Return to Policies

2.03 Overtime/Fair Labor Standards Act

Origination date: 10/1/93
Revised: 1/1/2000
Applicability: All Non-Exempt Classified Staff


The purpose of this policy is to set policy that will allow Northern Arizona University to be in compliance with the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.


In order to support the teaching, research, and service objectives of the university, an employee may be expected to work extra hours beyond the normal workweek or the employee’s normal schedule, if required to do so by the employee’s department head. A department head has the authority to require employees to report to work in emergency callback situations and to be available on an on-call basis for normal university operations. Department heads will attempt to allocate extra hours, on-call, and standby duty as evenly as possible among all employees qualified to perform the work within each work unit.

Overtime Eligibility

Each classified staff position within the Arizona Universities’ Classification and Compensation System (AUCCS) has been determined to be either exempt or non-exempt according to the provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Human Resources Department may change this designation based on individual job responsibilities as the result of a position review.

Exempt Employees

Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime compensation for extra hours worked. Generally, this definition includes executive, administrative and professional employees.

Exempt employees are not eligible to receive overtime payment or compensatory time off. There are instances, however, when flexible work hours may be permitted at the department head’s discretion to accommodate such things as peak work periods, for example, in the case of an exempt employee who worked an excessive number of hours in a prior pay period or who routinely works more than 40 hours in a workweek.

Non-exempt Employees

Non-exempt employees must receive overtime compensation or compensatory time off for extra hours worked. These include all employees not determined to be exempt as specified above.

Overtime work shall be approved in advance by the responsible supervisor. The appropriate supervisor is responsible for scheduling overtime. Employees shall not work overtime unless specifically authorized to do so by their supervisors.

When a non-exempt employee works multiple non-exempt positions, the number of hours worked in each position are cumulative in determining eligibility for overtime.

Non-exempt employees cannot waive overtime requirements. All overtime hours worked must be recorded on a time sheet. If an employee attempts to work extra hours without supervisor approval, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action. Conversely, if supervisory personnel direct employees to work overtime without recording it, notice must be given to the Human Resources Department so appropriate action can be taken.

Payment of Overtime

Overtime compensation shall be at one and one-half times the regular rate at which the person is paid. Overtime hours are defined as only those hours that a non-exempt employee physically works in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. Vacation leave, sick leave, paid holidays and other absences, paid or otherwise, do not count toward the 40 hour workweek for determining the number of overtime hours.

Overtime for non-exempt benefit eligible employees may be compensated either by cash payment or compensatory time off at the discretion of the university. [Non-exempt employees that are hourly employees are not eligible to receive compensatory time for hours worked in excess of 40 hours each workweek, but must be compensated in a cash payment of one and one-half times their regular hourly rate.]

Work hours shall be calculated at straight time if actual hours worked in a work week are less than 40, but combined work hours and paid leave hours exceed 40.

Provision for payment or compensatory time off is subject to modification as determined by amendment to the laws of the United States or the state of Arizona, court interpretation, or determination by the Arizona Board of Regents or Northern Arizona University. If modified, department heads and employees will be notified of such changes.

Compensatory Time

An eligible employee must request approval to use compensatory time off in advance.

An eligible employee is encouraged to use compensatory time within the same month it is earned whenever possible, but continuity of operations must be maintained.

An employee shall not carry a balance of more than 120 hours of compensatory time.

Upon termination from university service or change in eligibility status unused compensatory time shall be paid to non-exempt employees in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards act.

On-Call Time

The university rotates on-call duty on a voluntary or mandatory basis among employees in a variety of job classifications. Time spent on-call by non-exempt employees is not compensable or counted as hours worked, even though an employee may be required to wear a pager, carry a cellular/digital phone, or leave a phone number where he/she can be reached during the on-call period. An employee must remain available and be able to return to work in a reasonable period of time as determined by the supervisor. Otherwise, an employee is free to pursue his/her own personal interests during the on-call period.

The Vice President of Finance and Administration may approve compensation for a category of employees upon recommendation of the Chief Human Resources Officer.

If, based on the needs of an individual department, a non-exempt employee is generally not able to pursue his/her own interests while on-call, the Human Resources Department must be contacted to determine the compensability of such hours.

Exceptions must be approved by the Chief Human Resources Officer.

Exempt employees are not eligible for on-call compensation.

Standby Duty

On occasion, the university may require an employee to be on "standby”. During these times, an employee may be required to remain close to or at his/her work site, ready for duty. If standby duty occurs during normally non-compensable times (lunch, before normal work hours or after normal work hours) the employee must be paid for this time. Such availability may be necessary during machinery breakdowns, during other temporary work shutdowns, or in emergency situations. Such periods of time are typically of short duration and their occurrence is not normally predictable.

Such time is considered "work”, as the employee is not free to use standby time for his/her own purposes, but is "engaged to wait”.

Exempt employees are not eligible for standby time.


Callback is when an employee is called back to work after leaving the campus. The employee receives one and one-half times his/her regular rate of pay or compensatory time off, as determined by the department head for each hour worked, regardless of the total number of hours physically worked in that workweek, in the event he/she is called back to work because of an emergency. The number of hours for callback pay determination shall not be fewer than two.

Exempt employees are not eligible to receive callback pay.

Travel Time

Each non-exempt employee of the classified staff who is required by the employee’s supervisor to travel more than fifty (50) miles one-way to attend meetings or engage in work activities shall be covered by this policy. The travel schedule and arrangements will be established by the appropriate department head.

This out-of-town travel is compensable as work time if it occurs:

Conversely, if the employee is traveling by common carrier or as a passenger in someone else’s automobile and the travel is outside the normal working hours, it is not considered working time and is not compensable. Thus, employees traveling overnight on business or on weekends or holidays before or after their usual working time are not entitled to pay unless they are actually performing work while traveling. Any time spent eating while traveling is not considered work time.

Bonafide Volunteers

A volunteer is defined as an individual who performs hours of service for a public agency for civic, charitable or humanitarian reasons. Moreover, a volunteer performs these services without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for services rendered. If these conditions are met, an individual will generally not be subject to the conditions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

An individual may not be a volunteer when the volunteer hours involve the same type of service which the individual is already employed to perform.

Any exceptions to the overtime policy should be approved in advance by the Chief Human Resources Officer.