Exempt vs. Non-exempt

In This Guide

Understanding FLSA

The Fair Labor Standards Act established minimum wage, overtime pay law, and recordkeeping standards.

Non-exempt employees are paid on an hourly, bi-weekly basis, and exempt employees are paid on a monthly, salary basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to be a “non-exempt” employee?

The term “non-exempt” refers to jobs that are not exempt from legal overtime requirements. This means that staff in non-exempt jobs are entitled to overtime pay for all time worked beyond 40 hours in a week.

What qualifies as overtime work?

Staff are entitled to receive overtime compensation for each hour worked beyond 40 hours in a work week. The overtime rate of pay is 1½ times the regular hourly rate for each hour worked (not for each hour paid).

Can I always work overtime if I am a non-exempt employee?

No, prior to working beyond the normally scheduled hours, staff should get approval from the supervisor.

How are job statuses determined?

The content of the job and legal requirements determine the status of exemption. HR makes the final decision as to whether a job is exempt or non-exempt, based on an analysis of the job as compared to Federal regulations.

What if my job required me to work weekends?

Based on the needs of the department, some overtime may be a condition of employment or continued employment. In other situations, a job’s work schedule may be different from the typical University work week so that evening and weekend coverage can be provided without the University having to incur the expense of overtime pay. Supervisors are responsible for letting staff know the needs of the department and each staff member’s expected schedule.