FLSA Definitions

  • FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act): The federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, and recordkeeping requirements for employees in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments, including Mississippi State University. Under FLSA regulations, some employees are designated as exempt from overtime payments and recordkeeping regulations, and others are designated as nonexempt and are subject to overtime payments and recordkeeping regulations. At MSU, exempt staff may be called Professional and non-exempt staff may be called Support Staff.
  • Exempt: Employees who are excluded from regulations governing overtime payments and recordkeeping requirements.
  • Non-exempt: Employees who are paid hourly and must record the hours they work. Non-exempt employees who work more than forty (40) hours in a workweek must be compensated, either through overtime pay or compensatory time.
  • Overtime: Hours worked over forty (40) in a workweek by a non-exempt employee.
  • Overtime pay: The practice of paying non-exempt employees one-and-one-half times their hourly pay for hours worked over forty (40) in a workweek.
  • Compensatory time (Comp time): Overtime that is recorded as time off in lieu of payment for overtime hours worked. Compensatory time is accrued at the rate of one-and-one-half hours for each hours worked over forty (40) in one workweek.
  • Flexible scheduling: Allows a supervisor to alter an employee’s start and finish times for days worked during the workweek.
  • Hours worked: The FLSA requires overtime pay for hours worked over forty (40) in a workweek. When calculating overtime, MSU’s policy does not include leave, jury duty, FMLA, administrative closing and other paid time off where hours are not actually worked.
  • Annual base salary: Annual base salary is defined as pay for the employee’s primary position/job only. It does not include additional pay such as supplemental pay, second assignment pay, etc.
  • Workweek: A workweek is the unit of time used to determine wages due to employees. One workweek is defined as a regularly recurring period of 168 hours, which equates to seven consecutive 24-hour periods. MSU’s workweek starts at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday and ends at 12:00 midnight on the following Saturday.