Frequently Asked Questions


1. Q: What does it mean to be exempt or nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

A: The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates whether an employee is overtime-eligible or overtime-exempt. Most employees covered by the FLSA must be paid at least the minimum wage (currently $10 per hour in California) and premium pay for any hours they work beyond 40 in a workweek. The FLSA does, however, exempt certain kinds of covered employees from the minimum wage and overtime requirements, including bona fide executive, administrative, and professional employees who qualify for the "white collar" exemptions. To qualify for one of the "white collar" exemptions, an employee must be paid a predetermined salary that is above a certain amount and meet the applicable duties test.

2. Q: Why is UC changing my FLSA status from exempt to non-exempt and overtime eligible?

A: Currently, most employees who are classified as overtime-exempt must earn at least $455 per week. Beginning December 1, 2016, to qualify for the executive, administrative or professional exemption, the FLSA requires that an employee earn no less than $913 per week, or $47,476 per year. To comply with this new overtime rule, the University of California has reviewed your position and salary and reclassified you as overtime-eligible.

3. Q: As a nonexempt employee, when am I entitled to overtime?

A: Overtime-eligible employees must be paid no less than the minimum wage (currently $10 per hour in California) and a premium rate for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. If the University requires or permits an employee to work overtime, then it is generally required to pay the employee premium pay for such overtime work.

4. Now that I am a non-exempt, overtime-eligible employee, why am I required to record the number of hours I work each day?

The FLSA requires the University to keep certain records for each non-exempt, overtime-eligible employee, including records of the number of hours worked each day and the amount of wages earned.

5. Q: When will the change from a monthly pay schedule to a biweekly pay schedule take effect?

A: Employees with a new FLSA classification of nonexempt will transition to the biweekly pay schedule on November 20, 2016.

Here are the specific pay dates during that period:

    • December 1: Final monthly paycheck for work performed between November 1 through November 19
    • December 14: Paycheck for full biweekly period of November 20 through December 3
    • December 28: Paycheck for full biweekly period of December 4 through December 17


6. Q: How many biweekly pay periods are there in a calendar year?

A: You will receive a minimum of 26 and a maximum of 27 paychecks in a year. Because biweekly periods do not always line up exactly to the calendar year, there is often a biweekly pay period that crosses over from December to January. As a result, the gross pay reported on an annual W-2 tax form may not match your exact annualized pay, and occasionally there will be 27 periods in one year.

7. Q: How is my hourly rate determined?

A:  Take your annual salary and divide it by 2088 (the number of working hours in a year). For example, if your annual salary is $39,000.00 per year: $39,000.00 ÷ 2088 = $18.68 per hour.