Overtime / Shift Differential / Daily Rate Calculation

Shift Differential

A shift differential may be paid to non-exempt employees who work in departments that provide services beyond the normal work hours, or that operate on a 24-hour shift schedule.

Please review the applicable collective bargaining agreement(s) and ensure that you are familiar with the Shifts and Differentials policy.

Shift differential pay is done through the Financial Front End (FFE) system. 


Union support staff and non-union support staff (including Casuals) and Variable Hours Officers may be eligible for overtime. Please review the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement(s) for your department, and the Overtime policy for more information.

Note: if you have any questions or concerns about the exempt or non-exempt classification of a job contact your HR Client Manager of the Office of the General Counsel.

All Support Staff

  • Non-exempt employees under The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) -- all support staff members -- must be paid on-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. In those departments on a 35-hour work week, University policy and applicable collective bargaining agreements provide overtime in excess of 35 hours per week.
  • For non-union support staff, special overtime rules may apply to a limited number of employees who work in a position funded by a government grant or contract in which overtime provisions, differing from University policy, are specified as part of the grant or contract.

2110, SSA, and Non-Union Support Staff

  • Staff members on a 35-hour weekly schedule who work between 35 and 40 hours in one week may receive either overtime pay or compensatory time off, granted at the rate of one-and-one-half hours for each hour worked above 35. The question of pay or compensatory time-off between 35 and 40 hours can be determined by the supervisor subject to operational and/or budgetary considerations. Note: The SSA contract states, "Employees shall be compensated at the rate of one-and-one-half (1 1/2) times their regular pay for authorized time worked in excess of the regular full-time work week of thirty-five(25) hours up to forty (40) hours by receiving either pay for such overtime worked or compensatory time-off as mutually agreed."
  • The computation of overtime in any work week includes all hours worked plus paid holidays, vacation and personal days. Paid sick leave is not included in the computation of overtime.
  • Regular part-time support staff who work in excess of their regularly scheduled work week are paid at straight time for hours worked in excess of their regular schedule up to 35 hours in any given work week. Hours worked in excess of 35 (or 40, where applicable) are treated the same as those for a full-time employee.

Other Support Staff

  • Collective bargaining agreements other than 2110 and SSA require the payment of overtime for all hours worked in excess of the regularly scheduled work week. Please review the applicable collective bargaining agreements for detailed information.

Short-Term Casuals

  • Short-term support staff casual employees are eligible for overtime (at the rate of time-and-one-half) for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week (Monday through Sunday).

Variable-Hour Officers

  • The work hours for variable-hour officers are undefined and vary from work week to work week depending on the nature of the work or project. Variable Hours Officers are limited to a maximum of 999 hours in a rolling 12 month period and should average less than 20 hours in a week. However, if in any given week the VHO exceeds 40 hours, he/she must be paid one-and-one-half times his/her regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.


  • Officers ("exempt" employees) are not eligible for overtime pay or for compensatory time off. Officers of the University, as salaried employees, are expected to work the time required to accomplish the responsibilities of the primary position without additional compensation.

Calculation of Daily Rate for Employees

The University calculates the daily rate for all employees (including officers and support staff) by dividing the annual salary by 260 days, representing the number of U.S. working days.

Deviations from this calculation only occur in rare circumstances such as when required by the laws of a work location.

Vacation/Personal Days Payout

Earned, unused vacation and personal days are paid out once the employee is terminated from the University. The days are valued by dividing the annual rate by 260 days and multiplying by the days earned:

(Annual rate / 260) * unused vacation and personal days = vacation and personal days payout

Termination Pay

Employees are paid through their last day of work at Columbia. If the day falls on any day other than the last day of the pay period, pay for the partial period is calculated by dividing the days worked in that period by the total working days in the period and then multiplying the result by the period rate:

(Days worked in pay period / working days in the period) * period rate = termination pay

Partial Pay Related to Leaves

Officers: the leave rate for officers working less than their normally scheduled hours for an extended period of time due to a leave is calculated by the department by dividing the pre-leave regular hours by the actual hours worked during the leave and multiplying by the pre-leave annual rate:

(Hours worked during leave / regular hours pre-leave) * pre-leave annual rate = leave rate

Support Staff: for support staff working less than their normally scheduled hours for an extended period of time due to a leave, the department may use Kronos or FFE to submit adjusted time as appropriate.

Note: the details of intermittent and other partial pay types of leaves are maintained in the department desk files and are not communicated to Human Resources or Payroll.