All positions at Brown University, including student employees, are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Rhode Island labor laws. Job descriptions are evaluated to determine whether they are covered by the Act's overtime pay or compensatory time requirements. Please see Policy 20.061 General Conditions of Employment for information regarding University work hours and required meal periods under Rhode Island law. Union staff should refer to their respective collective bargaining agreement for specific information on overtime compensation.
FLSA and Determination of Exempt and Non-Exempt Status
The FLSA is a federal law that mandates when overtime pay is required. Specifically, it requires that employees who work in positions not exempt from the FLSA be paid time and one-half for time worked in excess of 40 hours in one work week. FLSA has set $455 as the minimum weekly rate for exempt employees. Consequently, all employees earning less than $455 per week are automatically non-exempt.
FLSA exempts from coverage positions whose primary responsibilities involve: managing a department or unit including employment related decisions for at least 2 FTEs; work requiring advanced knowledge acquired by a prolonged course of specialized instruction and study (minimum: Bachelor's degree); producing work that is original and creative that depends on the employee's invention or imagination or talent; work that relates to management policies and business operations that involves the exercise of discretion and independent judgment regarding significant matters; and the design, development, documentation, and analysis of computer systems or programs. Employees in exempt positions are paid on a salaried basis, are expected to work the hours needed to meet their job requirements, and may not have their pay reduced for variations in the quantity or quality of work performed except as provided by FLSA. See Policy Exempt Employee Pay (40.030) for details.
Consistent with FLSA and Rhode Island labor laws, Brown policy ensures that employees in non-exempt positions are classified correctly and paid appropriately. Human Resources is responsible for determining the classification of positions as exempt or non-exempt based on FLSA criteria by evaluating the job description.
Overtime Pay and Compensatory Time
Brown policy requires that employees working in non-exempt positions with normal work weeks of 37.5 hours are paid additional straight time for hours worked between 37.5 and 40 hours and time and one-half for time worked in excess of 40 hours. Employees working in non-exempt positions with normal work weeks of 40 hours are paid time and one-half for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours. Part-time employees are paid at their regular rates of pay for hours worked up to 40 hours.
Compensatory time off may be used in lieu of straight time pay for hours worked in excess of 37.5 hours but less than 40 hours in a work week. Employees may receive equivalent time off for these hours by the following work week. Compensatory time may not be used to compensate employees for hours worked beyond the 40 hour threshold, and as such these hours must be paid at time and one half within the same pay period. Hours worked must be paid, or compensatory time given in the same or following work week in which the time is worked and compensatory time cannot be banked.
When calculating hours worked for overtime pay or compensatory time, paid holidays, vacation days, and inclement weather days are treated as time worked. Sick days are not counted as time worked for overtime purposes. A Sunday through Saturday work week should be used.
Tracking and Authorizing Hours
Non-exempt employees are required to record all hours worked on a weekly basis on the Individual Time Tracking Sheet to ensure they are compensated accurately for all hours worked. Non-exempt staff must submit the Individual Time Tracking Sheet to their supervisor weekly for their review. Any deviation from the employee’s standard number of hours should be noted on his/her Individual Time Tracking Sheet. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that accurate records are kept for all hours worked. Supervisors must authorize in advance all time worked in excess of the number of hours in an employee's normal work week and should determine whether overtime pay or compensatory time off will be used to compensate an employee. Supervisors who are aware, or have reason to suspect, that non-exempt employees are working in excess of their normally scheduled hours without prior approval, must take action to stop employees from doing so. If an employee continues to work unauthorized overtime, he/she must be informed in writing that he/she cannot do so and, if such behavior continues, he/she will be subject to disciplinary action.
Non-exempt employees who believe they are not being compensated for all hours worked should contact Compensation and Organizational Services at x39026.
In most cases, employees who work in positions which provide non-deferrable services or in departments which must operate continuously (e.g., Health Services, Animal Care Facility) are paid their regular hourly rates when Sunday work is part of their normal work week.
All other non-exempt employees on the regular payroll who work on Sundays are paid time and one-half their regular hourly rates for each hour worked on Sunday, unless otherwise stipulated.
Non-exempt, benefits eligible employees who work on a designated University holiday shall receive their regular rates of pay plus straight time for each hour worked (i.e. 2 times their normal hourly rate for the first 7.5 hours). All hours worked over 7.5 on a holiday are paid time and one-half. Non-exempt employees on the regular payroll who are not benefits eligible must be paid at time and one-half for all hours worked on a University holiday.
Pay During Summer Hours
During the summer, many departments observe Summer Hours, 8:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. with an hour for lunch (35 hours per week). Staff continue to be paid for 37.5 hours. In departments that observe summer hours, full time, non-exempt staff who work more than 35 hours but less than 37.5 are not provided with additional compensation.
Temporary Concurrent Employment
Non-exempt employees must notify their supervisor of any work arrangement outside of their primary department to ensure proper payment is closely coordinated between the two departments. Each department is responsible for keeping accurate time records and maintaining compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. If total time worked exceeds 40 hours, the non-exempt employee must be paid overtime by the secondary department at the primary position hourly rate or greater.
Pay for Seminars, Training and Travel
Required seminars and training sessions are counted as time worked and, as such, are subject to the FLSA requirements. Only scheduled seminar hours are compensable; meals, breaks, and study time are not. When employees in non-exempt positions must travel in connection with their jobs, their travel time as a passenger is not considered compensable unless they perform work during their travel. New employees who attend Brown orientation prior to their start date must be paid for attending.
When non-exempt employees are on-call and are required to remain on Brown’s premises, they are considered to be working and must be compensated. Non-exempt employees who are not required to remain on Brown premises, but who carry a beeper or are required to provide contact information, are not working. [If an employee is called in, they must be paid for a minimum of three hours or the actual hours worked, whichever is greater.] In instances when their presence is not required and a phone call suffices, employees are paid for the length of the call.
Pay during Administrative Closings and Delays for Employees Working in Non-Exempt Positions
Designated employees who provide non-deferrable University services may be required to stay at work or report to work regardless of circumstances. For pay implications in such situations, please see the Administrative Closings Due to Inclement Weather policy (20.052).
Revised January 2011