HR Newsletter
September 2014

Auburn University Human Resources
332 James E. Foy Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849

Back to School!!

Picture of Foy Hall
AU Seal

Labor Day Holiday

AU will observe the Labor Day Holiday this year on Monday, September 1st.

Employees who are scheduled to work on that day, but who are eligible for holidays (i.e. Regular employees), should be afforded equivalent time off as close to the holiday date as is practical. The 2014 Holiday schedule is summarized here.


Registration for Fall Semester 2014 HRD Courses

Registration for Fall Semester 2014 Human Resource Development courses remains open, but employees should register as soon as possible in order to ensure that they secure a seat in the desired course.  A copy of the fall schedule can be found at .


Welcome, Rod Kelly

rodkellyHuman Resources has appointed Rod Kelly as Director of Compensation and Classification, replacing Chuck Gerards who recently retired. Kelly's experience in the compensation field includes leadership positions in both higher education and industry. He served as vice president of Compensation and Benefits at Mutual of Omaha; director of Strategic Staffing and Compensation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and director of Compensation Management at the University of Virginia. He has taught compensation at the college level and holds the designation of Certified Compensation Professional from the professional organization World at Work. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce from the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Nebraska. Rod can be reached in Human Resources at (334) 844-4145.


Securing Your Retirement with Social Security

On September 2, 2014, from 10:30 to 11:30, in the HRD Training Facility, room 1081, Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum, HRD will present a workshop on “Securing Your Retirement with Social Security.”  Nearly three-quarters of Americans choose to start their Social Security benefits early at a reduced amount, without fully appreciating how that decision may impact their financial interests later in life—particularly as it relates to longevity and surviving spouses' benefits.  Facilitated by Scott Ward, a representative of Johnson Sterling, the workshop will explain how individuals and married couples can make full use of their Social Security benefits.  Supplementary planning materials will be provided to attendees. Participants can register for the course in Fast-Train; for Fast-Train connectivity go to  For questions, contact Mary Elizabeth Fukai ( or 844-7363).


On-Campus Student Supervisor Handbook Updated

The On-Campus Student Supervisor Handbook has been updated to include better descriptions of at-will employment, performance evaluation and documentation, and guidelines for termination of student employees.  This handbook is a one-stop shop for all the needs of supervisors that oversee on-campus student employees.  It includes a detailed breakdown of the hiring process, including how to use Banner, how to properly complete paperwork and ePAFs, hourly scheduling requirements, how to handle disciplinary problems and the termination process if necessary, and how to nominate your employees for the annual Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) Award.  To access this handbook online, please click .  Any additional questions regarding Student Employment can be directed to Alexandra Reiner, Student Employment Coordinator, Auburn University Career Center at or (334) 844-3867.


Basic Estate Planning Seminar Available from HRD

Human Resource Development (HRD) will offer the seminar "Basic Estate Planning: Do I Really Need a Will?" on September 24, 2013, from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. in the HRD Training Facility, 1081 Beard Eaves Memorial Coliseum.  In this session presented by Attorney Robert A. Tufts, participants will learn what constitutes a valid will and what should be included in that will; begin to understand how powers of attorney can help manage money; and receive the latest advice on living wills and health care proxies.  Register for the course in Fast-Train; for Fast-Train connectivity go to For questions, contact Mary Elizabeth Fukai ( or 844-7363).


Reminder of Nepotism Policy

As summer approaches, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our supervisors that the University nepotism policy not only applies to our regular employees, it applies to our student and TES employees as well.

The University’s nepotism policy is comparable with the State of Alabama’s official policy. Both policies consider “family” to include spouses, children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, first cousins, and associated steps and halves.

The policy prohibits employment of these family members where a direct supervisory relationship is in place, or where a family member is in a position of authority to make decisions regarding work responsibilities, salary, schedule, performance evaluations, and other terms and conditions of employment as outlined in the policy.

The official policy can currently be found at:


TES Maximum Hours Threshold Reminder

In October 2013 all HR Liaisons were asked to inform on-site supervisors utilizing TES services that there would be a maximum of 1,450 hours a TES employee can work during any twelve-month period. With the assistance of Payroll & Employee Benefits and Information System Services, we began tracking hours worked beginning October 6, 2013.

We expect a number of TES employees to begin approaching this threshold during the May/June time period. We will begin sending notifications in mid-April to on-site supervisors and TES employees regarding how many hours employees have available to be scheduled to work thru September/October 2014.

No exceptions will be made to these maximum number of hours allowed in any non-benefits eligible assignment.

In addition, we continue to monitor hours worked of any employee working 50% time or more to require the one-month break-in-service every eleven months. This long-standing policy remains in place.


HRD to Present Seminar on Funds for Children’s Education

As part of its series of programs suggesting ways to help employees in difficult financial times, Human Resource Development will offer ER351, “Money for Your Children’s Education,” explaining available state and federal financial assistance for college students and University specific programs for dependents of employees.  Mr. Tommy Wilson, manager of Financial Aid Services in Student Financial Services, will facilitate the program on September 25, 2014, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., in the HRD Training Facility, 1081 Beard Eaves Memorial Coliseum.  Register for the course in Fast-Train; for Fast-Train connectivity go to For questions, contact Mary Elizabeth Fukai ( or 844-7363).


FLSA Reminder

It is vital to report all time worked by non-exempt employees accurately, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The following are some pitfalls which we need to steer clear of:

Sometimes employees prefer to arrive at the worksite before their shift starts. That's fine, so long as they're engaged only in personal activities; but if they perform work before clocking in, then we must pay them (or credit comp time) for that work. Answering the phone, handling business-related emails, cleaning off one's desk -- these are all work activities. Obviously, the same principles apply when we allow our people to work after they've clocked out.

Make sure you're clear on how call-back pay applies under AU policy. Non-exempt employees are entitled to a minimum of 4 hours pay if they are called in to work after their regular work schedule, but this applies only when they have literally left work and been called back in. If you inform your employee during her work shift that she's to stay late, or come in on Saturday morning to work, that is scheduled work after hours, not a call-back situation. Scheduled work time is not subject to the call-back minimum; if the employee works 1.5 hours, they should be paid for 1.5 hours.

Remember that non-exempt employees need to be compensated for all work performed!


Exempt vs. Non-Exempt

Exempt and non-exempt are two terms most people have heard but may not fully understand. One major misconception is that a person can simply choose whether a particular position is classified as exempt or non-exempt. Many people believe that simply by paying a salary and not an hourly wage that an employee is exempt from receiving overtime pay. Neither of these statements is true.

The terms exempt and non-exempt come from a federal law - the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA. This law has many provisions including minimum wage provisions, recordkeeping, child labor standards, and overtime provisions. It is from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act that we find the terms exempt and non-exempt. The law requires employers to classify positions as either exempt or non-exempt and provides the guidelines employers use to make such a determination. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay. Exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay; hence, they are "exempt" from the overtime provisions of the law.

For non-exempt employees, the law provides for a minimum hourly wage, the maintenance of detailed records of hours worked, and overtime pay of one and one-half the regular rate for work in excess of 40 hours during a seven day pay period. Public institutions, such as Auburn University, are authorized to award compensatory time off at the premium rate equal to one and one-half hour for each overtime hour worked in lieu of pay.


Requirements of Alabama Child Labor Law

During the summer months, a number of our local youth start looking for jobs with the University. The state of Alabama requires employers to purchase Certificates to allow us to hire minors ages 14-17. These Certificates are purchased under the auspices of Temporary Employment Services; therefore, employees in these age groups can only be hired thru TES.

For any department wishing to place a minor under the age of 16, an additional form is required to be completed by the student's school. This is the Alabama Child Labor Eligibility Form, and it can be found on our Forms web site at:

Minors under the age of 18 are restricted as to the type of work they can perform; minors under 16 have even stricter restrictions. You may access the State's brochure covering the Alabama Child Labor Law at the following link:


Nominations Sought for Spirit of Excellence Award

The Department of Human Resources is seeking nominations for the Spirit of Excellence Award. Each month the award is given to an employee from each of the following employment groups: Service and Maintenance, Secretarial and Clerical, Technical and Paraprofessional, and Administrative and Professional. To nominate an employee, a form must be completed and sent to the Spirit of Excellence Award, Department of Human Resources, 332 Foy Hall. To print a form, go to this link. For more information, contact Sonya Dixon at 844-7612 or


Spirit of Excellence Winners

Each month AU presents Spirit of Excellence awards to four employees for outstanding service.

Recipients for Junel 2014 are:    
Category Name Unit
Office Admin Ginger Vedder Risk Management & Safety
Admin Professional Cassandra Calloway McWhorter School of Business Science
Technical Michael Chesnutt OIT


Do you know a fellow AU employee whose performance is consistently beyond what is expected? One who exemplifies professionalism and routinely puts forth extra effort? One whose contribution to the department's or university's mission is significant? If so, that person would be a perfect nominee for AU's monthly Spirit of Excellence award. You can link to the nomination form at


Moving? Want to Continue your Career In Higher Education?

The Department of Human Resources routinely receives position announcements from other colleges and universities. These are maintained in notebooks in the lobby of our department in 332 James E. Foy Hall. Please feel free to come by to review these during our lobby hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m, Monday through Friday.


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Auburn University is an EEO/Vet/Disability Employer


Last Updated: September 1, 2014

Human Resources | 332 James E. Foy Hall | Auburn University, Alabama 36849-5126 | (334) 844-4145 |
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