Managing time issues
As a manager, you’re in charge of setting work schedules for your team, as well as monitoring and approving time off, and ensuring that your employees take the appropriate time off. For non-exempt employees, you also must ensure they work the appropriate hours, authorize and keep track of overtime, and ensure that all hours worked are accurately recorded and paid (managers are subject to disciplinary action for failing to fulfill these duties).
You also oversee decisions about your employees such as pay increases, bonuses, and authorizing their appropriate expenses. Compensation issues can be complicated and are generally governed by university policy, government regulation, and/or union contracts. Be sure to work closely with your manager, your HR Partner, and your business office to ensure compliance on all issues related to university budgets.
Exempt and non-exempt employment status
Exempt staff employees are paid an established monthly salary and are expected to fulfill the duties of their positions regardless of hours worked. Exempt staff employees are not eligible to receive overtime, or compensatory time off in lieu of overtime.
Non-exempt staff employees are paid on a wage basis for all hours worked and receive overtime for all qualified overtime hours based on state definitions and requirements. Non-exempt employees are protected by a complex set of regulations concerning various work-related issues such as rest and meal periods and overtime. (See the non-exempt timekeeping information page on the Employee Gateway.)
All staff positions are classified as non-exempt unless the duties performed, and the salary, conform to criteria established under federal and state regulations which would allow the positions to be classified as exempt. Only the Compensation office in HR Administration is authorized to make those determinations.
Student workers are employees who are enrolled at USC. College Work Study Program (CWSP) students have a significant portion of their wage paid by federal financial aid funds; students who do not have a CWSP financial aid award must be paid wholly from your departmental budget.
CWSP and nonresident alien students are limited to part-time employment of 20 hours or less per week when school is in session. (More hours may be worked during summer recess or other breaks.) However, to allow adequate time for class and study, managers are urged to keep all student worker schedules, including research and teaching assistants, to under 20 hours per week. An occasional extra few hours is acceptable, perhaps during an important project or deadline, but in general hours should be less than 20. Conversely, there is no guarantee of 20 hours work for a student employee; you will determine the amount of hours worked based on your departmental budget.
Students should not be scheduled to work when they are scheduled to be in class.
Student workers are not eligible for employee benefits, including most types of leave. However, they are subject to federal and state wage and hour laws such as the requirements for meal and rest periods, payment of overtime, and sick time. In accordance with federal and state labor laws, non-exempt (hourly) student employees must record all hours worked in the appropriate university-approved timekeeping system.
On occasion, HR will review the appropriateness of student worker job assignments and time schedules. Schools and departments can expect to be contacted if it appears that a student (generally a grad student) should be “upgraded” to part-time staff with benefits, based on how many hours s/he is scheduled to work.
Under the “Affordable Care Act” students who work at least 30 hours a week or 130 hours per month on average over the course of the year may be eligible for the same health care coverage that applies to USC employees, regardless of whether they are already covered under another health plan. In this situation, the affected student workers may be converted to staff positions, and the relevant school or unit will be charged the applicable fringe rate in order to cover any expenses associated with offering and providing healthcare coverage.