtime, see FAQs or PPM 4220.070. As a manager, it's important to convey your expectations about overtime. For instance, make sure employees know they should have approval before working overtime.

Compensatory time

Compensatory time ("comp-time") provides the employee with time off instead of overtime pay. For each hour of overtime, an employee would earn one and one-half hours of time off. To learn more about comp-time, see FAQs or PPM 4220.070. As with overtime, you as a manager should convey your expectations about earning comp-time.

Managers must submit and maintain an Overtime Compensation Agreement for Non-Exempt Employees (PER-34) for employees who agree to accept compensatory time in lieu of overtime.

Scenarios managers may encounter when managing time

An employee checks her email every night; she says it helps her prepare for the day ahead.

This activity is considered worked time, and must be recorded and paid. Depending on the number of hours the employee has worked that week, this may also trigger overtime pay for any hours over 40 in the workweek, regardless of whether you approve the overtime or not. Remember, employees must be paid for time worked. As a manager, you will need to be clear about your expectations about working overtime, reminding employees that checking email at home is considered working.

An employee works a twelve hour day at an event he helped plan. With your permission, he only works four hours the next day. He works his normal eight hour schedule the remainder of the week.

In this case, the employee would not receive overtime pay because the total hours worked in the workweek did not exceed 40 hours. FLSA is based on the total hours worked (approved or not approved) in the workweek, not the number of hours worked per day.

An employee would like to attend a two-day conference in St. Louis.

Travel for non-exempt employees is often considered work time, but the rules can be complex. For instance, the rules for what is considered work time are different for travel during the day than for overnight travel. In general, know that travel time should be tracked, and may be compensable time. To learn more about travel, refer to the FLSA FAQs, PPM 4420.080 and/or consult with your Human Resources liaison.

Tips for managing employee overtime

  • Clearly communicate and set work schedules
  • Utilize flexible work arrangements to avoid overtime (flextime)
  • Send home non-exempt employees after 40 hours of work has been reached in a workweek
  • Carefully review timesheets
  • Take disciplinary action when unauthorized work occurs outside regular schedule

It is imperative to contact Employee Relations and Engagement when:

  • An employee works overtime without authorization.
  • A supervisor is making special arrangements with employees and not recording all hours worked in official time keeping systems.
  • Assistance is needed when balancing demands, budget, and overtime rules.

Learn more about FLSA

Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division:

College and University Professionals Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR):