Wage/Hour Policy (Hours of Work/Overtime)

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Prepared by: John Brooks, Personnel Director

Supersedes: 4/1/97

Date Adopted by Council: 6/11/98

Effective: 7/1/98


This policy and procedure is to be used in determining work time, overtime hours, and compensation for overtime hours worked by non-exempt and exempt employees. The determination of non-exempt and exempt positions is designated in the Town of Cary Staffing Document. This policy and procedure is further intended to maintain compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 


All employees of the Town under the supervision of the Town Manager are covered by this procedure. Temporary and part-time employees are covered by these provisions unless specifically exempted in writing by the Town Manager. 


Work time includes all hours actually worked; attendance at required training and certain other periods described below. Sick leave, vacation leave, holidays, compensatory, civil leave and most other leaves are not included.

1. Call Backs. When an employee is called back by an authorized supervisor to perform work, the amount of time that the employee works is considered work time. If actual hours worked do not equal, at least, two hours; the employee is credited with a minimum of two hours work time. Travel time to and from the employee's regular place of work due to a call back is not considered work time. Other travel time due to call-back may be compensable. Please consult with Personnel for guidance. 

2. On Call. When an employee is on call and required to remain at or so near the place of work such that the employee cannot use the time effectively for his/her own personal purposes, the time spent is considered work time. If an employee is required to leave word where he/she can be reached or is required to wear a paging device, but is able to move or travel freely, the time spent is not considered work time.

3. Training. Required attendance at training sessions, workshops, seminars, etc. is considered work time regardless of whether it occurs before, during, or after the employee's regular work schedule.

4. Meal Period. When an employee is required or permitted to work during the meal period, the time is considered work time.

5. Travel time. Ordinary travel to and from work at scheduled work hours is not work time. Travel during the work day is generally included in work time. This includes travel from job site to job site or to meetings. Out-of-town travel as work time depends on several criteria. Please consult with Personnel for guidance. 



1. Work week. With the exception of employees in certain 24 hour/day operations, the work week for all non-exempt employees of the Town begins at 12:00 AM on Sunday and continues through until 11:59 PM on the following Saturday.

2. Overtime. Normally, compensatory leave at the rate of one and one half times the number of overtime hours is awarded to an employee for work time beyond the regular 40 hours actually worked in a work week (or beyond the number of established hours per cycle for Police and Fire as provided for in Section 7(k) of the FLSA.) See examples A & B. The department director will make a decision based on the wishes of the employee, budgetary constraints, and workload demands, of whether compensatory time or overtime pay is to be awarded. If compensatory time is not feasible, overtime pay at the rate of one and one-half times the employee's regular hourly salary rate shall be awarded for overtime hours. Non-exempt employees may accrue compensatory time up to a maximum of 100 hours without the written approval of the Town Manager. Individual departments may set lower maximum limits. Amounts over 100 hours must be approved by the Town Manager. At no time may the amount of accrued compensatory time exceed 240 hours for non-exempt employees.

In order for compensatory leave to be the equivalent of overtime pay, it will be granted whenever requested provided that the leave will not unduly disrupt operations or services.

3. Transfer to exempt position. When a non-exempt employee is transferred to an exempt position, any accrued compensatory time is transferable. This transferred compensatory time must be used prior to using any compensatory time earned in the promoted position. The Department must maintain separate balances of compensatory time until the transferred balance is exhausted. Upon separation, an exempt employee is paid for any remaining compensatory time that was earned while non-exempt.

4. Second Town Position. An employee may work in a second position with the Town of Cary if it meets the requirements of being "occasional and sporadic", "part-time", "voluntary", and "different capacity" or does not result in overtime liability. (Note: The "occasional and sporadic" criteria is the most ambiguous of the four. To clarify, USDOL has held that it means infrequent, irregular, or occurring in scattered instances. For example, a second job which involves hours every week or even every other week is regular and does not meet the test for "occasional and sporadic".) If the second position does not meet these requirements, a written request with justification for employment in that second position must be submitted to the Personnel Director. The Personnel Director will confer with the Town Manager and respond to the request in writing.

5. Part-time employees. The 40 hour ceiling is not pro-rated for part-time employees. If a 20 hour/week employee works 25 hours one week, the extra five hours are compensated at straight time. See Example E.

6. Make-up time. Lost time due to adverse weather or other situations may be made up only in the work week in which the lost time occurred.


The Town of Cary recognizes that exempt employees perform professional-level work the completion of which may routinely require hours to be worked beyond a 40 hour work week and normal meetings. It is the position of the Town of Cary that the salary and benefit structure for these employees adequately compensates these individuals for normal job duties and the hours it takes to perform those duties.

It is also recognized that there may be periods of time where work load is much heavier than normal, or emergency call backs are frequent or long lasting and that these situations can be unusually disruptive for employees and their families. In such cases, department directors, division directors, the Town Manager and Assistant Town Manager may allow subordinate Exempt employees time off other than vacation to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives.

Exempt employees who were previously employed by the Town in non-exempt positions may be due some compensation upon separation (see Item 3, under A).

Exempt employees may only have their gross weekly pay reduced under very specific circumstances outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act. No exempt employee may have his or her gross weekly pay reduced without review and approval from the Personnel Director.


Employees who believe these procedures have not been fairly applied or interpreted are encouraged to discuss their situation with the Personnel staff. Further appeals may be available through the grievance procedure.


Example A Non-exempt employee normally scheduled to work eight hours/day, Monday - Friday.

Sun. Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat.
0 8 8 8 9 8 0

Total hours worked = 41 hours (41 minus 40 = 1 hour at time and a half for compensatory time off or overtime pay.)

Example B Non-exempt employee normally scheduled to work eight hours/day, Monday - Friday.

Sun. Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat.
0 8V 8 8 10 8 0

Total work time = 34 plus 8 hours scheduled vacation = 42 hours paid at straight time. (No overtime is earned in this example because hours actually worked did not exceed 40.

Example C Non-exempt employee normally scheduled to work eight hours/day, Monday - Friday. Employee out sick all day Monday.

Sun. Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat.
0 8S 9 10 10 10 2

Total worktime = 41 plus 8 hours sick time = 48 hours paid at straight time plus 1 hour of overtime compensation at time and a half. The employee was called back and worked 1 hour on Saturday but received 2 hours call back credit.

Example D Non-exempt employee normally scheduled to work eight hours/day, Monday - Friday. Monday was a holiday which employee was required to work.

Sun. Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat.
0 8 8 8 8 8 0

Total worktime = 40 hours plus either 8 hours holiday compensation pay at time and a half or 12 hours compensatory leave.

Example E Non-exempt employee normally scheduled to work four hours/day, Monday - Friday.

Sun. Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat.
0 4 4 4 6 4 0

Total hours worked = 22. Since total hours do not exceed 40 employee receives 22 hours pay at straight time.