The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law that affects all appointment types of OSU employees, including classified, professional faculty, and ranked faculty. 

Specific Guidance for Higher Education Positions:

Instructors – under the Professional duties exemption

  • Teachers are exempt if their primary duty is teaching, tutoring, instructing or lecturing in the activity of imparting knowledge, and if they are employed and engaged in this activity as a teacher in an educational establishment.
  • The salary and salary basis requirements do not apply to bona fide teachers
  • For more information on the teaching exemption, please see the DOL website

Graduate Teaching Assistants

  • Graduate teaching assistants who have teaching as their primary duty are covered under the teaching exemption and are not subject to the salary tests, remaining exempt under the Final Rule.

Graduate Research Assistants

  • Generally, the DOL views graduate students who are engaged in research under a faculty member’s supervision in the course of obtaining a degree as being in an educational relationship with the school.  Therefore, the DOL would not assert an employment relationship with either the school or any grantor funding the research.  Thus, in these situations, the DOL will not assert that such workers are entitled to overtime.

Athletic Coaches:

  • Athletic coaches employed by higher education institutions may qualify for the teaching exemption.
  • Athletic instructors who spend more than half of their time instructing student-athletes about physical health, teamwork, and safety likely qualify as exempt teachers.
  • Assistant coaches, for example, who spend most of their time in unrelated activities, such as recruiting or administrative work, are unlikely to have a primary duty of teaching.

Postdoctoral Fellows/Scholars

  • Postdoctoral fellows often meet the duties test for the “learned professional” exemption
  • Must also satisfy the salary basis and salary level tests to qualify for this exemption.

Academic Administrative Positions

  • Positions whose primary duty is performing administrative functions directly related to academic instruction or training in an educational establishment. Examples: Academic advisors or counselors, intervention specialists, or similar positions
  • Employees must either be paid on a salary or fee basis of not less than the salary level, or be paid on a salary basis at least equal to the entrance salary for teachers in the same educational establishment.
  • OSU Instructor Minimum:  $898/week; $46,692 annually

Resident Assistants

  • Student residential assistants enrolled in bona fide educational programs who receive reduced room or board charges or tuition credits from the university are not generally considered employees under the FLSA, and therefore are not subject to the FLSA’s wage and hour requirements.