Policy and Compliance Updates for the State HR Community
Issue #13 
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Welcome to the 13th issue of the HRA Policy & Compliance Advisory Newsletter.  In this issue, you will find an overview on administering compensatory time; a Spotlight on Success that highlights an agency using the new FLSA overtime requirements as an opportunity to review its classification program; highlights of recent State Personnel Board and Rule activity; and, a Drug Testing Corner with guidance on the drug testing codes in TeamWorks HCM.  
 
If you have questions or would like additional information about the topics covered in this newsletter, please contact any Policy & Compliance Team member.
 
Thank you
HRA Policy & Compliance Team

Revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations become effective December 1, 2016.  The revisions increase the salary threshold to be exempt from overtime compensation for administrative, executive, and professional employees, as well as those classified as highly compensated employees. 

Click here to access a HRA Advisory on how to prepare for these changes. 

Compensatory Time

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, as amended, establishes overtime compensation requirements when employees classified as non-exempt work more than 40 hours in a workweek, with special rules applying to law enforcement, fire protection, and hospital or nursing home employees.  The FLSA gives State government the option to provide overtime compensation in the form of FLSA compensatory time, in lieu of cash payments, if certain conditions are met.  Statewide Policy 7, Rules, Regulations, and Procedures Governing Working Hours, the Payment of Overtime, and the Granting of Compensatory Time, jointly issued by the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB), establishes State policy related to FLSA compensatory time.  Policy 7 also provides for a second type of compensatory time (termed State compensatory time) for hours worked in excess of those normally scheduled in a work period, but less than the number of hours that result in FLSA compensatory time.  To view Policy 7 click here.
 
The rules pertaining to the administration of compensatory time are complicated and evolving.  Starting December 1, 2016, many more State employees will become eligible for compensatory time if they work overtime because they will not meet the new salary threshold to keep their FLSA-exempt status.   Click on the questions below to learn more about how to administer FLSA and State compensatory time.

Q1:   When must my agency notify a non-exempt employee that the agency will be providing FLSA compensatory time in lieu of payment for overtime worked? Answer

Q2:    Is FLSA compensatory time computed at the same rate as overtime cash payments?  Answer

Q3:   When is overtime cash payment required as compensation for overtime?  Answer

Q4:   What qualifies as public safety, emergency response, or seasonal activity?  Answer

Q5:   Are FLSA compensatory time accruals transferred between State agencies?  Answer

Q6:   What is counted as “hours worked” when calculating FLSA overtime compensation?  Answer

Q7:   How does working an alternative 9-hour day work schedule affect the calculation of FLSA compensatory time?  Answer

Q8:   Is State compensatory time calculated at the same rate as FLSA compensatory time?  Answer
 
Q9:   Are both exempt and non-exempt employees eligible for State compensatory time?   Answer

Q10:  What happens when a non-exempt employee on an 8x5 schedule works a full 40 hours during a workweek in which she also observes an 8-hour paid State holiday?  Answer

Q11:  Are there similar limitations on the accrual of State compensatory time as FLSA compensatory time?  Answer

Q12:  Are State compensatory time accruals transferred between State agencies?  Answer
 
State Personnel Board Activity:
 
At the September 13, 2016 Board meeting, modifications to the following Rules were presented to the Board and released for public comment:
  • 478-1-.13 (Rule 13) Meritorious Award, Hiring Incentive, and Goal-based Incentive Programs
  • 478-1-.16 (Rule 16) Absence from Work 
The modifications to Rule 13, Meritorious Award, Hiring Incentive, and Goal-based Incentive Programs, provide policy direction for the establishment and administration of incentive awards and compensation programs.  The modifications simplify the incentive programs, ensure available awards comply with State law, and better align incentive pay and awards options with current State fiscal priorities related to compensation. 
 
The modifications to Rule 16, Absence from Work, provide policy direction for the State’s various leave programs.  The modifications offer more detailed guidance to support consistent leave administration and fiscal responsibility across the State.  They clarify when leave can transfer between State employers and remove the option for State employers to accept accumulated leave balances when hiring employees from local government employers.  The update also better reflects modern family obligations by allowing employees to use sick leave to care for grandparents, grandchildren, and immediate step and in-law relationships.  
 
Recent Board Decision involving an appeal of an agency’s denial of a classified employee’s grievance:

The Board recently upheld an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) decision in a classified employee’s appeal in which the employee filed a complaint (formerly grievance) regarding a failure to receive a criteria based salary adjustment.  Click here to find out why.
 
One agency used the new revisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations as an opportunity to improve its classification program.  Which agency took the challenge head-on?    

Click here to find out.
 
Ever wonder what the Drug Testing Codes in TeamWorks HCM really mean?

Click here to find out: 
HRA Policy and Compliance Contacts
Katy Townsend
katy.townsend@doas.ga.gov 
404-657-2186
Gail Stowers
gail.stowers@doas.ga.gov
404-463-7060
Autumn Turner Cole
autumn.cole@doas.ga.gov 
404-463-7057
Robbie Zell
robbie.zell@doas.ga.gov
404-657-8458
Jennifer Statham
jennifer.statham@doas.ga.gov
404-657-8345
Asia Jones
asia.jones@doas.ga.gov
404-654-6201
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Our mailing address is:
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404-656-2705

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