Contract Education:

The URA is committed to ensuring that our membership is well-versed in our contract and our rights.  To that end we are rolling out a series of Contract Education articles to help you understand the importance of our contract; how the various articles are beneficial to you, and when and how they are applicable.

Does Rutgers owe you for uncompensated overtime?

The URA contract (Article 27) and Rutgers policy (60.3.14) are clear.

  • Employees in “non-exempt” job titles must be compensated at time-and-a-half for all hours worked beyond their regular workweek (the regular workweek is 37.5 hours for most, 40 for a small number of cases).
  • Paid time off, such as vacation, AL, sick days or compensatory time, count toward the total hours worked.
  • Overtime can be given as compensatory time off or as pay, but after 240 hours (180 hours worked), it must be paid.  Compensatory time cannot be lost, but must be used or paid out.

Overtime eligibility is not affected by whether a position is located in a grant-funded department.  I’m not sure if I am “NL” or “NE”.

Overtime eligibility should be shown on your original offer letter sent to you when you took your current position or viewed through the “Self-Services” module of HCM. One field contains the “FLSA Status”.  Non-Exempt means you are eligible for overtime.  Exempt is the familiar “NL—no limit, no lunch, no life” Status.  URA Board member Eric Himsel reports: “…you can go into your Compensation History to see your Status. If you click on any of the dates for compensation change, you will then see your weekly hours expectation.”  However, some members have found their information is incomplete.

If you cannot determine your FLSA status or your workweek status, contact union@ura-aft.org.

I work overtime, but no one keeps track.

If your department has not kept records, your own records are proof of your time.  Under Federal and State law, it is the employer’s responsibility to keep time records for employees, and to keep them for 3 years.  If your time has NOT been recorded properly, you can use your own records – time-stamped emails, date books or TABERs.  Of course, you can also use Rutgers records – department websites, meeting and event announcements and other correspondence.

I don’t need more time off — I need more money.

The Fair Labor Standards Act calls for public sector workers to be paid their overtime once they have worked 180 hours of overtime, and are owed 240 hours of comp time.  So even if you have worked moderate hours of overtime in the last few years, your claim may be eligible for payment.   URA members have recovered back pay for overtime worked from 2008 to the present.

I’m already trying to use my vacation time before June 30.

Compensatory time cannot be lost.  So if you are trying to juggle your job responsibilities, life, and time off, remember:  Always use your AL and PH days—they never carry over after June 30.  Then use your vacation days. See the URA Vacation Policy Agreement for guidance on requesting vacation days in writing.  Compensatory time must be requested by you, and approved by your supervisor, but it cannot be taken away.

I think Rutgers owes me something.  What should I do?

A.    Put your records together.
B.    Plot your time on a calendar.
C.    Contact your shop steward, or the URA office.  There is still time to be included   in Grievance 193.