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Fair Labor Standards Act

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Roosevelt University is committed to best practices in human resources management which includes following the law. The United States Department of Labor oversees compliance of the Fair Labor Standards Act. FLSA addresses issues including minimum wage, overtime pay, record-keeping, and youth employment. The phrase "exempt" refers to employees who are not covered under the umbrella of FLSA. Non-exempt employees are those covered under FLSA.

The FLSA determines whether a position is eligible for overtime pay. An "exempt" position is not eligible for overtime pay. A "non-exempt" position is eligible and must receive overtime pay at time-and-one-half of the regular pay rate for any hours worked above 40 hours in one workweek.

A position may be considered exempt under the FLSA if it meets three tests:

  1. Employee must be paid on a salary basis, not an hourly basis.
  2. Duties must meet criteria for executive, professional, administrative, computer, or outside sales activities.
  3. Compensation rate must be at least $47,476 annually (effective December 1, 2016).

If any one of the three tests is not met, the employee must be classified as non-exempt and eligible for overtime pay. Please note that exempt classification is an option, not a requirement under the law. A position that meets all three tests may still be classified as non-exempt.

At Roosevelt, clerical, operations, and hourly student worker positions are non-exempt. Administrative positions may be classified as exempt or non-exempt based on the certain tests of job duties and pay level as noted above. Faculty positions and positions defined as "academic administrators" under the FLSA are also exempt.

In terms of hours worked there are significant differences between exempt and non-exempt employees. Non-exempt employees must record and are paid for the hours they work. A non-exempt employee who is eligible for paid-time off benefits (such as vacation, sick, annual leave or holidays) will be paid for recorded qualified absences though typically, these paid absences are not counted in determining work hours toward overtime. Exempt employees do not track the number of hours worked and do not get paid overtime. That is because they are paid to get "work" completed, not paid by the hour.

In practical terms, exempt employees are likely to have more flexibility in terms of hours worked and may or may not get a lunch break each day. It is important that non-exempt employees take their break and meal periods away from their desks. Because there is a clear distinction between "work hours" and "off hours" for non-exempt employees, blurring the two violates the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Illinois Department of Labor mandates that employees who work 7.5 continuous hours or more shall be provided an unpaid meal period of at least 20 minutes. The meal period must be given to an employee no later than 5 hours after beginning work. At Roosevelt, the typical unpaid meal period is either 30 or 60 minutes depending on the number of hours scheduled or worked in a given day and should not be taken in the first or last hour of the work day.

A full-time work week at the University is typically 37.50 hours per week (excludes unpaid meal breaks) though this may vary for positions at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and positions covered under collective bargaining agreements. If authorized, hours worked by a non-exempt employee from 37.01 through 40 hours per week will be paid at the regular hourly rate and hours above 40 are paid at one and one-half the regular hourly rate as required under the FLSA. Exceptions may be made for on-call work hours. 

Non-exempt employees should perform all work on campus. Working remotely, including checking e-mail or voice mail prior to or after the scheduled work day, is not authorized as this would be considered reportable work time and may result in unauthorized overtime.

Another difference relates to the issue of travel and hours worked. When asked to work at a location other than one's primary campus, non-exempt employees are compensated for their travel time.

Additional information on FLSA may be found on the 2016 FLSA Changes FAQ (frequently asked questions).

The policies, benefits and procedures described herein do not constitute an offer of an employment contract or an employment contract. These policies and procedures may be modified without notice at any time at the discretion of Roosevelt University leadership. From time to time sections of this document will be revised and updated and other materials from Human Resources will become natural additions or supplements to it. These policies are prepared for consistency in application throughout Roosevelt University regardless of department or area. Any requests for changes, deviations, or exceptions are to be directed to the Office of Human Resources, Roosevelt University, 430 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60605-1394. Direct phone: 312.341.4334 or e-mail hr@roosevelt.edu.

Rev. 9/1/2016