UPDATE: FLSA Overtime Rules Delayed Due to Injunction and System-Wide Pay Plan Implementation

On November 22, 2016, a federal judge granted a nationwide injunction to delay implementation of the revised overtime regulations. This means that the new FLSA Overtime changes will not going to effect on December 1, 2016, as anticipated. The impact of this injunction on Prairie View A&M University is as follows:

  1. Employees that were scheduled to change to non-exempt (hourly paid and overtime-eligible) on December 1, 2016, due to the salary threshold alone will remain exempt. Employees that are in titles that meet the job duties tests for exemption, but are paid below the proposed new FLSA salary threshold of $47,476. These employees will remain exempt on December 1, 2016, due to the injunction.
  2. The System-wide Pay Plan will still be implemented effective December 1, 2016. Employees scheduled to become non-exempt due to changes in titles associated with the System-wide Pay Plan will still become non-exempt December 1, 2016.
  3. Communications were revised and sent to the employees that will remain exempt. The final reminder to those employees changing to non-exempt under the new FLSA Overtime regulations is delayed until a determination can be made about the impact of the injunction, if any, on System-wide Pay Plan title exemptions.
  4.  The Texas A&M University System and the PVAMU Office of Human Resources continues to monitor this situation and will respond accordingly to any further changes related to the injunction or other legal actions regarding the overtime regulations.

If missed the Information Sessions, you can check out the System-Wide Pay Plan & Overtime Regulations Information Session Information  here.

For further questions, please contact the Office of Human Resources by phone at 936-261-1730 or compensationteam@pvamu.edu

FLSA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

These FAQs below help address many of the concerns associated with this change, for employees, supervisors, and administrative assistants (Department Admins) to review in advance of this implementation.

These FAQs, and the accompanying pages on our website, will continue to be updated as needed up until the December 1 implementation. Thank you for your patience as we continue to implement these changes for the University.

Table of Contents

If missed the Information Sessions, you can check out the System-Wide Pay Plan & Overtime Regulations Information Session Information  here.

For further questions, please contact the Office of Human Resources by phone at 936-261-1730 or compensationteam@pvamu.edu

Change in Overtime Regulations – Frequently-Asked Questions

    1. What is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

      The FLSA is a federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards for employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.

    2. What do the terms “exempt” and “non-exempt” mean?

      The status of “exempt” and “non-exempt” under FLSA determines whether an employee earns overtime or compensatory time for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per work week. Employees who are exempt from the requirements of this law do not earn overtime and are paid a monthly salary at Prairie View A&M University regardless of the number of hours worked. Employees who are non-exempt from the requirements of FLSA are paid on an hourly basis, on a biweekly pay schedule at Prairie View A&M University, and are eligible for overtime pay or compensatory time for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

    3. How is exemption determined?

      Under the regulations, there are two sets of tests that must be passed to be considered exempt from FLSA. The first is a duties test to determine the whether a position’s duties primarily involve executive, administrative, or professional duties as defined by the regulations. The second is a salary test. Currently that salary test is a minimum threshold of $23,660 per year.

    4. What is changing on December 1, 2016 with the revised FLSA regulations?

      The updated FLSA regulations change the minimum salary threshold for most positions to be considered exempt. Currently the threshold is $455 per week ($1,971.66 per month or $23,660 per year). Under the new regulations effective December 1, 2016, that threshold is being raised to $913 per week ($3,956.33 per month or $47,476 per year).

    5. What are the applicable Texas A&M University System policies and university procedures?

    6. Are there exceptions to the salary threshold for exemption?

      Yes. Certain professional positions, such as teachers, doctors, veterinarians and lawyers, do not have to meet the salary threshold to be considered exempt. This teaching exemption applies to faculty titles and others such as Graduate Assistant-Teaching. Graduate Assistants-Research are also in a special category due to being engaged in research in the course of obtaining an advanced degree under the supervision of a faculty member.

    7. Do the regulations allow for a different salary threshold for Postdoctoral Research Associates or other titles related to conducting research in a higher education setting?

      No. Research positions must meet the job duties tests and salary threshold to be exempt.

    8. Who applies the tests to determine exemption status for titles/positions at Prairie View A&M University?

      The Office of Human Resources has historically been responsible for reviewing position classifications to determine exemption status at the title or position level, as well as monitoring compliance with the minimum salary threshold and position description content. With the December 1 implementation of new System-wide Pay Plan and a single title listing used by all Texas A&M System Members, the process now involves collaboration with other System HR offices, the Pay Plan Administration committee and final decisions by the Pay Plan Administrator for consistency. Some titles that have traditionally met the exemption tests at Prairie View A&M University are being changed to non-exempt as a result of this collaboration and analysis, with a focus on mitigating legal risk and applying the regulations consistently across all System Members. The Office of Human Resources will continue to review submitted position descriptions for compliance with the title’s exemption status as well as monitor the minimum salary threshold for exempt positions.

    9. How do I know if my position is impacted?

      The Office of Human Resources is working to directly notify Prairie View A&M University employees who have been identified as being impacted by the change, either due to their title changing to non-exempt, or due to their current pay rate being lower than the minimum salary threshold. Communications are being mailed to employees at home addresses as well as through emails in late October or early November. Department Heads are being provided with a list of all their employees to include those employees who are changing to a non-exempt status.

    10. When are these changes effective for employees?

      The changes are effective during the pay period beginning December 1, 2016. Thursday, December 1, 2016, is the first day of a monthly pay period and also the first day of a biweekly pay period. Therefore, monthly-paid employees will receive their regular monthly pay check on December 1, 2016 and the non-exempt employees will transition to a biweekly pay schedule during the month of December 2016.

    11. How will the newly classified non-exempt employee’s hourly pay be calculated?

      The annual salary divided by 2080 hours will be the hourly rate.

    12. How is the pay different for non-exempt employees?

      Non-exempt employees are paid on a biweekly basis (every other Friday), and must be paid for all hours worked. The Texas A&M University System’s work week is Thursday through Wednesday. Overtime pay and compensatory time are based on the hours worked in the individual week, not the entire biweekly pay period. Payroll deductions are split between bi-weekly checks as shown in the example below.


      Monthly Pay Vs. Biweekly Pay

      Monthly Bi-weekly
      #of Pay dates in a year 12 27
      #of pay dates each month 1 2(sometime 3 depending on month)
      Gross/base pay Monthly salary Hourly rate * Hours worked (hourly rate=Annual salary/2080 hours)
      Working days for each 21-23 depending on month 10 working days each pay period
      Longevity Paid once a month Paid once a month
      Federal Income Tax Calculated based on monthly tax tables. W4 status & Allowances Calculated based on monthly tax tables. W4 status & Allowances
      Social Security & Medicare Calculated based on standard rate Calculated based on standard rate
      TRS/ORP Calculated based on standard rate Calculated based on standard rate
      Total Insurance deductions Full insurance deduction which is for the prior month Insurance deductions are halved on each pay date-this insurance is for the current month
      All other deductions Full deduction Deductions are split in half on each pay date
    13. Why is the biweekly check less than half of the monthly check?

      For non-exempt employees there are 26 pay periods, rather than 24 pay periods, in a year. Although a biweekly check may be less than half the amount of a monthly check, there will be two times in a year that a non-exempt employee is paid three times in a single month.

    14. When will paychecks be received for a position that is currently exempt and becomes non-exempt on December 1, 2016?

      • 12/1/16 – for November 1 – 30, 2016
      • 12/22/16 – for time entered on timesheet for the period of December 1 – December 14, 2016
      • 01/6/17 – for time entered on timesheet for the period of December 15 – December 28, 2016
      • 01/20/17 – for time entered on timesheet for the period of December 29 – January 11, 2017

      Thereafter every biweekly pay date as shown in the biweekly pay schedule.

    15. Where can I find the entire pay dates for non-exempt employees?

      Payroll has a biweekly pay schedule which indicates pay date, dates that timesheets must be submitted, and the relevant dates of the pay period.

    16. What will the December and January paychecks look like during the transition from exempt to non-exempt?

      Please consider the following example:

      Example: Employee Moving from Exempt to Non-Exempt on 12/01/2016
      12/01 Monthly check Bi-weekly check 12/22 * Bi-weekly       check (1/6) Bi-weekly Check 1/20
      Pay Period (11/01 – 11/30) (12/1 – 12/14) (12/15 – 12/28) (12/29 -01/11)
      Base Pay $3,188.42 $1,471.20 $1,471.20 $1,471.20
      Longevity Pay $40.00 $40.00 $- $40.00
      Deductions $1,133.90 $745.18 $532.92 $544.43
      Net Pay $2,094.52 $766.02 $938.28 $966.77
      Federal Income Tax $192.26 $58.61 $83.32 $88.89
      Social Security $170.01 $63.48 $76.14 $78.62
      Medicare $39.76 $14.85 $17.81 $18.39
      Teacher Retirement/ORP $232.44 $108.81 $105.93 $108.81
      Medical $389.70 $389.70 $194.85 $194.85
      Dental $58.82 $58.82 $29.41 $29.41
      Vision $14.25 $14.25 $7.13 $7.13
      Optional Life $6.12 $6.12 $3.06 $3.06
      Dependent Life $0.60 $0.60 $0.30 $0.30
      Long Term Disability $6.44 $6.44 $3.22 $3.22
      Parking $23.50 $23.50 $11.75 $11.75
      Total Deductions $1,133.90 $745.18 $532.92 $544.43
      * Note: December 22, 2016 pay will differ from future biweekly paychecks because a full month’s insurance premiums & parking will deducted (if applicable). In future pay periods the deductions for insurance premiums will be split.

      For additional details about your paycheck, contact payroll@pvamu.edu 

    17. What is considered overtime?

      • Non-exempt employees are paid overtime for hours worked over 40 in the work week (Thursday – Wednesday). Nonexempt employees earn FLSA overtime whenever the hours they actually work in a workweek exceed 40. FLSA can only be earned for hours worked. Paid leave—such as vacation and paid sick leave—and holidays do not count when determining FLSA overtime hours. As these hours are not pro-ratable, part-time non-exempt employees must work over 40 hours in a workweek before they are paid overtime or accrue overtime comp time.
      • State comp time is awarded if an employee hasn’t worked over 40 hours, but the total hours worked and hours of paid leave or holiday pay exceed 40 hours. State comp time is 1 hour of time for every hour over 40 (combined work and paid absence) in a workweek.
    18. Can non-exempt employees work overtime whenever they believe it is required to get the job done?

      Overtime must be approved in advance by the department head/unit head or their designated representative. The supervisor may also adjust the schedule within the same work week to manage overtime.   Example: The work week is Thursday-Wednesday. A non-exempt employee works 9 hours on Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, which is a total of 36 hours. The supervisor may allow the employee leave 4 hours early on Wednesday of that work week in order to avoid overtime.

    19. How is travel time paid for non-exempt employees who go out of town for work?

      The principles which apply in determining whether time spent in travel is compensable time depend upon the kind of travel involved.

      • Home to Work Travel:
        An employee who travels from home before the regular workday and returns to his/her home at the end of the workday is engaged in ordinary home to work travel, which is not work time.
      • Home to Work on a Special One Day Assignment in Another City:
        An employee who regularly works at a fixed location in one city is given a special one day assignment in another city and returns home the same day. The time spent in traveling to and returning from the other city is work time, except that the employer may deduct/not count that time the employee would normally spend commuting to the regular work site.
      • Travel That is All in a Day’s Work:
        Time spent by an employee in travel as part of their principal activity, such as travel from job site to job site during the workday, is work time and must be counted as hours worked.
      • Travel Away from Home Community:
        Travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight is travel away from home. Travel away from home is clearly work time when it cuts across the employee’s workday. The time is not only hours worked on regular working days during normal working hours but also during corresponding hours on nonworking days. As an enforcement policy the Wage & Hour Division will not consider as work time that time spent in travel away from home outside of regular working hours as a passenger on an airplane, train, boat, bus, or automobile.
    20. What other resources are available?
      • HR website pages on new System-wide Pay Plan, FLSA, FAQs, etc. Click for more details
      • TrainTraq Online Courses for Employees:
        • 8002: Time Off Issues for Employees – Overview of leave and comp time policies for A&M System employees.
        • 2112755: Comp Time Issues for Employees
      • TrainTraq Online Courses for Supervisors:
        • 2001: Time Off Issues for Supervisors – In-depth course about leave and comp time policies for supervisors and leave coordinators.
        • 2112756: Comp Time Issues for Supervisors
      • TimeTraq Tutorials on timesheets

For more information, please contact Classification and Compensation by email at compensationteam@pvamu.edu or by phone at (936) 261-1730.