FLSA Exemption Status Definition



FLSA stands for the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1938 and is under Federal Wage and Hour statutes.    Conversely, California wage and hour laws originate from the development of the Industrial Welfare Commission in 1913.  The IWC has issued various Wage Orders regulating the working conditions of employees in numerous industries within the state of California.  However, the UC System is under the FLSA, not the California wage and hour laws.


One of the requirements of the FLSA is for an employer to determine the exemption status of each position.  There are two types of exemption under the FLSA.  These are “non-exempt” and “exempt”.  A non-exempt employee is paid for all overtime hours worked.  Overtime is typically defined as any time worked over 40 hours in a workweek (depending upon the bargaining unit contract).  Non-exempt employees generally perform operational functions such as routine clerical duties, maintenance work, and checking and inspecting equipment.


An exempt employee is not paid for overtime hours worked.  There are three categories under which an employee may be considered exempt.  They are administrative, executive, and professional.  These categories generally define an exempt employee as one who customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgement in the performance of his/her duties.  Exempt employees must pass a Salary Basis Test, i.e., they must be compensated at a minimum salary that is at least $250/week. 





For all job categories, there are specific and detailed methods of determining the exemption status of any position.  Questions regarding the exemption status of a University position may be directed to your Human Resources Consultant or to a Compensation Analyst in the Human Resources Compensation area, call 824-5210.