Frequently Asked Questions - FLSA

Transition Assistance

What is the Transition Assistance Program?

The UC Berkeley Transition Assistance Vacation Cash-Out Program is a temporary program to help eligible exempt employees transitioning to a biweekly pay schedule.  A vacation payout of up to 80 hours of accrued vacation is available to eligible non-exempt employees.

Why should I consider applying for the Transition Assistance Program?

The Transition Assistance Program was designed to help during the transition period from a monthly pay period to a biweekly pay period. We encourage you to look at the biweekly paydate calendar at Payroll Calendar Deadlines webpage, evaluate your financial need during that transition pay period and consider whether the Transition Assistance Program is right for you.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible if you are an exempt employee that has been identified and notified by Central Human Resources and will be reclassified to a non-exempt position on November 20th, 2016.

How long will the application period be?

Employees will be able to apply from 8am November 4, 2016 to 5pm November 15, 2016.

How will tax withholding be handled for the vacation payout?

The payout of vacation will be subject to the W-4 withholdings that you have set up at the time that you receive payment.

How do I apply?

You must complete, sign and submit the Transition Assistance Program application during the application period (November 4 - November 15). The application form can be downloaded here.

Signed applications can be turned in by:
Fax: (510) 642-2888
Drop-off at location: Central HR, University Hall, 2199 Addison St, Suite 192, Berkeley CA

How will I know if my application was received? How will I know if I was approved?

If you provide your email address, you will receive an email within 48 hours of receipt that your application was approved, denied or requires clarification. Further instructions will be provided if your form was not completed accurately and you will have an opportunity to correct it.

When will my loan vacation be paid out?

Your requested vacation will be paid on December 1, 2016.

How will I receive the payment?

You will receive the payment as part of your regular wages paycheck by either direct deposit or paper check -- whichever way you are receiving your paycheck now.  

What if I do not have enough vacation accrued?

Human Resources will only approve the payout for the vacation that you have currently accrued and recorded in the Campus Payroll system.  

When will I get my first regular paycheck once I go biweekly?

Your first biweekly pay date will be December 14, 2016.

Where should I go if I need help with the Transition Assistance Program?

Please send an email to or contact Campus Shared Services at 510-664-9000, option 3.

How do I check how many hours of vacation I have?

  1. Go to
  2. select “Access” then “Access online”
  3. select “My Reports”
  4. select “My Accrual Balances and Projections”, insert date
  5. select “View Report”

Do I need to save vacation hours for curtailment?

No. For curtailment you will be able to use vacation leave before it is accrued. 

What if I plan to take vacation leave between November 1 through November 19?

Before you decide on the amount of vacation to cash out, please consider any future vacation time you may be expecting to take especially during November 1 through November 19th. You may want to deduct your planned vacation hours from your current balance and then evaluate the vacation amount you would like to cash out.

Is the vacation cash-out program only available for those affected by the new DOL New OT Rule?

Only employees converting to non-exempt status and a bi-weekly pay schedule are eligible to request the vacation cash-out to assist with the transition.

FLSA General

What does it mean to be exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates whether an employee is overtime-eligible (“non-exempt”) or overtime-exempt (“exempt”). Most employees covered by the FLSA must be paid at least the minimum wage and premium pay for any hours they work beyond 40 in a workweek.  The minimum wage for California is currently $11 per hour. Some localities have adopted higher minimum wages. 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. To qualify for one of the executive, administrative or professional exemptions, an employee must be paid a predetermined salary that is above a certain amount and meet the applicable duties test.

What does the Nov 22 ruling that blocks implementation of this FLSA rule mean for UC?

On November 22, 2016, a federal district judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) rule that nearly doubles the minimum salary level required for the executive, administrative and professional overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This means that employers are no longer required to meet the December 1, 2016 implementation deadline. What does this mean for UC?

At this point, UC campuses will continue to proceed with implementation plans already in place. In the coming months, the UC Office of the President will be following further developments on the status of the DOL’s overtime rule, potentially revisiting some of the classification decisions made in the last few months, and engaging in consultation and communication with campus locations.

Why is UC moving forward with the implementation even though there is a temporary injunction?

Prior to the announcement of the temporary injunction, communications to affected employees at Berkeley and throughout UC had already occurred. Corresponding changes to overtime statuses and payroll schedule changes had also been made. UC’s decision to implement planned changes is one that is, at this time, least disruptive to affected employees.

What are the next steps?

An established UC-wide committee of HR, Legal and other subject matter experts will closely follow further developments on the status of the DOL’s overtime rule and make recommendations on UC's next steps to President Napolitano.

Are any positions exempt from the salary basis test?

Professors, lecturers, tutors and others teachers, doctors, medical residents, veterinarians and attorneys are not subject to either the salary basis or salary level tests. This means that these professionals are considered exempt regardless of the amount they earn for performing services.

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

Currently, most employees who are classified as overtime-exempt must earn at least $455 per week, according to the FLSA. 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.

As a non-exempt employee, when am I entitled to overtime?

Non-exempt, overtime-eligible employees must be paid no less than the minimum wage and a premium rate for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. Hospitals are permitted to base FLSA overtime eligibility on either 40 hours in a workweek or 80 hours in a 14-consecutive day work period (the 8/80 option). 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.

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. Talk to your manager or supervisor about local time reporting requirements.

I am currently paid monthly. Will I convert to the biweekly pay schedule?

If you are re-classified as a non-exempt employee and eligible for overtime, your pay period will change from monthly to biweekly.

When will the change from a monthly pay schedule to a biweekly pay schedule take effect?

The new non-exempt, overtime-eligible employees 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, full benefits deduction for December 2016.
  • December 14: Full paycheck for biweekly period of November 20 through December 3, first ½ of January 2017 benefits deductions.
  • December 28: Full paycheck for full biweekly period of December 4 through December 17, second ½ of January 2017 benefits deductions.

Are rehired retirees being changed to non-exempt and overtime-eligible?

Rehired retirees are also changing to non-exempt and overtime-eligible even if they earn over the threshold rate of $47,476 on a part-time basis. This population generally works varying hours and the time worked is more easily managed on a bi-weekly pay schedule.

Where can I find the biweekly pay schedule?

Your local payroll office can provide you with the 2016 and 2017 biweekly payroll schedule calendars.

How many biweekly pay periods are there in a calendar year?

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 exactly match your annualized pay rate, and occasionally there will be 27 periods in one year.

How will my vacation and sick leave accruals be calculated during the transition?

For staff and academic employees, your accruals are based on your hours on pay status.  If the time you work on pay status varies, then so will your accruals. Therefore, a full-time employee should expect to see the same accruals over the course of the year, while a part-time employee’s accruals may vary.

Accruals for biweekly employees are credited at the end of every two pay periods (every four weeks) based on hours on pay status during those two pay periods. Biweekly employees accrue 13 times in a calendar year, compared to 12 times for monthly employees. The accruals for each pay period are therefore smaller, but your annual vacation and sick accrual rate is the same.

During the transition, you will be credited at the end of the monthly November pay period based on the hours worked November 1 through November 19, and credited again in December for the hours worked November 20 through December 17 (the end of the first biweekly accrual period).

How is my hourly rate determined?

There are two methods you can use to calculate your hourly rate (based on a 40-hour workweek):

  • Method 1: Take your monthly salary rate and divide by 174 (the average number of working hours in a month). For example, if your monthly salary is $3250.00 per month:  $3250.00 ÷ 174 = $18.68 per hour.
  • Method 2: Take your annual salary and divide it by 2088 (the number of working hours in a year). For example, if your annual salary rate is $39,000.00 per year:  $39,000.00 ÷ 2088 = $18.68 per hour.

What should I do to prepare for the change?

It is important that you review your personal budget situation and determine your income needs based on the new biweekly pay schedule. In preparation for the conversion, we suggest that you take the following steps:

  • Review your current tax withholding elections and make any necessary changes. Pay particular attention to additional tax withholding amounts.
  • Review your current voluntary contributions to your 403(b) and 457(b) plans.
  • If appropriate, request that third-parties adjust your automatic withdrawal or bill-pay dates to align with your new pay schedule.

What is a Deduction Holiday? How will my deductions be calculated?

A deduction holiday occurs when there are three biweekly pay periods in a month. During a deduction holiday, no flat-dollar deductions are taken from pay; only percent-based deductions are taken. Typically, deduction holidays occur twice a year, based on pay period end date. Pay dates with deduction holidays can be found on the biweekly pay schedule calendars.

I have a garnishment deduction. How will the transition to biweekly pay affect the amount deducted for my garnishment?

If the garnishment deduction is calculated as a percentage of your earnings, a deduction will occur each pay period, up to the maximum deduction allowed based on federal and state regulations. For example, if your garnishment deduction is 25 percent of your pay, that amount will be deducted each payday.

If the garnishment deduction is a fixed amount, the amount will be recalculated to a biweekly amount. That calculation is then divided into two payments. For example, a monthly $250 garnishment payment will become $125, deducted during each biweekly paycheck.

When is my retirement deduction taken?

The UC mandatory retirement contributions, University of California Retirement Plan and the Defined Contribution Plan, are taken each biweekly payday.

I contribute to my 403(b) and 457(b) plans. When will my contributions be taken?

Percentage deduction:  If you set up your contributions as a percentage deduction, the percentage amount will be taken each paycheck (26 times a year). For example, if your current 403(b) contribution is 5 percent per month, a 5 percent contribution will be made each biweekly payday.

Flat Dollar deduction:  If you set up your contributions as a fixed flat dollar amount, the flat dollar amount will be split in half, and one-half will be withheld per biweekly payday. For example, if your current 403(b) contribution is $100.00 per month, it will be divided into a $50.00 contribution each biweekly payday. For months with three paychecks, one paycheck will have no fixed flat dollar deductions taken.

What if I pay some of my bills through automatic bill pay?

If you have automatic bill pay set-up for any regular expenses, such as mortgage payments, student loan payments or car payments, we encourage you to work directly with your financial institution(s) to change payment dates as needed. As a biweekly employee, your pay dates vary since you are paid every other Wednesday.

Will I need to make any changes to my tax withholding?

If you have an additional tax amount deducted from your paycheck, that monthly amount will be split in half, and one-half will be withheld from each biweekly check. If you would like to adjust your additional withholding amount, please go to the At Your Service website and review and/or update your W-4/DE-4 Form. For other tax questions, please consult IRS and State Franchise Tax Board websites or contact a tax professional for help. For other tax questions, please consult IRS ( and State Franchise Tax Board (for California: websites or contact a tax professional for help.

Who should I contact if I have questions regarding my FLSA classification or the biweekly pay cycle conversion?

If you have questions for which you need immediate assistance, please contact your supervisor or local staff human resources or academic personnel office. (CSS 1st Contact center 510-664-9000 option 3).

Where should the Compensatory Time Off Election Form be sent?

Supervisors are responsible for submitting form to ServiceNow.

How are lunch deductions changed in CalTime?

Supervisors must submit a Job Change form to ServiceNow (Section: CalTime Changes, select “Meal Break” drop-down).

Are employees on Family Medical Leave (FMLA) and/or Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) subject to a change in FLSA status due to a percentage time change?

Exempt employees covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) are exempt from the new FLSA threshold rate and do not need to be changed to nonexempt.

Is an employee who returns to work on a part-time basis, as a result of being on a partial workers compensation leave, subject to a change in FLSA status?

No, these situations are treated as a temporary reduction in time and are exempt from the FLSA threshold rate and do not need to be changed to nonexempt.

Are employees who are not covered by Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) subject to a change in FLSA status if they request a reduction in work schedule?

Exempt employees, not covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), who requests an on-going reduction in work schedule under ADA that puts the earnings below the FLSA threshold rate are not exempt from the new FLSA threshold and should be changed to nonexempt or their part-time work schedule should be adjusted to bring them above the FLSA threshold rate, if possible.