Compensation

Overtime timekeeping

The workweek

Each overtime eligible employee must have a defined workweek comprised of a fixed block of seven consecutive 24-hour periods or 168 hours. The workweek may begin on any day of the week, at any hour of the day; and it need not coincide with the calendar week – example: Tuesday at 12:00 a.m. to Monday 11:59 p.m.

The University does not have an established, uniform workweek for employees. Each unit establishes the workweek for each overtime eligible position. Within a unit, overtime eligible employees can have the same or different workweeks depending on the unit’s needs. The employer may change a workweek provided that the employee is compensated for any overtime worked as a result of the change. Workweek changes should be minimized to avoid unnecessary overtime payment obligations, and to avoid errors in timesheet keeping. If an employee’s workweek is changed, the employee should receive written notice of the change, including what the new workweek is and when the workweek change will take effect. Timesheets must be modified to show the new workweek.

Creating work/time records (timesheets)

The timesheet for each overtime eligible employee must include the following:

  • Employee name
  • Day of the week on which the employee’s workweek begins
  • Time of day the employee’s workweek begins
  • Work start time
  • Hours worked each day
  • Total hours worked each workweek
  • Total overtime hours worked each workweek

The following may be useful in the timesheet, but are not required:

  • Employee and supervisor signatures certifying that hours worked are correct
  • Record of other active UW appointments including:
    • Hours worked during the workweek for other appointments
    • Name of payroll coordinator(s) in other appointing departments
    • Rate of pay
    • Acknowledgement by the employee that overtime hours paid for work in this appointment will be paid at the rate of time-and-a-half
  • Pay period in which the workweek falls (1st-15th; 16th-month end; both) to assist in reporting overtime payments to the appropriate payroll period

You may download sample timesheets (see below). Units may also develop their own forms and/or electronic records as long as they capture the information required by federal work time record keeping regulations. If your department uses Kronos or another Human Resources (HR)-approved electronic timekeeping system it is not necessary to maintain a separate timekeeping record.

Compensation is available to assist you if you have questions about the use of weekly time sheets, and to review forms and/or processes that are developed to meet the timesheet-keeping requirements. You may also direct questions to your UW HR Operations Office.

Sample timesheets

Each of the timesheet templates is a spreadsheet containing formulas to calculate total hours worked based on data that is entered. To use one of the sample timesheets:

  1. Click a link and save the spreadsheet to your computer.
  2. Enter a date in the “Start of Work Week” cell. Use the mm/dd/yy format.
  3. The dates of the workweek and days of the week will be filled in automatically after the “Start of Work Week” cell is filled in.
  4. Work start and end times and hours worked are entered into the green cells. (The templates have example data that should be overwritten).
  5. At the end of the workweek the completed spreadsheet can be printed.
  6. Sections of the timesheet need to be completed and signed after the timesheet is printed.

Complete timesheets

Each employee normally completes the timesheet which the supervisor reviews. Retain employee timesheets in accordance with your records retention procedures.

Time and record keeping FAQs

If the monthly or pay period timesheet captures all of the required information, then it is not necessary to maintain a weekly timesheet too. Because the beginning and end of a month (or pay period) may not coincide with the beginning or end of an employee’s workweek, monthly or pay period timesheets must carry forward totals from the prior month pay period.

FLSA regulations require complete records showing total hours worked each day and a total for the workweek for all overtime eligible employees, whether the employee works overtime or not.

Besides regulatory compliance, these records can be important aids when reconciling payroll records for hourly and monthly paid employees. Also, having an established timekeeping requirement could help defend against a possible employee claim for overtime worked but not paid.

Timesheets signed by both the employee and supervisor provide reliable documentation should a dispute arise regarding payment of regular and/or overtime hours worked.

Yes. Employees must be paid for hours worked whether they are authorized or not. However, employees who work unauthorized overtime hours may be subject to corrective action.

Please view the time records retention schedule on the Personnel and Payroll Records site.

Failure to maintain such records can result in legal claims against the University and personal liability of the supervisor, as well as:

  • Liquidated damages (double back pay);
  • Attorney’s fees;
  • Civil money penalties;
  • Fines and jail terms for cases of repeated willful violations; and
  • Other injunctive and equitable relief as determined by the court.
The correct overtime calculations should be made and paid to the employee on the next payday. If there is a dispute over whether the employee worked the time, departments should address the issue immediately and contact their HR Consultant for assistance.