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Wage & Hour Laws

In keeping with wage and hour laws, the University encourages all of our employees to take periodic time to rest and refresh while working. The following information helps to clarify the requirements and expectations for PSU employees around a variety of wage and hour rules.

For additional guidance on meal periods and rest breaks for non-exempt employees visit the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries website. If you are a non-exempt, classified employees, also refer to Article 55 - Work Schedules of the SEIU Local 503, OPEU, Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Overtime

Non-exempt employees are overtime eligible. You would know that your position is non-exempt if you are required to complete a PSU timesheet and maintain a record of each hour that you work. Non-exempt employees receive overtime pay at the rate of time and one half for working over 40 hours in a work week. Non-exempt employees covered by the SEIU Collective Bargaining Agreement may also qualify to receive contractual overtime payments when working over 8 hours or over 10 hours in a day depending on their assigned work schedule of Regular, Irregular or Flexible as outlined in the SEIU contract. Employees in this group may choose to save their overtime as "compensatory time off" rather than receiving payment for it. When an employee chooses to save their overtime for later use as compensatory time off the overtime accrues into the leave system at the rate of time and one half and can later be used similarly to paid vacation leave.

If your position is classified as Exempt you are not eligible for overtime compensation.

Student employees may not work more than 40 hours in any one work week and no more than 130 hours per pay period. Also note that the Federal Work Study Program (FWSP) does not authorize or pay for overtime so if the FWSP employee works over 40 hours in one week, overtime will be charged 100 percent to the department.

International student employees in the United States on an F-1 Student Visa are restricted by Federal law from working more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. During the annual vacation term and when school is not is session, these students may work full time. The annual vacation term is generally summer and an international student is considered to be 'on vacation' if enrolled in any fewer than 9 credits.

Rest and Meal Period

Non-exempt (overtime eligible) employees are entitled to regular rest periods under both Federal and State laws. Non-exempt employees must be provided with at least a 10-minute paid rest period for every four-hour segment or major portion thereof in a work period and as much as possible it must be given in the middle of the work segment. Under the SEIU Collective Bargaining Agreement the paid rest period is 15-minutes. Rest periods must be taken in addition to and separately from time allowed for meals. Employees may not leave early or extend their meal period in lieu of not taking rest periods. Rest periods are considered time worked for purposes of calculating overtime for non-exempt employees.

Non-exempt employees who are scheduled for a work period of six hours or greater must have at least a 30-minute unpaid meal period during which the employee is relieved of all work duties. No meal period is required if the work period is less than six hours.

Exempt (not overtime eligible) employees are not protected by laws pertaining to scheduled rest periods. In addition, exempt employees are allowed some discretion around when or if rest or meal periods are used. This creates some schedule flexibility. At the same time all employees are responsible to maintain open communication with supervisors and/or managers to receive approval for variations in schedules and to ensure that the overall performance and productivity expectations are being met.

Student Rest Breaks: Hourly (Non-exempt, overtime eligible) student employees are entitled to regular rest periods under State law. They must be provided with at least a 10-minute paid rest period for every four-hour segment or major portion thereof in a work period and as much as possible it must be given in the middle of the work segment. Rest periods must be taken in addition to and separately from time allowed for meal breaks. Employees may not arrive late, leave early or extend their meal period in lieu of not taking rest periods. Rest periods are considered time worked. 

Student Meal Breaks: Non-exempt student employees scheduled for a work period of six hours or greater must have at least a 30-minute unpaid meal period during which the employee must be relieved of all work duties. No meal period is required if the work period is less than six hours. 

The supervisor is responsible to ensure that student employees take breaks when appropriate. Best practice is that students leave the workspace when on break.   

Work Week and Professional Work Week

Non-exempt (overtime eligible) employees work week begins Sunday morning at 12:01 a.m. and ends Saturday evening at 12:00 midnight. Employees in this group must report their exact number of hours worked on a daily basis. Schedules are established by supervisors and managers to accommodate departmental operational needs.

Exempt (not overtime eligible) employees must fulfill a professional work week. A professional work week is considered working the hours needed to fulfill the specific job duties. Often this is more than a 40-hour workweek. PSU's diverse array of exempt positions may require overnight travel, weekend or evening hours, a work-at-home component, or other variations to schedules. To avoid confusion and/or conflicts about schedules, employees must work with supervisors and/or managers to establish an agreed upon schedule and the level of flexibility allowed in the schedule. As projects or activities require flexibility beyond an agreed upon schedule, employees should seek out supervisory and/or managerial approval prior to experiencing deviations to the plan. Work schedules are established by supervisors and managers in a manner to provide the best customer and operational outcomes for each of our departments.

Lactation Breaks

An additional break is available under ORS 653.077, established for all employees who need to manually or mechanically express breast milk for a child 18 months of age or younger. This break entitles employees to a "reasonable rest period" of no less than 30 minutes during each 4-hour work period or major part of a 4-hour work period, taken approximately in the middle of the period. This break is unpaid. It may be combined with a paid rest break and any unpaid portion may be made up by arranging a daily work schedule with an earlier start and/or later end time with supervisory approval or working fewer hours. An employee may also at their own discretion utilize paid vacation for the unpaid portion.

PSU has designated certain private locations as suitable for lactating mothers under ORS 653.077 who are expressing milk by manual or mechanical means. Rooms that are currently available to employees for this purpose can be accessed through the following links:

PSU has designated certain private locations as suitable for lactating students. Rooms that are currently available to employees for this purpose are:

  • Smith Memorial Student Union Room 350 (Contact Student Parent Services at 503.725.5655 to receive the key code for this room)
  • Fourth Avenue Building Room 000-019
  • University Services Building Rooms 201A and 401A
  • The conference room at the Simon Benson House
  • Market Center Building, Room 519. Please ask the front-desk in Human Resources for key.
  • Employees of the Helen Gordon Child Development Center may use Rooms 144 and 244. 
  • Employees may also talk to the department supervisor to determine a suitable private location in the department or may use their own private office if applicable. For additional questions, please contact the Office of Human Resources at 503.725.4926.

In addition, for employees of the Helen Gordon Child Development Center they may use Rooms 144 and 244. Employees may also talk to the department supervisor to determine a suitable private location in the department or may use their own private office if applicable. For additional questions, please contact the Office of Human Resources at 503.725.4926.

    Compensatory Time

    Time off for hours worked in excess of regularly scheduled hours may be granted in lieu of payment under certain conditions. Non-exempt employees may be granted time off at a rate in accordance with federal and state laws and applicable collective bargaining agreements. Exempt employees are not compensated for hours that exceed 40 hours per week. If special circumstances occur which require an exempt employee's workweek to considerably exceed 40 hours, or which requires the employee to work on the weekends, a supervisor or manager is encouraged to provide work schedule flexibility, within a reasonable timeframe, to accomodate for the exceptional situation.

    Travel Time

    Whether or not PSU must compensate a non-exempt employee for travel times depends largely on the type of travel involved. Compensable travel hours must be counted for purposes of calculating overtime. Time spent traveling during regular meal period time is not paid as time worked. Travel time payments are somewhat complex. The table below outlines various categories of travel and whether the time is compensable. Additional questions should be directed to PSU's payroll staff.

     Category

     Definition

     Compensable Travel Time?

    Portal-to-Portal Travel Normal home-to-work/ work-to-home travel at the beginning and end of one work day No
    Travel Between Work Sites Travel in the course of a day's work from one job site to another Yes, however, the travel from home to the first location need not be compensated. Once the employee arrives at the first required location, the employee is "on the clock" and the subsequent travel time is compensable.
    Special One-Day Assignment Employee is sent on a one-day assignment to a city more than 30 miles from the employee's fixed official workstation Yes
    Overnight Travel Travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight Yes, whenever travel cuts across an employee's regular work hours (applies to all seven days of the week). For example, an employee regularly works Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. Travels on Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Employee records 3.0 hours worked for Sunday (2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., normal working hours).

    No, if the employee is a passenger and travel falls outside of regular work hours. Travel time must be paid whenever driving is required.

    If you have further questions about wage and hour laws, the BOLI (Bureau of Labor and Industry) website.