Expectations for Exempt Employees

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Policy Code: 
3208
Approval Authority: 
Chancellor
Policy Type: 
University Policy
Policy Owner: 
Chancellor's Office
Responsible Office: 
Human Resources - 828.251.6605

I. Purpose

All positions at UNC Asheville are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act, State of North Carolina law, and UNC System policies to ensure that employees in exempt and nonexempt positions are classified correctly and paid appropriately.  The Office of Human Resources is responsible for determining the classification of positions as exempt or nonexempt based on FLSA criteria. The Office of Human Resources, the Payroll Office, and departments are responsible for ensuring that all employees are paid in accordance with federal and state laws.

This policy provides expectations for exempt employees regarding pay practices, leave usage, and performance of duties based on outcomes and meeting business needs.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all EHRA and SHRA staff who are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

III. Policy

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), also referred to as the federal Wage and Hour Law, regulates minimum wage, overtime, equal pay, recordkeeping, and child labor. Under the FLSA, positions are classified as either exempt or nonexempt from certain provisions, such as minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping.  The Office of Human Resources, the Payroll Office, and departments are responsible for ensuring that all employees are paid in accordance with federal and state laws.

Pay for Employees in Exempt Positions

Exempt employees are paid an established monthly or annual salary and are expected to fulfill the duties of their position regardless of the number of hours worked. Full-time exempt employees are typically expected to be at work during the university’s standard business hours.  The number of hours worked each week may vary to meet the responsibilities assigned to the position. 

Exempt employees have the flexibility to work more or less than 40 hours per week, with an emphasis on results and meeting business needs. They are expected to communicate proactively with their supervisors regarding any variances in their schedule.

Exempt employees routinely receive their full salary for any week in which they perform work without regard to the number of days or hours worked.  They cannot have their pay reduced based on the quantity or quality of work performed.  Exempt employees use leave and report leave time used in whole or half-day increments. 

Permissible Deductions from Pay for Employees in Exempt Positions

Deductions to pay must be made in whole or half-day increments. If an exempt employee works any hours during a day, they must be paid for the full day. The few exceptions to the requirement to pay exempt employees on a salary basis are listed below.

  • Absences of one or more full days for personal reasons other than sickness or disability when the employee has exhausted all vacation time or the employee has requested leave without pay.
  • Absences of one or more full days due to sickness or disability when the employee has exhausted all paid leave benefits.
  • Unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days in accordance with applicable policies.
  • Deductions for unpaid leave taken in accordance with a legitimate absence under the Family Medical Leave Act.
  • Deductions for the first and last week of employment, when only part of the week is worked by the employees.

Professional Scheduling

The university seeks to provide the opportunity for exempt employees to balance their professional and personal commitments. It is understood that a full-time exempt employee will generally work a minimum of 40 hours per week; however, in the scope of an exempt employee’s normal job, work outside the usual schedule is often required. This might include evening meetings, weekends, extended travel, or work hours well beyond 40 in a given week.

In using professional scheduling, exempt employees may (with supervisory approval) come in later than usual, take additional lunch time, or leave work early to provide some balance to work time and personal time without having to take vacation, sick, or bonus leave. When circumstances require extraordinary time commitments to meet business needs, supervisors may grant additional time off; however, this is not to be determined on an hour-for-hour basis.

While all employees who earn leave must keep records of when they use part of their leave balances, professional scheduling does not require extra record keeping for exempt staff.


Compensatory Time

SHRA Staff

SHRA employees whose positions are classified as FLSA Exempt may earn compensatory time when they work more than forty-five hours in a workweek, in accordance with OSHR's Compensatory Time Policy  and UNC Asheville’s Compensatory Time Policy for SHRA Exempt Employees.

EHRA Staff

EHRA employees whose positions are classified as FLSA Exempt do not earn compensatory time when they work more than forty hours in a workweek. Compensatory time is not to be accumulated, tracked, used or paid out for EHRA FLSA Exempt employees, except as specifically mandated by State and/or UNC policies (such as UNC Policy 300.2.15, which requires overtime pay or equivalent compensatory time for some EHRA FLSA Exempt employees who are designated as mandatory during pandemic and communicable disease emergencies).

Recordkeeping / Leave Records

EHRA and SHRA staff who are in positions designated as FLSA Exempt must complete a monthly leave record, recording leave taken during the month in whole or half-day increments.  If no leave is taken, the report should indicate that no leave was taken.

UNC Asheville’s standard workweek begins at 12:00:01 a.m. on Monday, and ends at 12:00 a.m. (midnight) on Sunday.

Questions

For questions about this policy, contact the Office of Human Resources at 828.251.6605.