Employee Handbook

Human Resources Office - Abilene Christian University 
Employment Policies and Procedures

Section 100: Wage and Salary Administration
TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

110. Exempt/Non-Exempt Employee Status   
Responsible Department: Human Resources
Responsible Administrator: Director of Human Resources
Effective Date: April 2011
Reviewed/Updated Date: April 2011
Date of Scheduled Review: April 2013

I. PURPOSE

To define exempt and nonexempt employee status and to provide guidelines for determining this status in accordance with federal regulations.

II. SCOPE

This policy applies to all employees of Abilene Christian University.

III. DEFINITIONS

Definitions of exempt and nonexempt status are based on provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  In order for an employee to be exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions, his or her job must be classified as executive, administrative, professional, computer employee, or outside sales.  These classifications are summarized as follows and are reprinted from the United States Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division’s website:

Executive Exemption

To qualify for the executive employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

  • The employee must be compensated on a salary basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;
  • The employee’s primary duty must be managing the enterprise, or managing a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise;
  • The employee must customarily and regularly direct the work of at least two or more other full-time employees or their equivalent; and
  • The employee must have the authority to hire or fire other employees, or the employee’s suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change of status of other employees must be given particular weight.

Administrative Exemptions

To qualify for the administrative employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

  • The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;
  • The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and
  • The employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

Professional Exemption

To qualify for the learned professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

  • The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;
  • The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment;
  • The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and
  • The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

To qualify for the creative professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

  • The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;
  • The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.

 Computer Employee Exemption

To qualify for the computer employee exemption, the following tests must be met:

  • The employee must be compensated either on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week or, if compensated on an hourly basis, at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour;
  • The employee must be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or other similarly skilled worker in the computer field performing the duties described below;
  • The employee’s primary duty must consist of:

1) The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications;

2) The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications;

3) The design, documentation, testing, creation or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or

4) A combination of the aforementioned duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.

 Outside Sales Exemption

To qualify for the outside sales employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

  • The employee’s primary duty must be making sales (as defined in the FLSA), or obtaining orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities for which a consideration will be paid by the client or customer; and
  • The employee must be customarily and regularly engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business.

 Highly Compensated Employees

Highly compensated employees performing office or non-manual work and paid total annual compensation of $100,000 or more (which must include at least $455 per week paid on a salary or fee basis) are exempt from the FLSA if they customarily and regularly perform at least one of the duties of an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee identified in the standard tests for exemption.

Police, Fire Fighters, Paramedics & Other First Responders

The exemptions also do not apply to police officers, detectives, deputy sheriffs, state troopers, highway patrol officers, investigators, inspectors, correctional officers, parole or probation officers, park rangers, fire fighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, ambulance personnel, rescue workers, hazardous materials workers and similar employees, regardless of rank or pay level, who perform work such as preventing, controlling or extinguishing fires of any type; rescuing fire, crime or accident victims; preventing or detecting crimes; conducting investigations or inspections for violations of law; performing surveillance; pursuing, restraining and apprehending suspects; detaining or supervising suspected and convicted criminals, including those on probation or parole; interviewing witnesses; interrogating and fingerprinting suspects; preparing investigative reports; or other similar work. 

Employees who do not meet one of the above exemptions will be classified as nonexempt.

IV. PROCEDURE (OR PROCESS)

  1. All job descriptions for newly created positions and for replacement positions will be reviewed and classified by the Human Resources office before they are posted to the University’s employment website.
  2. In cases where the exempt/nonexempt status of a position is in doubt, the supervisor will review the position’s duties and responsibilities against FLSA exemption test and reach a provisional decision.  The Human Resources office will review these decisions and make final decisions in all cases.

From time to time the Human Resources office may conduct internal audits of a class of positions in an effort to ensure ongoing compliance with the FLSA.

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Policy No. 111  
Supplemental Payments

Responsible Department: Human Resources
Responsible Administrator: Director of Human Resources
Effective Date: June 2011
Reviewed/Updated Date: June 2011
Date of Scheduled Review: June 2013

I. PURPOSE

To establish parameters for when it is and is not permissible to compensate an employee with a lump-sum, one-time or supplemental payment.  See “Policy 210. Pay Days, Pay Arrangements and Hours of Work” for information on base pay for exempt and nonexempt employees. To ensure compliance with state and federal laws concerning minimum wage, overtime compensation, and pay days.

II. SCOPE

This policy applies to all employees of Abilene Christian University.

III. DEFINITIONS

Sporadic/Sporadically:  Work that is occasional or intermittent and performed on a part-time basis.  Assignments must be infrequent, irregular, or occurring in scattered instances (assignments may not be every week or every other week).  Additional nonexempt duties performed by exempt employees for more than 10% of their work time will not be considered sporadic.

Supplemental payment:  Also referred to as “one-time payments” or “lump-sum” payments.  These payments are paid out to an employee without regard to hours worked.  Supplemental payments may be for: a bonus, extra compensation for an employee’s hard work, a particular project an employee completes for a department, or another similar service.

IV. PROCESS

A. A nonexempt employee may on occasion be asked to perform work for a department other than his or her home department.  In such situations, the employee will need to first get permission from their primary supervisor to perform such work.  If approved, the employee must log the hours on their timesheet for their home department.  The two departments may then work together to complete a journal entry to move money as needed.

B. In some cases it may be appropriate to pay a nonexempt employee with a supplemental, one-time payment.  All one-time pays must be submitted on a nonexempt payroll basis (e.g. 15th or 29th for staff and the 8th or 22nd for students), and will be paid along with their nonexempt paycheck. If the supplemental payment is for hours worked, a time sheet must accompany the Personnel Action Form (PAF), and the payment must be discussed with Payroll or the Human Resources office before it is submitted to Payroll.  It should be noted that if the supplemental payment is for hours worked, this payment will increase the employee’s base rate that is used to calculate overtime for the pay-period in which the supplemental payment falls. If the supplemental payment is not for hours worked, the PAF must have a very detailed description of what the supplemental payment is for.  Examples of one-time, supplemental payments that do not affect a nonexempt employee’s base rate include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Sums paid as gifts to reward service, the amounts of which are not measured by or dependent on hours worked, production or efficiency
  2. Sums paid in recognition of services performed during a given period if the fact the payment is to be made and the amounts paid are determined solely by the supervisor at or near the end of the period, and the employee does not expect them on a regular basis

C. Exempt employees may on occasion be asked to perform work for a department other than their home department.  In such situations, the employee will need to first get permission from their primary supervisor to perform such work.  If approved, the exempt employee may receive one-time, supplemental payment if such work occurs sporadically.  If the work will occur on a regular basis, please consult with the Human Resources office to determine the best method of compensation.

D. Student employees are considered to be nonexempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Student employees should never be compensated solely with supplemental or one-time payments, unless they are listed out below as an exception.

  1. Graduate Assistants are not considered to be employees under the FLSA if they are performing research in their field of study, performing work as a part of their training, or serve in a teaching capacity either as a requirement of their degree program or as a consequence of being enrolled as a graduate student at the University.  Since Graduate Assistants do not have an employer-employee relationship with the university, they must be compensated using one-time payments.
  2. Residence Hall Assistants are not considered to be employees under the FLSA.  They must be compensated using one-time payments.
  3. Interns of the University are not considered to be employees under the FLSA.  Interns cannot receive one-time payments through Payroll, but they may receive a stipend through Accounts Payable.

E. All temporary employees must be paid hourly.

F. No employee can receive one-time, lump-sum payments as their primary form of payment.

V. COMPLIANCE

Ongoing compliance with current laws and regulations will be monitored. This policy is subject to change when those laws and regulations change.

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