FLSA: Timesheets and Work Week

Timesheet and Recordkeeping Requirements

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to keep time and pay records for non-exempt employees. These employees are eligible for the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and must complete monthly time sheets to track all hours worked. Departments must utilize tools that allow for easy reporting of the hours worked, break and meal periods, and any time worked over 40 hours in a work week for non-exempt employees. These records need to be easily accessed and queried for reporting purposes. 

Here is a sample timesheet that departments may use for time tracking and recordkeeping: 
Hourly Timesheet Sample

Defining a Work Week

Standard Work Week  

A work week means any 7 consecutive 24 hour period determined by the employer. The standard work week varies by department. It is usually Sunday or Monday as the starting date. The work week may be changed if the change is intended to be permanent and is not designed to evade the payment of overtime. Non-exempt employee need to be compensated for time worked. Any time worked outside of the employee’s standard work week of 40 hours will need to be compensated at 1.5 times the employee's usual hourly rate.

A work period is defined as the period between the time an employee begins work and the time the employee ends work, including all rest breaks and any period of one hour or less not designated as a meal period during which the employee is relieved of all duties.   


Non-exempt employees should not work more than 40 hours in any work week without prior approval of their supervisor or department head.  When overtime is unavoidable, it must be approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor, and should be managed as efficiently and economically as possible.

Under the FLSA, all nonexempt workers must be paid overtime pay – 1.5 times their regular rate of pay - for hours worked in excess of 40 in any workweek.

  • The regular rate of pay includes basic pay plus nondiscretionary bonuses, shift premiums, production bonuses, and commissions.   
  • It does not include other supplemental earnings such as discretionary bonuses, employers’ contributions to benefit plans, pay for unworked hours, or small noncash gifts on special occasions (generally valued under $25).   

The FLSA requires that overtime be paid on time worked, not time compensated.  Therefore, for un-classified employees no overtime need be paid on sick pay, holiday pay, vacation pay, jury duty pay, or similar compensation for unworked days.   

Checking email and messages outside of work hours

Time spent checking emails and answering phone calls outside of work hours is generally considered time worked under FLSA. As a result, employees should record and be paid for time spent engaging in this activity.