Classification & Compensation

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Compliance


On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published final changes to update the minimum salary levels needed for positions to be exempt from overtime pay. The DOL rule increases USF's minimum salary level to $1,368 on a biweekly basis ($684 per week; $35,568 annually for 26.0 pay periods). Employees currently exempt from the existing DOL rule will become overtime eligible if their salary is below the new threshold as of January 1, 2020.

Two options are available for positions with salaries below the new minimum threshold:

  1. Maintain the current salary and become eligible for overtime pay; or,
  2. Maintain the exemption status by increasing the salary to at least the new threshold.

For additional information and frequently asked questions, please visit the DOL website. 

Classification & Compensation is responsible for correctly designating all positions as exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

Exempt Employees

FLSA provides an exemption from the overtime pay requirements of the Act for certain positions and duties. Employees whose duties meet the tests for exemption are commonly referred to as "exempt employees." This means that the overtime provisions of FLSA do not apply to those positions. It is important to note that exempt status must be determined based on the duties for that specific position. Titles alone are not sufficient to determine the status of
a position under FLSA. 

In order to qualify for exempt status, positions generally must meet three tests:

  • Salary Level Test: The minimum weekly pay rate for exempt employees is typically $684, or $35,705 annually. The amount is not dependent or prorated based on full-time FTE.

  • Salary Basis Test: Generally, exempt employees must be paid full salary for any week in which any work is performed. Variations in the work product or the actual hours worked does not impact compensation. There are limited instances permitted under FLSA for docking an exempt employee’s pay. The regulations are complex and cases should be referred to the Classification & Compensation team.

  • Duties Test: The specific position duties must qualify under one of the duties tests provided by the Act. The Classification & Compensation team utilizes these duties tests to make determinations when reviewing position descriptions. For more information on the duties tests, refer to the fact sheets available on the Department of Labor's website.

Non-exempt Employees

Non-exempt positions are subject to the overtime rule and employees must be paid at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. A special provision of FLSA for public agency employers like USF allows for the use of compensatory leave accrual at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked. Non-exempt employees at USF must complete timesheets to precisely document work hours.

For additional information, see the U.S. DOL Fact Sheet #22: Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).