Salary Basis Policy (Safe Harbor Policy)

The college compensation system for employees is used to provide fair and equitable remuneration for the duties and responsibilities performed. Each job position is evaluated by the Office of Human Resources and assigned an appropriate grade level. Salary schedules have been developed for each grade level consisting of a minimum, mid-point and a maximum.

Some employees at Central are classified as exempt employees who are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). To qualify for exempt status, employees generally must be paid no less than $455 per week on a salary basis. These salary requirements do not apply to faculty, certain administrative, professional and executive employees. Exempt computer employees may be paid at least $455 per week on a salary basis or on an hourly basis at a rate not less than $27.63 per hour.   

Being paid on a “salary basis” means an employee regularly receives a predetermined amount of compensation each pay period on a weekly, or less frequent basis. The predetermined amount cannot be reduced because of variations in quality or quantity of the employee’s work. Subject to exceptions listed below, an exempt employee must receive the full salary for any workweek in which the employee performs any work, regardless of the number of days or hours worked. Exempt employees do not need to be paid for any workweek in which they perform no work. If the employer makes deductions from an employee’s predetermined salary, i.e., because of the operating requirements of the business, that employee is not paid on a “salary basis.” If the employee is ready, willing and able to work, deductions may not be made for time when work is not available. 

Deductions from pay are permissible when an exempt employee: is absent from work for one or more full days for personal reasons other than sickness or disability; for absences of one or more full days due to sickness or disability if the deduction is made in accordance with a bona fide plan, policy or practice of providing compensation for salary lost due to illness; to offset amounts employees receive as jury or witness fees, or for military pay; or for unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days imposed in good faith for workplace conduct rule infractions (see college policy on Personal Conduct). Also, the college is not required to pay the full salary in the initial or terminal week of employment; for penalties imposed in good faith for infractions of safety rules of major significance, or for weeks in which an exempt employee takes unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In these circumstances, either partial day or full day deductions may be made. 

It is our policy to comply with the salary basis requirements of the FLSA. Therefore, the college prohibits all supervisors from making any proper deductions from the salaries of exempt employees. The college wants employees to be aware of this policy and that the college does not allow deductions that violate the FLSA. 

If you believe that an improper deduction has been made to your salary, you should immediately report this information to the Human Resources Administrator or the Office of Academic Affairs, as appropriate. The college encourages reporting of improper deductions. To that end, retaliation of any kind against anyone filing a complaint is prohibited. Any retaliatory conduct is a violation of this policy and individual(s) who engage in such behavior may be subject to sanctions and/or discipline, up to, and including termination from employment regardless of whether the original complaint is substantiated. Initiating a complaint will not affect a complainant’s employment, compensation or work assignments. 

Reports of improper deductions will be promptly investigated. If it is determined than an improper deduction has occurred, you will be promptly reimbursed.