5.4 Overtime Pay for Support Staff

This policy was last updated April 27, 2023. See the update history page for more information.

5.4.1 General Policy

Support staff receive overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a payroll week. Hours worked and most paid absences (including sick time, vacation, and holidays) count toward the computation of overtime. Time taken for meal breaks should not be considered as time worked for pay purposes or the computation of overtime. (See Section 5.11, Meal Pay, for time worked beyond the normal work schedule.) For service staff, each collective bargaining agreement may include different rules on overtime.

Support staff with an approved flexible schedule or a compressed work week are not paid overtime as long as the total number of hours in the workweek does not exceed 40. (See Section 3.1, Flexible Work Arrangements.) Similarly, a supervisor may authorize a flexible schedule on an ad hoc basis, to permit an employee to work additional hours on one (or more days) during the workweek (sometimes called "make-up time"), and fewer hours on another day; as long as the total number of hours in the week does not exceed 40, no overtime is payable. 

The Institute does not allow "compensatory time" or "comp time" — that is, where an hourly paid employee who works more than their usually scheduled hours in one week is granted additional paid time off in a different workweek in lieu of payment for the extra hours worked.

All time, whether worked, not worked, or on paid leave status must be recorded on the correct dates. That is, time lost from the employee's normal schedule should be reported as unpaid and any other hours worked (such as make-up time) should be reported on the dates actually worked.

The safety of employees must be considered if they are working after normal working hours. An employee may not work alone with shop or laboratory equipment, particularly in hazardous areas or remote locations. In addition, MIT's policy on Working Alone applies to those working under potentially hazardous conditions, whether during or after normal working hours.

5.4.2 Notice and Assignment of Overtime

From time to time it may become necessary for a supervisor to require an employee or employees to work overtime hours in a week, in order to complete work by a deadline, to compensate for a temporary reduction in staff, or for other operational reasons. Overtime work must be authorized in advance by a departmental supervisor, and employees should be provided with reasonable advance notice by their supervisors of the need for such overtime work. Overtime should be assigned and distributed among all eligible employees. Employees who work overtime without authorization will be paid for the overtime worked but may be subject to discipline for unauthorized overtime.

5.4.3 Workweek Calculation

The payroll workweek is Monday through Sunday. The normal workweek is Monday through Friday for most support staff employees. However, there are Tuesday through Saturday, and Wednesday through Sunday workweeks, as well as second and third shifts scheduled Monday through Sunday.

5.4.4 Determining Hours for Premium Overtime Pay

The premium rate of pay of one and one-half the base hourly rate will be applied to hours in excess of 40 in the workweek as follows:

  • MIT counts toward the computation of overtime both hours worked and most fully paid absences (including sick time, vacation, and holidays) falling during the employee’s regularly scheduled hours.
    • Example: A full time employee normally working Monday-Friday takes vacation on Monday and Tuesday; works their regular schedule Wednesday-Friday; and works two extra hours on Friday. Since the vacation hours are counted in premium pay calculations, the employee is considered to have 42 hours in the week and the two hours on Friday are paid as premium hours.
  • However, the following hours are not counted for premium hours: Special Holiday Closing, Emergency Closing, Early Release, and leaves paid at the State Formula Rate (see Sections 4.3 Leaves for Employee Injury or Illness and 4.4, Family Leaves.)
    • Example: A full-time employee normally working Monday-Friday does not work on a Special Holiday on a Monday, but works two extra hours on Friday. Though the employee is paid for the Special Holiday time, those hours do not count towards premium hours. For calculating premium pay, the employee has worked 34 hours (8 hours for 3 days and 10 hours on Friday) during the workweek, and no overtime payment is made.
    • If an employee does work during a Special Holiday closing or Early Release, the hours worked are counted towards overtime calculation; the non-work hours during a Special Holiday are not counted.
  • If an employee does not work at all during a work week, no overtime is payable.
    • Example: During a week with a Monday holiday, an employee regularly working Tuesday-Friday is on vacation for the whole week. Although the employee is paid for the Monday holiday and the total paid hours is over 40 for the work week, no overtime is payable for that week.
  • The latest hours worked in the week will be considered as the premium hours.
    • This rule is significant only where an employee works at two different pay rates in the same week.

For more information regarding the payment of overtime hours in special situations, see Section 4.1.4, Computation of Holiday Pay for Holiday Worked; Section 5.5, Lateness; Section 5.6, Emergency Closing or Early Release; and Section 5.7, Special Holiday Closing.