Human Resources

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. 

On April 23, 2024, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a significant change to the FLSA’s minimum salary threshold for overtime eligibility. 

What is the DOL changing?

As of today, the minimum annual salary required for exemption from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions is $35,568.

  • Effective July 1, 2024, the threshold will increase to $43,888.  
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2025, the threshold will increase again, to $58,656.  

What does the change mean for an impacted employee? 

  • The employee becomes eligible for overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.  
  • The employee will be required to keep daily accurate recording of all hours worked, as per DOL guidelines. This will be completed using the Time and Leave report in Banner.  This is accessed through TechExpress.
  • The employees’ current leave accrual rates will remain the same unless the employee voluntarily moves into another non-exempt position.
  • If the employee is currently in ORP (Optional Retirement Plan), per the guidance of the Tennessee Department of Treasury, the employee will remain in ORP unless they have been employed in the exempt position for less than one year.  Our Benefit Specialist, Apple Garcia, will be contacting the employee if changes need to be made to their retirement plan.

View additional important information

Important to Note

  • All employees hired in exempt jobs at TTU after June 30, 2024, will have their position designated as nonexempt if their salary is below $43,888.
  • The DOL has also announced another minimum annual salary increase effective January 1, 2025, which will increase the threshold again to $58,656.  Further information about this change will communicated later in the fall.
  • The threshold change has been challenged in court.  TTU HR will monitor the court proceedings and work with university leaders to determine the University’s response. 
  • Training Sessions for both supervisors and impacted employees will be announced for the first part of July 2024.

Important Information

Accurate Timekeeping

The complete and accurate recording of actual working and leave hours is not only a Tennessee Tech policy but, more importantly, a federal law which ensures that employees are paid fairly for the work that they perform.

The FLSA covers students, temporary and staff employees whose positions are designated as “nonexempt” (not exempt from the obligations and requirements for the accurate recording of working time, the right to a minimum wage and overtime pay.)

Tennessee Tech employees whose positions are designated as nonexempt are required by the FLSA to maintain accurate daily records of work time. They must record all actual hours worked as well as paid and unpaid absences. They are not allowed to voluntarily work “off the clock” without compensation, as this is a violation of federal law.

Time records must reflect actual starting and stopping times of work as opposed to the established work schedule.

It is also important to note that since this is a federal law requirement, no exception can be granted regarding this legal compliance requirement.

Online leave reporting instructions can be found on the Tennessee Tech Payroll website at Payroll-Leave reporting (

Training Sessions for both supervisors and impacted employees will be announced the first part of July 2024. These sessions will cover online leave reporting for non-exempt employees. Supervisors and employees who attend the sessions will also have the opportunity to ask questions of HR and Payroll staff members on a one-on-one basis.


After-Hours Network Access

Many Tennessee Tech employees use technology after normal working hours, often by checking email, responding to a text message, or answering a phone call. Employees whose positions are designated as nonexempt and their supervisors should note that the use of mobile and electronic devices after normally scheduled work hours needs to be considered as hours worked – time for which the employee must be compensated.

We encourage employees and supervisors to discuss this requirement to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the supervisor’s expectations regarding the use of technology after normal working hours. Regardless, if an employee whose position is designated as nonexempt uses technology devices to access work email, etc., this time is considered to be either “incidental” or “principal” work activity and must be recorded.


Business Travel

If you are an employee with a nonexempt position who is required to travel on university business, you are required to track your working hours while traveling just like you do during a regular work week. This is important in order to comply with FLSA guidelines. 

The table below is a very generalized tool for knowing when business travel is compensable and when it is not. However, special rules apply to special situations. 

Type of Travel Compensable Not Compensable
Home-to-work commute   ✔️
Driving during or outside of normal work hours ✔️  
Traveling as a passenger and performing work-related activities ✔️  
Traveling as a passenger and NOT performing work-related activities   ✔️


Compensatory Time and Overtime Premium

In addition to a regular salary, employees whose positions are designated as nonexempt will receive compensatory time or overtime premium based on their regular rate for any time worked in excess of 37.5 hours during their designated workweek.

If an employee works over 37.5 hours in the designated workweek, they will receive compensatory time or an overtime premium of 1 times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked 37.5 - 40 hours and 1 1/2 times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked greater than 40 hours.


Compensatory Time and Overtime Basics

  • Compensatory Time/Overtime is calculated for the period of each workweek, not on a daily basis.
  • Only time actually worked, plus holiday time, counts toward compensatory time/overtime. Leave time taken does not count toward the 37.5 hour period for compensatory/overtime purposes.
  • If you over 37.5 hours in a workweek, you cannot work fewer than 37.5 hours in the next work week to offset the difference.  

IMPORTANT: Employees must request advanced approval from their supervisor before working overtime. If an employee performs unauthorized off-the-clock work, they must still be compensated for their working time. However, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action. Therefore, an employee should alert their supervisor well in advance if there is a specific need to work over 37.5 hours in the designated workweek. 


Compensatory Time

As a public employer, the University may offer compensatory time off in lieu of the earned overtime premium pay. Compensatory time should be accrued in lieu of overtime payment provided that the employee has agreed, absent extraordinary circumstances. 

Non-Exempt employees earn one times their Base Pay for any hours worked 37.5 – 40.0 hours per week. Non-Exempt employees earn one and one-half times their Base Pay for any hours worked over 40.

Pursuant to T. C. A. 8-50-801, an eligible employee who is compensated for overtime work by receiving compensatory time shall be entitled to use annual leave before having to use compensatory time when the employee has accumulated an annual leave balance that is within two (2) days of the maximum allowable balance of annual leave.  Otherwise compensatory time should be used prior to sick and annual leave usage.


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Human Resources