Subject:                           University Human Resources

Policy:                              Payroll Rules

Effective Date:               January 1, 2019           


Review Date:                 Three (3) years from Effective Date above

Responsible Party:       University Human Resources

Applicability:                 This policy applies to all employees


Montana State University has a legal obligation to pay employees for services performed during the pay period on the established payday. This policy establishes the general rules that govern the payment of compensation for employees at Montana State University.


The payroll period begins on the first working day of each month and ends on the last working day of each month. Employees will be paid on the 11th calendar day of the subsequent month unless the 11th falls on a holiday or a weekend, in which case payment is made on the last working day prior to the 11th.


The university requires employees to record hours in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Accurate and timely reporting of an employee's time and attendance is a direct responsibility of both the employee and the employee's immediate supervisor. 

a.  Employee Responsibilities

i.  Employees will comply with university and departmental procedures regarding submittal of time and attendance records, approval for overtime and
    non-exempt compensatory time (comp time), submittal of leave requests, and call-in procedures in the event an employee is not able to report for
    work at the start of a shift.

ii.  Employees will report their hours accurately and in a timely manner.

iii.  Any employee who falsely reports time worked or leave used may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

iv.  Employees will be required to repay the university for any wages received for hours not worked.

b.  Supervisor Responsibilities

i.  Supervisors will follow MSU policies and applicable collective bargaining agreements regarding hours worked, meal periods, overtime pay,
    compensatory time, holiday pay, and time reporting. Supervisors may seek the assistance of University Human Resources to identify and explain
    any policies.

ii.  The supervisor will inform employees of departmental procedures for time and attendance reporting, leave requests, requests to work overtime or
     nonexempt compensatory time, and call-in procedures.

iii.  The supervisor will review employees' timesheets to assure all hours reported reflect the actual time employees worked or used
      leave. Discrepancies will be discussed with the employee, if possible, and corrected if necessary, prior to the supervisor approving the timesheet.
      Supervisors may correct, or require the correction of, errors in reporting upon determining the time sheet is incorrect.


Many employment contracts are Academic Year (AY) or Fiscal Year (FY). Conversions of FTE and salaries are made when an employee changes from one type of contract to another. The calculations shown below are used in these circumstances. When a position is changed from an administrative (e.g., Department Head, Dean) to a faculty appointment, and the contract term changes from FY to AY, any administrative component or additional compensation is subtracted from the salary rate.


To convert salaries:

-To AY: Full time FY salary rate x 0.82

-To FY: Full time AY salary rate x 1.22

To convert FTE's:

-To AY: FY FTE x 0.82

-To FY: AY FTE x 1.22


If the above formula is not used, the use of an alternative method must be approved, in advance, by the appropriate Vice President. Employees converting from FY to AY are eligible for an annual leave lump sum payout if the employee requests it. If an employee chooses to retain balances, the lump sum payout is deferred until separation from employment.


a.  When an employee’s employment is terminated for cause or through layoff, the university will pay the employee's final wages on the next regularly occurring
      pay day for the pay period that includes the last day the employee worked or fifteen (15) days from the date of separation from employment, whichever
      occurs first. See, Section 39-3-205 (2), MCA.

b.  When an employee is discharged by reason of an allegation of theft of property or funds connected to the employee's work, the university may withhold
      from the employee's final paycheck an amount sufficient to cover the value of the theft as authorized in Section 39-3-205 (3), MCA.


a.  University employees may designate a person who, notwithstanding any other provision of law, will receive the employee's pay, benefits, and/or travel 
     allowances due at the time of the employee's death by submission of the Legal Designation of Person Authorized to Receive Decedent's Warrants.
     See, Section 2-18-412, MCA. Anyone, including a minor, may be designated as the person to receive a decedent's warrant.

b.  The employee may change the designation by submitting a new designation to University Human Resources using this Legal Designation of Person Authorized to Receive Decedent's Warrants.

c.  Warrants for money due the employee or the estate will be reissued in the name of the designated person and will be delivered to that person without 
     recourse to estate administration procedures if the properly completed form is on file with the employing agency at the time of the employee's death.

d.  Only one warrant will be issued by the university for each warrant the decedent would have received.

e.   Upon the death of an employee, University Human Resources will take the steps necessary to issue the payments to the person designated.

f.  When an employee paid through electronic fund transfer dies, the last regularly occurring pay warrant will be electronically deposited into the employee's
     checking or savings account. The final remittance for any unpaid wages, benefits, and/or travel claims will be generated as a warrant and delivered to the

g.  Refund of retirement contributions or payment of death benefits are not covered by the designation of decedent's warrant.


The university may establish voluntary payroll deductions programs for:

a.  purchasing insurance;

b.  depositing money into a financial institution or investment program;

c.  contributions to university approved charitable organizations;

d.  payment for university provided services, such as gym memberships or parking;

e.  payment of union dues; or

f.  any other voluntary payroll deduction program established by the university.

See e.g., University Sponsored Charitable Giving.