Employment Terminology and Definitions

Terms & Definitions

Authorized Overtime – Overtime that is authorized by the supervisor.  The supervisor decides when an employee may work overtime.  A process to request the time, or assign the time should be known by all people involved. 

Compensatory Time (Comp Time) – Time off in lieu of pay.  Employer may offer Comp Time, but the employee is not required to take it and may ask for overtime pay instead.

Compensable Work Hour – Anything “suffered or permitted,” meaning if an employee voluntarily works before or after his/her scheduled work time, either at the work place or at home, the time is considered to be compensable regardless of the reason. In addition, if an employee’s time is not their own to use as they will (i.e., “waiting for business,” “on-call” time, or time spent in travel for the employer), the employer is obligated to compensate the employee for this time. Rest periods of short duration (usually 20 minutes or less) are customarily paid for as working time, and must be counted as hours worked.  A rest or meal period where the employee is completely relieved of his/her duties (at least 30 minutes or more) need not be counted as compensable work time.  However, if the employee is not relieved of his/her duties whether active or inactive, while eating, then it is considered compensable.

Employee Training – Workshops or In-Services that the Supervisor directs the employee or allows the employee to attend for the benefit of the employer.

Exempt Employee – Professional staff.  As defined by those that determine and control their work content.

Hourly Rate – The hourly rate paid.  For salaried positions, divide the annual salary by 2,080 for the hourly rate.

Non-Authorized Overtime – Overtime that is not authorized by the supervisor. Non-authorized overtime that the employer is aware of and benefits from must be paid.  Example:  An Office Assistant comes into work a half hour early every day or stays late periodically.  The supervisor is aware of this but says nothing to the employee.  If this results in more than 40 hours per week for the employee, it is overtime and should be compensated at time and a half.

Overtime – Any hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a week (168 consecutive hours constitute a week – 24 hrs x 7 days).

Overtime Compensation – One and a half times the hourly rate.

Pay Period – The timeline in which pay is calculated.  Examples: Monthly, Weekly, Bi-Weekly, etc.

Personnel Handbook – A handbook of all County policies relating to a person’s employment, including:  hiring, evaluations, discipline, grievance process, benefits, leave of absences, EEO, guidelines, hours, breaks, overtime and comp time policies, as well as anything else that should be known to all employees in the County Office.

Time Sheet – A form that is submitted each pay period showing the hours worked each day.  This is the employee’s “bill” for services.  This must accurately display the number of hours worked each day with the supervisor signing the form to verify the time is accurate.