What is an exempt employee or position?

There are three categories under which an employee may be considered exempt.  They are administrative, executive, and professional.  These categories generally define an exempt employee as one who customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgement in the performance of his/her duties.  Exempt employees must pass a Salary Basis Test, i.e., they must be compensated at a minimum salary that is at least $455/week (or $27.63/hr for exempt computer employees).

  • The Administrative exemption is for non-manual or office work directly related to management policies or general business administration.  Positions customarily and regularly exercise independent judgment and discretion more than 50% of the time.  Work is performed under general supervision and may require special training, experience, or knowledge. 
  • The Executive exemption is for positions whose primary duty is management of a department or subdivision in addition to exercising independent judgment and discretion more than 50% of the time.  Under the executive exemption, positions must directly supervise 2 or more full-time employees and have the ability to make employment and disciplinary decisions.
  • The Professional exemption is for work that requires an advanced degree and that is original or creative in nature.  Independent judgment and discretion must be excercized in these positions more than 50% of the time.   In addition, certain computer professions may be considered exempt under the Professional exemption when they meet certain criteria and are paid on a salary basis or an hourly basis that is at least $27.63/hr.

Exempt employees are defined as employees who, based on duties performed and manner of compensation, shall be exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime provisions. Because of hourly pay practices, an employee appointed to a per diem position in an exempt title shall be treated as a non-exempt employee subject to FLSA minimum wage and overtime provisions.

Exempt employees shall be paid an established monthly or annual salary and are expected to fulfill the duties of their position regardless of hours worked. The workweek for full-time exempt employees is normally considered to be 40 hours, and for part-time employees the proportion of 40 hours equivalent to the appointment percentage; however, greater emphasis is placed on meeting the responsibilities assigned to the position than on working a specified number of hours. Exempt employees are not eligible to receive overtime compensation or compensatory time off.

Generally speaking, exempt employees are expected to be present at work during their scheduled work times in order to perform work that is essential to the unit’s operations. They are also expected to arrive at a certain time in order to assure that the workplace is properly staffed for business. Management should discuss with their exempt employees how their expectations of work relate to time spent at work. Management can ask exempt employees to inform them if they will not be at work during some hours of a typical work day. It is not only common courtesy, but it is necessary so that others who need to coordinate with that employee can be informed of the change in work schedule for the day. Exempt titles are identified in the University wide title and pay plan, located on TCS.



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