Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Exemption Status

Staff HR FLSA Exemption Status Process

In 2004, The Department of Labor (DOL), the agency which interprets and enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the wage and hour law that covers the University, issued new regulations to revise the criteria defining the type of employee who is eligible for premium overtime (non-exempt employee) and the type of employee who is not eligible for premium overtime (exempt employee). The University of California is obliged to comply with the FLSA provisions.

With the exception of teachers, physicians, lawyers, and agricultural workers, all exempt employees must make at least $23,660 per year ($1971.67 per month). The “white collar” exemptions of Executive, Administrative, or Professional all require salaries at this level or higher. If an employee does not meet these salary requirements, the exemption status must be non-exempt.

To determine if an employee is exempt or non-exempt:

  • This regulation should only impact exempt employees who are appointed less than 100% time (based on current exempt title codes and minimum salaries).

  • Status is based on the intent of the appointment, not individual monthly changes (e.g., furlough or leave of absence). If the employee were to permanently change their appointment percent time, resulting in their monthly salary dropping below the monthly threshold, then the employee would be non-exempt.

  • Our campus will be using the monthly threshold salary rate ($1971.67), not the annual salary rate; therefore, the length of the appointment will not determine exempt or non-exempt status.

  • If an employee holds more than one job (including academic and staff), treat as one job to determine monthly salary.

Staff HR Responsibilities:

  • New Hires: FLSA status must be considered when setting up a new appointment (e.g., new recruitment in RMS). When there is any doubt to the FLSA status of a candidate, notate in RMS, or on the Employee Request (ER): “Possible FLSA threshold exemption status”. Employment will determine if the final offer/acceptance (based on salary and percent time) would make that employee non-exempt.

  • Staff Research Associate II, Marine Tech II, or Marine Tech III positions need to be evaluated for exempt or non-exempt status according to FLSA guidelines. Complete the top section of the FLSA/RX Exemption Status Review Questionnaire. Submit checklist, job description and application/resume (needed to answer questions in section 2) to the Classification Analyst who will review the position and determine the proper exemption status and title code.

  • It is not expected that Service Team staff monitor salaries on a monthly basis.

  • Compensation will be running a quarterly report of exempt staff that fall below the threshold; in which case, they will contact the HR Service Team Representative.

  • Compensation can provide guidance and is the ultimate authority for this process.

Process for changing FLSA exemption status from exempt to non-exempt:

  1. Notify the Compensation office via e-mail to change status in PPS, and include the employee name, ID number, and effective date (first of the month following changed status).

  2. Use the sample letter provided, send to the employee and copy the supervisor of the change (letter may be sent via e-mail).

  3. From the effective date forward, the employee must use a non-exempt timesheet and be treated as non-exempt.

  4. If the employee is in a represented title that has a CTO Election form, they should complete one at this time.

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