Compensation for Managers

Use the jump links below to quickly navigate through the Frequently Asked Questions.


Comp Time

What is compensatory time (or “comp time”)?
The Department of Labor (DOL) allows public sector employees to offer compensatory time (or “comp time”) to employees in lieu of overtime payment. Comp time is also calculated at 1.5 times your rate of accrual, but it is held for employees to use as leave time. For example, 4 hours of overtime equates to 6 hours of comp time.
 
How is comp time different from Flex time or Flexwork?
Comp time refers to how an employee is paid for overtime. By contrast, flex time or a flexwork arrangement is concerned with when you work. At the discretion of an employee’s department, a flexible work arrangement (or “flexwork arrangement”) allows an employee to work a schedule with variable arrival, departure and/or lunch times (see Policy 8.65). A manager can also require a non-exempt employee to “flex” their time to meet department needs without incurring overtime. For example, if an employee needs to work several additional hours to cover travel or a particular project and works 12 hours on a given day, the employee may be requested on a later day that same workweek to leave a few hours early so overtime is not incurred.
 
Can receipt of comp time instead of overtime pay be required?
No. The employee and manager must mutually agree to the non-exempt employee’s receipt of comp time in lieu of overtime. Ask your HR Representative or consult the Institute’s FLSA policy. The acknowledgement form is available “Compensation Time Acknowledgement Form” under Payroll.
 
Can a department decline to issue comp time? Yes. Some departments are unable to offer comp time based on government contracts or other business circumstances.
 
Are there limits to comp time accrual? What happens if an employee reaches the maximum limit for accumulated comp time?
Yes. The current maximum is 60 hours per fiscal quarter. We expect this maximum to be increased to 240 hours per fiscal year. Employees who have reached the compensatory time maximum must receive a cash payment for any additional overtime.
 
When can an employee use their comp time?
Supervisors should make accommodation where possible to allow employees to use comp time as requested by the next fiscal quarter during which it was accrued. Requests to use comp time should be made in the same manner as vacation time requests.
 
Does comp time need to be used prior to the employee’s accrued vacation time?
Yes.
 
Will an employee lose comp time if it is not used by a certain date? What happens if the employee moves departments or leaves the Institute?
Comp time must currently be used by the next fiscal quarter during which it was accrued. If it is not used by that time, it is paid out. Such payment shall be at the employee’s regular earnings rate at the time the payment is made. Employees terminating from the Institution or transferring to a new department will receive a compensatory time payoff from the department in which they earned the compensatory time. The payoff will be calculated based on the employee's current rate of pay.
 
Are changes anticipated with how the USG and the Institute handle comp time given that a larger employee population is now classified as non-exempt? Yes. Given that the non-exempt population expanded, the Institute is clarifying and expanding its FLSA guidelines around comp time and other topics. Both the Institute and USG have drafted revised comp time guidelines that allow comp time to be accrued up to a maximum of 240 hours per fiscal year. Comp time not taken during the fiscal year when it was accrued is paid out at the employee’s regular rate at the end of the fiscal year.

Timekeeping

What are my responsibilities related to timekeeping?
In order to plan work, manage budgets and track time off, Georgia Tech requires all managers maintain accurate records of time and attendance for employees in their areas. Employees in non-exempt jobs are required to maintain daily time records. Managers must review and sign the timesheets prior to submission to HR. Supervisors/managers are prohibited from instructing or permitting non-exempt employees to work "off the clock" and are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, for violating this policy.
 
Who is a Primary Approver of time? The Primary Approver is typically the direct line supervisor/manager with authority to approve or deny leave. The primary approver is responsible for ensuring that all time and leave records are current and accurate for their areas of responsibility. Managers with timesheet approval responsibilities are required to approve timesheets for their direct reports in accordance with established payroll deadlines. Primary Approvers who do not review, correct and approve timesheets by the deadlines may be subject to disciplinary action. If an employee’s time changes and the manager has been notified in writing of the change, the manager is responsible for ensuring the employee’s time and/or leave is updated, approved and submitted to the appropriate institutional office for processing time.
 
Can someone serve as a Delegate to review and approve time?
Yes, if Primary Approvers are not available to approve timesheets in accordance with the established approval dates, their responsibility must be delegated to an authorized and approved proxy. A manager may delegate their tasks of approving time and entering employee time to another person due to workload or their own absence from the office. Delegated authority can be upward, lateral or downward within the reporting hierarchy. Once the delegation framework passes delegated authority over a transaction to a proxy, the proxy cannot delegate authority over that transaction to another person. Both Primary Approver and Delegated Authority maintain the responsibility to ensure compliance with policies and procedures.

Employees & Exemption Status

If an employee holds more than one job, can the employee have more than one FLSA status designation?
No. Regardless of how many concurrent jobs an employee holds, the employee’s status must be either exempt or non-exempt. For example: Employee X, whose total salary is below the minimum salary threshold, holds a part-time instructional academic staff position as a lecturer. The employee also holds a part-time position as a recreational specialist. If Employee X’s primary duty is teaching as a lecturer, then the employee’s designation is exempt because teaching is the employee’s primary duty, and the employee qualifies for the “teacher” exemption regardless of salary. But if the primary duty is determined to be work as a recreational specialist, the FLSA designation will be non-exempt because total salary is under the minimum salary threshold.
 
As a Manager, what should I do if I suspect my employee may be working unapproved overtime or if the employee submits for overtime not pre-approved by me?
If you observe an employee appears to be working frequently outside of the regularly scheduled workday (e.g., sending e-mails late at night) or working without breaks (e.g., frequently eating at their desk while working) you should be proactive and have a conversation with that employee to ensure they understand they should not be working overtime without prior approval and failure by an employee to receive pre-approval of overtime worked may result in disciplinary action. You may also want to strategize with the employees on how to accomplish work demands within a 40-hour workweek and discuss any concerns the employee has with their ability to meet expectations without working overtime. Employees who submit for overtime without approval should be addressed with coaching or other discipline up to, and including, termination. Employees should understand that time records should be accurate and submitting false records is subject to discipline. Likewise, managers have an obligation to ensure employees feel comfortable providing accurate records of time worked and understand they will be paid for those hours. Keeping the door open for communication with direct report(s) is one strategy for ensuring work is timely completed and budgets are met.
 
As a Manager, may I allow my employee to work through lunch?
Managers are strongly encouraged to facilitate meal and/or rest break for their employees. Asking your employee to work through lunch is permissible provided it is the exception, not the norm, and there is a valid business reason. Can a manager require non-exempt employees to take a 30-minute lunch? While allowing your employees time to take at least a 30-minute meal break is strongly recommended, it is not required by Georgia or federal law or Institute policy. An employee is required, however, to request overtime prior to working such. If a meal break allows an employee to structure their day so that unnecessary overtime is not required and work obligations are covered, then this should be a practice they are highly encouraged to follow and a manager may provide this coaching.
 
Can a non-exempt employee still work early and late? Can a non-exempt employee check messages from home after work hours?
Occasionally, an adjustment in an employee's work schedule may be required on a short-term basis and such adjustments would not be a part of the Flexible Working Agreement. Non-exempt employees can still make arrangements with their supervisors to work from home occasionally, to check messages at night, or to completely change their daily schedules to different hours than were previously expected, but all time worked must be recorded as “time worked.” 
 
As a Manager, may I adjust the schedule so that my employee works more than 40 hours during the busy months without paying overtime and a reduced number of hours in the less busy months so that he/she receives full salary at end of the year?
No. Employees who are scheduled to work 40 hours per workweek should be scheduled a minimum of those hours each workweek. Also overtime must be paid by the workweek, which is Thursday through Wednesday. It is not possible to adjust the schedule outside the workweek so over time is not incurred.
 
Does the value of meals and lodging that employees receive as part of the position held count toward the FLSA minimum salary requirement?
No. An employee is required to be compensated on a salary basis at a rate of not less than a specified level “…exclusive of board, lodging or other facilities.” Therefore, any costs incurred by an employer in providing employees with meals or lodging cannot count toward the minimum salary requirement.
 
My grant doesn't allow for overtime. Do I still have to pay it? Yes. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Frequently Asked Questions 13 Yes. The Institute is required to comply with the FLSA and must pay overtime regardless of the source of funding.

Independent Contractor vs. Employees

Prior to engaging any individual for services as an independent contractor an assessment based on IRS guidelines must be made and documented, and the department’s human resources representative must approve the decision. The form is available here, but do not complete this form if any one of the following statements is true:
  • Service provider operates as a corporation, LLC C Corp. or S Corp.
  • Individual is a research participant
  • Individual is an invited guest speaker receiving an honoraria

Please know, the followings groups are usually paid as employees:

  • Academic Activity – Instruction services provided to enrolled students and for Georgia Tech programs
  • Former Georgia Tech Employees – Persons employed by Georgia Tech in any position within the last 36 months
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Graduate Teaching Assistant or Graduate Assistant – Graduate students providing teaching, research, and staff duties
  • Individual who perform substantially similar services as those provided by Georgia Tech employees – All individuals, including student workers
  • Office management and accounting services – individuals who perform substantially similar services to Georgia Tech employees not hired through an employment agency
  • Retired Individuals from University System of Georgia who are receiving benefits – retired but working
  • Short-term direct support staff supervised by Georgia Tech faculty or staff – duties often performed by Tech Temps
  • Student providing non-skilled services – student assistants
  • Support services for programs and activities – includes summer activities/camps, grading papers and other services
  • Temporary help – includes event set-up, drivers, errands and various other services