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Human Resources

Human Resources



The Fair Labor Standards Act Changes – Frequently Asked Questions




1. What is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal wage and hour law administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). It impacts employees in both private and public sectors by establishing minimum wage, overtime pay, and other wage and hour regulations. Employees are either exempt or non-exempt from the FLSA regulations.

2. What does it mean to be exempt or non-exempt?

Exempt employees are excluded from the overtime requirements. Non-exempt employees are paid overtime for time worked in excess of 40 hours in any workweek. For an employee to be classified as exempt, he/she must meet the following three tests:

• Salary Basis Test: An employee must receive a predetermined, fixed salary that is not subject to reduction due to variations in quality or quantity of work performed;
• Minimum Salary Test: An employee must be paid a salary minimum that is currently $23,660 per year ($455 per week); and
• Duties Test: An employee must qualify as an executive, administrative, professional, or computer professional (as specifically defined by the FLSA)

3. What is changing?

The DOL has issued a final rule that raises the minimum salary for an employee to be designated as exempt from $23,660 per year ($455 per week) to $47,476 per year ($913 per week).

4. When will these changes become effective?

The changes are effective December 1, 2016.

5. Are faculty excluded from these changes?

Yes. Under the FLSA, employees are not subject to the salary minimum if their primary duty is teaching, tutoring, instructing, or lecturing, and if they are employed and engaged in this activity as a teacher in an educational establishment (i.e., Florida Gulf Coast University).

6. How does this affect a part-time or less than 100% FTE employee?

The salary minimum is not prorated for part-time work. For example, an employee with an 80% appointment or 0.8 FTE and annualized salary of $50,000 (over the new salary minimum) is actually paid $40,000. This position would be non-exempt due to falling below the new minimum salary requirement.

7. Can I continue to be an exempt employee by opting out of this change?

No. The exemption criteria are federal law. An employee and employer cannot agree to waive any of the law’s requirements

8. Does this law apply to OPS employees?

The exemption criteria are federal law and therefore, all employees are covered under this law regardless of funding source and regardless of appointment type or classification.

9. I am a Principle Investigator and have employees working on my grant, does this law apply to grant funded employees?

The exemption criteria are federal law and therefore, all employees are covered under this law regardless of funding source and regardless of appointment type or classification.

10. Will switching from exempt to non-exempt impact an employee’s leave accrual or retirement benefits?

No. This regulatory change will not change an employee’s leave accrual or retirement plan participation.

11. As a non-exempt employee, can I still work early or late? Can I check emails from home?

Since, all time worked must be accounted for and recorded as time worked, employees must first obtain approval from their supervisor to work any overtime, this includes responding to email when away from the office. All overtime and any alternative work arrangements must be approved in advance by the employee’s direct supervisor.

12. I’m an SP employee and currently tracking my work hours and recording my work time. How will this change in regulations affect me?

You will not be personally impacted by the changes in FLSA regulations. The changes will only impact employees who are currently exempt, not required to track work hours and not eligible for overtime pay.