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Compensation Questions

  1. What is the difference between an exempt and nonexempt employee?

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) categorizes employees as either exempt or nonexempt based on tests contained within the Act. FLSA exemption status is determined by the Office of Human Resources and based on the actual job duties and responsibilities performed.

    Exempt employees are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA. Exempt employees are not entitled to be paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

    Nonexempt employees are eligible to receive overtime compensation for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The FLSA allows public employers to give either paid overtime or compensatory time to employees for overtime hours worked, both at a time and one-half rate.

  2. During a two-week pay period, a nonexempt employee works 45 hours in the first week and 35 hours in the second week, for a total of 80 hours during the pay period. Could the department average hours over the two-week pay period to avoid paying overtime?

    No, each workweek stands alone for the purposes of computing overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states any nonexempt employee who works more than 40 hours in one workweek must receive compensation for overtime hours worked, at a time and one-half rate. A workweek at the University of Oklahoma is from Saturday to Friday.
  3. Does compensatory time have a maximum amount? If so, what happens to the excess?

    At the University of Oklahoma, the maximum for compensatory time is 90 hours (60 overtime hours at time and one-half). Any overtime worked beyond this limit must be paid.
  4. Can I use more than one funding account in a pool position?

    Yes. Under People Soft, positions are now tied to a department code so you can have multiple accounts in a pool position. However, pool positions may have only one title.
  5. If my department has position numbers that are no longer in use, can they be re-cycled?

    Yes. The Compensation staff can re-cycle the number for an unbudgeted vacant position.
  6. Why must I fill out a Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ) every time I want to change a position or create a new one?

    The PDQ is a tool that provides an objective overview of duties and responsibilities of a position to assess proper classification of the position. The PDQ also serves as a site-specific job description for an individual position. This documentation is important to insure that the University of Oklahoma is in compliance with State and Federal laws.

    The PDQ should be reviewed as jobs are vacated and re-staffed, or if essential functions have changed significantly, to ensure that the form accurately describes the duties performed.

  7. If my department finds it necessary to create a new position, how do we determine what title to use?

    To create a new position, the departmental supervisor must complete a Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ) outlining the proposed duties. Once the PDQ has gone through the necessary approval process, it is forwarded to Compensation for evaluation. The Compensation staff will review the duties, determine whether the position should be exempt or nonexempt and assign the position to the proper broadband job family. Compensation will issue an approval memorandum to confirm the recommended title.
  8. Why is an organizational chart requested in the Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ)?

    An organizational chart allows the Office of Human Resources to see all positions and their relation to each other within the designated department under review. This is important to appropriately classify positions and assess assigned responsibilities.
  9. Can the minimum requirements for a position be changed?

    The Office of Human Resources determines the minimum requirements for staff positions. If a department desires skills beyond the minimum requirements, they can specify these as preferred qualifications. However, preferred qualifications cannot fall below the minimum requirements.