Timekeeping for non-exempt employees

Employees must comply with university policies established to meet the requirements of all wage and hour laws. As a USC employee, you’re required to be familiar with those (and all) policies (available on the official policy website).

Non-exempt employees are protected by a complex set of regulations concerning hours worked, rest and meal periods, and overtime. USC also provides generous vacation and sick time as well as other leaves that must be accurately calculated and fairly administered for all employees. Workday Time Tracking helps us meet all those requirements. For help with tracking your time in Workday, visit the Workday Help website (you will need to log in with your USC NetID).

(Note that some departments at USC use alternative time tracking systems. Your manager will notify you of what system to use upon hire.)

Non-exempt employees are paid on a wage basis for all hours worked and compensated at overtime rates of pay for all qualified overtime hours based on state definitions and requirements. Timekeeping procedures for non-exempt employees are an essential part of compliance with overtime pay regulations, as well as requirements for meal and rest periods. Policies on work schedule outline basic workdays and workweeks for timekeeping purposes.

Student workers are enrolled at USC and claim student status. They are limited to part-time employment of 20 hours or less per week when school is in session. Student workers are not eligible for employee benefits, including most types of leave, although they are eligible for paid sick time. They are also subject to wage and hour laws governing overtime, and meal and rest periods.

Timekeeping in a timely fashion

Employees must accurately and honestly report time worked and submit their timesheets on time for each biweekly pay period. Delays in submitting time may result in delays in payment.

Disputes over time records

If a manager believes a time record submitted is not accurate, s/he may reject or modify it and must discuss any disputed modification or resulting difference in pay with the employee. If the employee and manager cannot agree on the modification, they should contact the department’s HR Partner or HR/Payroll Analyst, or the HR Service Center, for information about how to settle such disputes.

Violations of timekeeping policy

Violations may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. These violations include, but are not limited to, falsification of timekeeping records; unauthorized absences; unauthorized overtime; failure to abide by departmental timekeeping procedures; habitual tardiness or chronic absenteeism; patterns indicating abuse of time off or leave policies; failure to submit timesheets by established deadlines.


Employees should regularly discuss with their manager their current workload and any deadlines which may require overtime. Generally, overtime should be assigned by the department head to meet essential operating needs. If a manager or other superior asks an employee to work after his/her shift is over, the employee should alert the superior that overtime may be needed. Employees should ensure that overtime is approved before they take it. Note that if overtime is worked, it must be compensated whether approved or not – but overtime that was not approved could result in disciplinary action for any employee who did not obtain prior authorization.

Using time off

Employees are encouraged to use their vacation time, as well as sick time when needed, but in both cases must notify their manager as far in advance as possible. Managers are urged to accommodate time off requests and will generally do so, but may deny requests in order to meet the business needs of the department or to avoid adverse effects on co-workers.


See the Work Schedule policy for more information and common timekeeping Q&As.

Questions about timekeeping or Workday Time Tracking should be directed to the HR Service Center.