Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. A special provision of the FLSA allows public employers to use compensatory time off at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked instead of cash overtime pay.

Exempt Employees

The FLSA provides an exemption from both the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the Act for employees whose duties meet the tests for exemption are commonly referred to as “exempt employees.” Job titles alone are not sufficient to determine the status of a position under FLSA. Whether a position qualifies for exempt status must be determined based on the duties and salary of the position. In order for positions to qualify for exempt status, positions generally must meet all three tests:


  • Salary Level Test: In most cases, exempt employees must be paid at a rate not less than $455 per week. This amount cannot be prorated for positions that meet the duties test, but the employee does not work full-time. Employees paid less than $455 per week generally cannot be exempt. These salary requirements do not apply to outside sales employees, teachers, and employees practicing law or medicine.

  • Salary Basis Test: Exempt employees, subject to certain exceptions, must receive their full salary for any week in which they perform any. Compensation cannot be reduced because of variations in the quantity or quality of work, or the hours worked. There are provisions under certain permitted salary deductions and for leave administration.

  • Duties Test – The specific position duties must meet the criteria of one of the five duties tests (Administrative, Professional, Executive, Computer, or Outside Sales). HRS Employment staff will make determinations as to whether the duties of a position meet these criteria. For more information about the duties tests, please visit U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, Fact Sheet #17A.


UNI complies with FLSA regulations. Questions regarding exempt vs. non-exempt status should be referred to HRS Employment staff.






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Date Updated:May 4, 2010