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Human Resources

Flexible Work Schedules for Biweekly-Paid Staff and Operations/Technical Assistants as Subject to the Fair Labor Standard Act (VPBS 178)

A portion of this policy has been superseded. Please refer to the History and Updates section of the Wage Administration for Clerical/Service Staff and Operations/Technical Staff policy (VI.C.2).


July 15, 1985

To: Deans Directors, and Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments, and Ofices, and Regional Campus Chancellors

(Supersedes Memorandum 176, dated July 23, 1984)

Flexible Work Schedules for Biweekly-Paid Staff and Operations/Technical Assistants as Subject to the Fair Labor Standard Act

Effective Date: July 15, 1985


The United State's Supreme Court ruled in a recent case that state agencies, including Purdue, are not exempt from the minimum wage, overtime, and record keeping laws as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This means the University can no longer equalize time over a two-week period (other than police and fire). Non-exempt employees (students, temporary, clerical/service, and operations/technical assistants) who work more than 40 hours in a work week, must be paid time and one-half for all excess hours. The so called "comp time" practice (providing time off at a later date for overtime worked in a specific work week) no longer applies.

The only change in procedures necessary to continue flexible work schedules under FLSA is to redefine and limit to the work week the period of time over which hours may be equalized. All other guidelines affecting flexible work schedules remain the same.


Flexible work schedules embrace a wide variety of formats. Some of the more recognizable are: staggered hours (persons are scheduled to start/stop at different times during the day), flexi-year (9-, 10-, or 11-month work schedules -see Business Manager's Memorandum No. 154, dated 13 July 1973), compressed work week (40 hours are worked in less than five full days), and flexitime (core hours are established with flexibility in starting and ending times revolving around the core time). Careful and thoughtful consideration is essential to a successful flexible work schedule. Not every work situation is conducive to such scheduling especially where essential services or "services on demand" are involved. Nor do they provide a means of avoiding overtime opportunities or payment. Flexible work schedules are intended to offer variations for the mutual benefit of the employee and the organization.

Flexible work schedules do not alter the authority and responsibility of department heads to establish and change work schedules in order to accomplish the objectives and requirements of the department or organizational unit.


Sometimes the personal needs of an employee may result in a request to vary the normal daily work schedule. Typically such requests involve time off on one day to be made up on another day and may involve the employee working more than 8 hours on that day (i.e. 8-1/2 or 9 hours). To accommodate these infrequent situations, a department head or designee may make an exception to the current policy of overtime pay after 8 hours/day for a specific work week. In such cases:

  1. The proposed schedule must be mutually agreeable to the employee and supervisor.
  2. Hours to be made up cannot be carried into another work week.
  3. All hours worked over 40 in the work week must be paid at the overtime rate (hours worked include all hours paid for holidays, vacation, sick leave, jury duty, funeral leave, and military duty).
  4. The department head or designee must approve the schedule in advance of its implementation.

In some situations requests may require an exception to University policy of overtime pay after 8 hours/day on a continuing basis for more than one work week. In these cases the department must submit such requests to the Department of Personnel Services (West Lafayette campus) or the appropriate Regional Campus Personnel Office, for approval prior to implementation.


Information on the variety of flexible work schedules and assistance in developing such schedules is available through the Wage and Salary section of the Department of Personnel Services or the Regional Campus Personnel Offices.

Howard S. Lyon
Vice President for Business Services and Assistant Treasurer