The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal regulation that:
- Establishes the criteria for a job to be exempt or nonexempt
- Establishes the federal minimum wage required for all nonexempt jobs
- Guarantees overtime for nonexempt jobs for hours worked over 40 in one work week (Sunday 12:01am – Saturday 11:59pm)
- Governs the employment of minors
FLSA – The Basics
According to the FLSA, all jobs are generally considered to be nonexempt. All nonexempt employees are required to be paid a minimum of $7.25/hour and 1 1/2 times their regular hourly rate for any hour(s) worked over 40 in one work week (each pay week in the biweekly pay period runs from 12:01 a.m. Sunday until 12:00 a.m. the following Saturday), as well as keep an accurate account for all hours worked.
An employee may qualify to be exempt from the overtime and minimum wage provisions if they meet the criteria established by the Department of Labor. Most exempt jobs must be paid on a salary basis as well as perform work duties that the FLSA defines as exempt. To be exempt, a job must pass ALL of the following criteria:
Rice’s salary threshold for exemption from overtime is as follows:
- Full-time staff: Minimum salary of $35,000 per year
- Part-time staff: Must have a full time equivalent salary of at least $35,000 per year and must be paid a minimum weekly salary of at least $455/week
Must perform exempt job duties
Job duties test is applied to a specific set of criteria. The following tests are most often used at Rice:
- Administrative Exemption
- Professional Exemption
- Executive Exemption
- Computer Employee Exemption
- Must be paid a flat weekly, semimonthly, monthly or annual rate for any week in which work was done.
The FLSA exemption status is based upon the actual duties performed by the employee – not the job title, position description, pay grade assigned, or the person's ability, level of experience and/or expertise.
- It is very important than an employee's job description reflect the actual job duties performed.
- The job description is an important tool in determining an exemption to the FLSA. For help writing job descriptions, please refer to the Job Description Writing Guide.
- The exemption status of all positions is reviewed on a regular basis and is subject to review whenever job duties and/or responsibilities change.
Due to the number of factors that must be considered and the complexity of the federal regulations, the FLSA exemption status is determined by HR/Compensation.
This is a helpful guide that outlines the different exemptions as classified by the FLSA.
This is a desktop reference that provides you with a short overview of the main differences between exempt and nonexempt employees in regards to salary level, job duties, and salary basis.
This is a helpful resource outlining guidelines specifically for nonexempt employees at Rice.
This is a list of frequently asked questions regarding non-exempt employee work hours and B2 timesheets.
If you would like some additional help, please contact Compensation.