How do I get employees to account for a set number of hours each week?
Here are some best practices, use cases and solutions that might be helpful for managing the various employee types you have.
- Non-exempt full-time employees (like exempt full time employees) usually have to account for a full-time-equivalent number of scheduled hours per week (e.g. 40.0 hours per week)
- This is usually done by entering a combination of work and leave hours on a timesheet that add up to at least 40 hours.
- Non-exempt timesheets (in California and tougher labor law states) should not be limited at 40 hours. If the worker works more than 40 hours, and he’s non-exempt, you have to pay those overtime hours. An approval process that kicks in for such an employee only when he exceeds 40 hours would be unusual.
- When a non-exempt employee has less than 40 work hours, you should make him account for all non-work hours hours, including unpaid leave, so his hours always add up to 40. If you do not have an unpaid leave pay code you should create one for these situations.
- There are a few benefits to this setup:
- You are getting the employee to certify their number of unpaid hours, leave and work hours which limits labor law liability later on.
- You ensure that paid leave is accounted for and deducted from employee leave balances so balances are accurate (making the "cash out" for unused paid time off accurate when an employee leaves the company).
- You are more likely to have a more accurate accounting of employee work hours and less room for recording unearned overtime.
- Exceptions to these cases are workers who are not employees (e.g. contractors) or are part-time workers who do not have to account for 40 hours per week. These workers might be scheduled to work only 20 or 30 per week.
- Workers who are non-exempt and work more than 40 hours per week, in all U.S. states, will be paid overtime for hours > 40.
- Overtime for non-exempt workers should be approved before the work is done, not after they submit their timesheet. At that point, from a labor law standpoint, it’s too late to reject or modify the timesheet because they have in fact already worked those overtime hours. A non-exempt timesheet should be an accurate record of hours worked. Trimming overtime hours or rejecting overtime hours after they are worked will create liability with state labor departments.
Use cases and solutions
Use case #1: You want non-exempt employees to account for at least 40 hours per week.
Solution: Set their policy’s time entry rules to [x] Minimum hours per week: 40
Use case #2: You want non-exempt employees to account for at least their schedule hours per week (set in their employee profile in the scheduled hours per week field)
Solution: Set their policy’s “Schedule Rules” to [x] “Timesheet hours cannot be less than scheduled hours.” This rule can be applied to full time or part time workers policies.
Use case #3: You want exempt employees to account for exactly 40 hours per week.
Solution: Set their policy’s time entry rules to [x] Minimum hours per week: 40, Maximum hours per week: 40. You can also set minimums and maximums per time period (if you want to apply these rules to biweekly timesheets). Or you can set the minimum and maximum Schedule Rules to 40. The system has a background setting that sets a full time equivalent work week to 40 hours. You can override this value by setting a different hours amount in each employee's Scheduled Hours Per Week field.