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Resources for Department Analysts

Frequently Asked Questions

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

What does it mean to be exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates whether an employee is overtime-eligible ("non-exempt") or overtime-exempt ("exempt"). Most employees covered by the FLSA must be paid at least the minimum wage and premium pay for any hours they work beyond 40 in a workweek. The minimum wage for California is currently $12 per hour. Some localities have adopted higher minimum wages. The FLSA does, however, exempt certain kinds of covered employees from the minimum wage and overtime requirements, including bona fide executive, administrative, and professional employees. To qualify for one of the executive, administrative or professional exemptions, an employee must be paid a predetermined salary that is above a certain amount and meet the applicable duties test.

Are any positions exempt from the salary basis test?

Professors, lecturers, tutors and others teachers are not subject to either the salary basis or salary level tests. This means that these professionals are considered exempt regardless of the amount they earn for performing services.

What is the current FLSA salary threshold?

Currently, most employees who are classified as overtime-exempt must earn at least $455 per week, according to the FLSA. Beginning January 1, 2020, to qualify for the executive, administrative or professional exemption, the FLSA requires that an employee earn no less than $684 per week, or $35,568 per year.

As a non-exempt employee, when am I entitled to overtime?

Non-exempt, overtime-eligible employees must be paid no less than the minimum wage and a premium rate for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. If the University requires or permits an employee to work overtime, then it is generally required to pay the employee premium pay for such overtime work.

Why am I required to record the number of hours I work each day if I am non-exempt?

The FLSA requires the University to keep certain records for each non-exempt, overtime- eligible employee, including records of the number of hours worked each day and the amount of wages earned. Your time will be tracked using the Kronos time-keeping system.

Will I be paid monthly or biweekly?

If you are classified as a non-exempt employee and eligible for overtime, you will be paid on a biweekly. If you are classified as an exempt employee and not eligible for overtime, you will be paid on a monthly basis.

How many biweekly pay periods are there in a calendar year?

You will receive a minimum of 26 and a maximum of 27 paychecks in a year. Because biweekly periods do not always line up exactly to the calendar year, there is often a biweekly pay period that crosses over from December to January. As a result, the gross pay reported on an annual W-2 tax form may not exactly match your annualized pay rate, and occasionally there will be 27 periods in one year.

How are my vacation and sick leave accruals calculated?

Your accruals are based on your hours on pay status. If the time you work on pay status varies, then so will your accruals. Therefore, a full-time employee should expect to see the same accruals over the course of the year, while a part- time employee's accruals may vary.

Accruals for biweekly employees are credited at the end of every two pay periods (every four weeks) based on hours on pay status during those two pay periods. Biweekly employees accrue 13 times in a calendar year, compared to 12 times for monthly employees. The accruals for each pay period are therefore smaller, but your annual vacation and sick accrual rate is the same.

What is a Deduction Holiday?

Deduction holidays apply to biweekly paid employees. A deduction holiday occurs when there are three biweekly pay periods in a month. During a deduction holiday, no flat-dollar deductions are taken from pay; only percent-based deductions are taken. Typically, deduction holidays occur twice a year, based on pay period end date. Pay dates with deduction holidays can be found on the biweekly pay schedule calendars.