Frequently Asked Questions - FLSA

FLSA General

Why is a student employee unable to access CalTime, or submit time through CalTime since picking up a Reader/Tutor/GSI/GSR appointment?

CalTime is currently not designed to permit Exempt employees to report hours worked nor designed to import Reader/Tutor/GSI/GSR appointments. The student will need to submit time via a manual timesheet that the assigned HR or timekeeper contact can provide to them.

What do I have to record on a manual timesheet?

Exempt monthly paid employees only record full shifts missed as leave without pay. Exempt monthly paid employees do not record hours worked. Non-exempt employees record all time worked and all time taken off in fifteen minutes increments.

Can students or employees no longer hold multiple part-time positions if the FLSA and pay schedules are different?

Students and part-time employees can continue to hold multiple part-time positions for which they are qualified as long as the FLSA and pay schedules are reviewed and adjusted to one FLSA of either Exempt or Non-exempt, along with one pay schedule of either monthly or bi-weekly, as determined by the FLSA exemption. The HR or AP Partners consult with the hiring manager about the FLSA status along with pay schedule. In some instances, a department may not be able to adjust the FLSA for a position with variable hours from Non-exempt to fixed appointment percentage of Exempt status, in which case the hiring manager and student should have a discussion of whether or not the student would want to continue in the Non-exempt position, or choose to work in the Exempt position. Students and supervisors should discuss the student’s work schedule availability, along with the department’s staffing needs prior to the job being offered to avoid any confusion with FLSA and pay schedule conflict.

Will my pay schedule change due to payroll transitioning to UCPath?

Unless you have been notified by your payroll contact, HR Partner or AP Analyst that your pay schedule will change, your pay schedule will remain the same. If you have any questions, please contact your assigned HR or payroll contact.

Why are some Student Assistants now paid monthly instead of bi-weekly, and why do they need to submit monthly timesheets instead of being able to use CalTime?

With the transition to UCPath, employees and students have to be paid on one pay schedule, either monthly or bi-weekly. In addition to this, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), requires that employees can only have one FLSA status with an employer, either Exempt (salaried), or Non-exempt (hourly, eligible for overtime). In determining a FLSA exemption, HR staff have to review the duration and percentage of appointment during the semester, along with the duties of the positions to determine the appropriate FLSA exemption. If the primary position held by a student is that of an Exempt GSI, Reader, or Tutor, and paid monthly, then in most cases, any additional positions the student picks up will also need to be set up to be paid monthly Exempt, and the student will need to submit a manual timesheet for the Student Assistant position. Currently, CalTime is not configured to record hours for Student Assistant positions if the student also holds a position in a graduate student title.

Can a Tutor at the Athletic Study Center or at the Student Study Center, pick up a Student Assistant position and still remain on bi-weekly payroll?

If a Tutor at the above Centers are currently being paid as bi-weekly, Exempt employees, then in most instances any additional Student Assistant position they pick up will need to also be set up as a bi-weekly, Exempt hourly position. The student will need to submit a manual timesheet in order to be paid. All time worked will need to be submitted on the timesheet in hours. Additional information about submitting hours worked will be shared once the campus or UCPath has developed another solution.

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 request an on-going reduction in work schedule under ADA that puts their 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.

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.

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.

Are any positions exempt from the salary basis test?

Professors, lecturers, graduate student instructors, readers, tutors, teacher special programs, other teaching titles, 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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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 (https://www.irs.gov/) and State Franchise Tax Board (for California:  https://www.ftb.ca.gov/) 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).