FLSA Employee FAQs

The following FAQs will assist employees with understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

General FAQs

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal act that requires the payment of minimum wage and overtime to employees who are considered covered or non-exempt under the Act. The Act also contains requirements regarding non-covered or exempt employees with respect to how they are paid and treated in order to maintain their exemption. 

There is basically a three-part test in order for an employee to be considered exempt under the Act. An employee must pass all three parts in order to be considered exempt. The parts are:

  1. The salary level test – the employee makes above a certain salary level, now $35,568 annually,
  2. The salary basis test – the employee must be paid on a salary basis that is not subject to reduction based on the quality or quantity of work, and
  3. The duties test – the employee’s duties consist of certain executive, administrative or professional functions.

However, there are exceptions – teachers, doctors and lawyers are not required to meet these tests. They are automatically considered exempt, regardless of their salary level.

The FLSA states that if you are non-exempt, you are entitled to overtime whether you are paid on an hourly or salary basis.

  • Hourly employees . Example: If John is paid $20/hr and works 45 hours in a week, he is entitled to ($20 x 5 hours of overtime x 1.5, or time and a half) = $150 in overtime, in addition to the ($20 x 40 hours of work) = $800 at the regulator rate. So, John would be paid a total of $950 that week.
  • Salaried employees. Example: If Sue is paid $600 a week and works 45 hours a week, she is working the equivalent of ($600/40) = $15 hourly rate. Thus, she would be entitled to ($15 x 5 hours of overtime x 1.5) = $75 in overtime, in addition to the $600 weekly rate. So, Sue would be paid a total of $675 that week. 
 No. For example, if an employee makes $20,000 and is a .50 FTE, they will be considered non-exempt even though their FTE salary would be $40,000, which is above the $35,568 threshold.  
Yes, depending on whether you are a collectively bargained for employee and depending on your specific unit policies.  

No, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has stated it will not assert an employment relationship when the primary relationship with the institution is that of a student.

Most faculty are exempt either because their salaries are over the FLSA salary threshold or because they teach and are exempt regardless of how much they make.  

Changes to the Law

Yes, but then a federal court enjoined the regulations. So, the final FLSA regulations, passed in 2016 by the former administration, were not effective. The current administration passed new regulations in 2019. These regulations are effective as of January 1, 2020.

Compensatory Time

Yes, if your collective bargaining agreement allows for comp time. However,  you must complete the Agreement to Accept Compensatory Time in Lieu of Overtime Pay prior to the first time comp time is earned, as well as follow the other requirements contained in the Support Staff Compensatory Time Policy. 

Time Tracking

Only in the unlikely event that they earn less than $35,568, are part-time and work over 40 hours in a work week.

Yes, you will be able to track your own hours each day and will acknowledge accuracy of your time once a week.

The FLSA requires records to be kept for each non-exempt worker, including hours worked each day. The way in which time must be kept according to the new FLSA policies is a best practice. It is important to carefully and accurately record time to ensure proper payment of employees. To the extent you have not recorded time this way in the past, it is expected going forward. 

You can contact your supervisor, your unit Human Resources representative, Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs, the Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434 or visit FLSA webpage  for more information