802  Hours of Work

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Human Resource Services
Responsible Officer:  Assistant Vice President, Human Resource Services

I.  Purpose

This policy establishes the criteria and process regarding reporting of hours worked for Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) employees. 

II.  Definitions

A.  Non-exempt.  All personnel other than those classified as executive, professional, academic, or administrative and who are subject to the provisions of the Federal Wage and Hour Law. 

B.  Exempt. All personnel who are classified as executive, professional, academic, or administrative and who are not subject to the provisions of the Federal Wage and Hour Law. 

III.  Regular Work Schedules

A.  Regular office operating hours for MTSU are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Regular working hours for full-time employees are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday with one unpaid hour for lunch/meal break. This schedule provides for 7.5 duty hours per day; 37.5 hours per week; 1,950 hours per year. It is recognized that the schedules of some exempt employees, including faculty, will vary from the regular working hours indicated above. However, it is expected that such employees fulfill the minimum 37.5 hour workweek with at least 1,950 work hours per year.   

B.  Per Policy 800 General Personnel, all full-time personnel, including faculty, shall be required to devote a minimum of 37.5 hours per week to MTSU and shall maintain appropriate office hours as determined by the President or designee. 

C.  The official work day is 7.5 hours; therefore, all attendance records, time sheets, leave records, payroll documents, and other recordkeeping instruments shall be kept only in hours and tenths of hours reflecting the actual hours worked each day and week. In most cases, these should indicate 7.5 hours per day and 37.5 hours per week. Other documents, such as employee recruiting materials, orientation sessions, and comparative salary studies, should reflect this workweek. The following schedule of tenths of hours shall be followed in the documenting of time worked per day:

.1 hour 


  1-6  minutes

.2 hour 


 7-12 minutes

.3 hour 


13-18 minutes

.4 hour 


19-24 minutes

.5 hour 


25-30 minutes

.6 hour 


31-36 minutes

.7 hour 


37-42 minutes

.8 hour 


43-48 minutes

.9 hour 


49-54 minutes

1.0 hour 


55-60 minutes

D.  Employees shall perform approved additional hours of work when such work is scheduled in advance. Failure to appear for scheduled work will be treated in the disciplinary process as any other unapproved absence.  Additionally, employees may be asked to extend their work days in order to respond to weather related problems or unforeseen problems arising near the end of the work period.

IV.  Special Schedules

Some departments are required to maintain weekend and evening hours. Those areas maintaining regular schedules differing from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. should provide Human Resource Services a written schedule of office hours to be maintained.

V.  Schedule for Agricultural Employees

Whenever possible, agricultural employees will conform to the 37.5 hour workweek.  When deemed necessary by supervisory personnel, they will work varying hours and schedules.

VI.  Temporary Changes in Schedule

Temporary changes in work schedule can be made at the discretion of the Department Head.  Deviations from the normal schedule can include a temporary change in schedule to accommodate class attendance in conjunction with any of the MTSU educational benefits plans when such deviation is requested of, and recommended by, the employee's Department Head and submitted in compliance with Policy 830 Faculty and Staff Support for Educational Expenses. Approval of all changes should be based on adequate office staffing during regular hours and appropriate supervision during alternative hours.

VII. Lunch Periods

A one (1)-hour lunch period will be provided in the above schedules at a time established by department and activity heads.

VIII. Rest Periods

Employees may be given a rest period of fifteen (15) minutes each half day, work load permitting, as scheduled by Department Heads or supervisors. Employees may not accumulate unused rest periods or add the rest period to their one (1)-hour lunch period.

IX. Time Reporting for Non-exempt Staff

A.  For timekeeping purposes, the workweek begins on Saturday and ends on Friday for most employees. However, a Monday through Sunday work week is used by some departments. 

B.  Time taken as annual leave or sick leave does not count as hours worked for overtime computation purposes. Official University holidays will be counted as hours worked for overtime computation purposes.

C.  Overtime

1.  Overtime payments are available to non-exempt employees only. All hours worked above 37.5 per week must be approved in advance by the appropriate approving authority. 

2.  Regular overtime will be paid at straight time for hours worked in excess of 37.5 hours. Premium overtime will be paid at one-half times the straight time rate for hours worked in excess of forty (40) per week.

3.  Agricultural employees are exempt from overtime pay provisions. See Policy 806 Compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and Employment of Minors for exemption definition.

D.  Holiday Pay

1.  All hours worked on an official University holiday must be approved in advance by the appropriate approving authority.

2.  Employees who are required to work on official University holidays will receive their regular holiday pay for the day plus they will be compensated at a time and one-half basis (premium pay) for the hours worked on the holiday by one (1) of two (2) methods as follows:

a.  Employee will receive time and one-half pay for hours worked plus receive holiday pay; or

b.  Employee will receive time and one-half pay for hours worked and request their holiday hours be added to their annual leave balance.

3.  For hours worked on a holiday, premium pay will be given regardless of the total number of hours worked in the week

4.  Employees who are required to work in a department that operates twenty-four (24) hours a day will follow the same holiday pay procedure outlined above. However, if the employee’s regular day(s) off fall on an official University holiday, 7.5 hours of annual leave will be added to their annual leave balance for each applicable day.

E.  Emergency Call Back Time

1.  A minimum of two (2) hours of premium rate overtime will be paid to employees who are called back to work for emergency reasons (equipment failures, etc.) at times other than their regular work hours. Such emergency callback should not be confused with work scheduled in advance for normal non-duty hours or days. Emergency call back pay is not available to agricultural employees.

2.  During an inclement weather closing, employees in essential services, as determined by the supervisor, will report all hours worked as emergency call back time.

3.  Due to the responsibilities of the department (i.e., physical plant, telecommunications, etc.), supervisors may require employees to provide telephone contact numbers for use in case of emergency or other scheduling problems.

F.  On-Call Time

1.  Employees may be scheduled for on-call time so that personnel will be available to provide repairs and/or services during normal off-duty hours. An employee on call may come and go freely, but must leave a telephone number where he/she can be reached or carry a pager furnished by the University. When reached, the employee is expected to report for work. Employees are paid only for time worked when scheduled to be on-call. If called in, the employee will be compensated as outlined in Section E. above.

2.  Additional employees who are not on call may be called in, if needed.

G.  Work Time Defined

Work time or hours worked is all the time an employee is suffered or permitted to work. It is of no consequence where such work takes place, i.e., in the customary workplace, at home, or anywhere else.

Work time includes most activities related to preparing for, and clean-up after, performance of the employees' principal duties. Examples of work time include setting up equipment, sharpening or cleaning tools, waiting for instructions, moving about the campus to perform assigned duties, attending departmental meetings, receiving emergency medical treatment for an on-the-job accident, and other similar work related activities.

H.  Controlling Work Time

1.  Department Head

Each Department Head is responsible for exercising adequate supervision to insure that employees are complying with established work schedules. The mere establishment or communication of work schedules does not relieve the Department Head of his/her responsibility for controlling work time. He/she must ascertain and ensure that schedules are followed by the employee.

The Department Head is responsible for controlling starting and stopping times and all work time, whether within or outside the usual work schedule.

2.  Employee

It is the employee's duty to comply with departmental work schedules and to avoid performing work that is unscheduled or non-directed, outside of such schedules.

I.  Recording Work Time

1.  Work time must be recorded exactly the way it is worked, as to date and amount. Doctoring or otherwise falsifying time records clearly violates the Fair Labor Standards Act and University policy.

2.  Examples of practices which are prohibited include, but are not limited to, the following:

a.  Recording only time worked on the premises while permitting the employee to take work home for which no work time is recorded.

b.  Permitting employees to work while presumably taking a meal period and not recording such time as hours worked.

c.  Permitting employees to arrive early and perform work or leave late and perform work without recording it.

d.  Permitting an employee to leave early on a day in one (1) workweek and permitting the employee to report early, stay late, or work during meal periods, as make up in another workweek, without recording the short work time or the overtime work.

e.  Permitting employees to record only as much work time as the departmental budget will permit, without respect to the actual time worked.

X.  Exempt Employees

A.  Exempt employees must be paid a set amount of money that does not change each week, regardless of the quantity or quality of work performed.

B.  Intermittent leave under the Family Medical Leave Act does not defeat the salary basis of an exempt employee pursuant to 29 C.F.R. Sec. 541.602 (b) (7).

Forms:  none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: March 2022.

References: Policies 800 General Personnel; 806 Compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act; 830 Faculty and Staff Support for Educational Expenses; Family Medical Leave Act; 29 C.F.R. Sec. 541.602 (b) (7).