Wage and Hour Policies

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Under T.C.A. 5-23-104, the county must have written policies covering “the compensatory time policy in effect for the office or department or a statement that no compensatory time is allowed, a statement of whether the salary received by salaried employees is intended to cover all hours worked up to and including 40 hours in a workweek in offices or departments where the regular workweek is less than 40 hours, policies for maintaining compliance with the overtime provisions of the federal wage and hour laws, and provisions for recordkeeping.”

These policies cover the requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

The policies must define the workweek—when it begins and ends, and the number of hours in the regular workweek. If the regular workweek is less than 40 hours, the employer will need to state whether the salary paid to salaried non-exempt employees is intended to cover just those hours in the regular workweek or whether it covers all hours the employee may work up to and including 40 in the workweek.[1]  This is a general policy that establishes the workweek for overtime purposes. It does not set individual work schedules—these should be set by the employee’s supervisor.

The policies must include overtime and compensatory time policies. The policies should state whether employees are required to receive approval in advance before working overtime; whether employees who work overtime will be paid in cash or whether they will receive compensatory time off; the procedure for requesting and using comp time; and the maximum amount of comp time an employee can accrue (the federally prescribed maximum is 240 hours for most employees but public safety employees may accrue up to 480 hours). Remember that compensatory time can only be given if there is a voluntary agreement or understanding with the employees that they are willing to accept compensatory time. If compensatory time is not used, employees must be paid overtime for time worked in excess of 40 hours in the workweek and the policy should so state.

Finally, the policies must provide for the recordkeeping procedures for wage and hour purposes.

Sample time record forms

[1]  If the salary does not cover all hours worked up to and including 40 in the workweek, then the employer must compensate the employee at the employee’s regular rate of pay for any hours worked over the number of hours in the regular workweek up to and including 40, then at the overtime rate for any hours over 40.