804  Employment Classification

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Human Resource Services
Responsible Officer:  Assistant Vice President, Human Resource Services

I.  Purpose

This policy specifies how employees at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) are designated for purposes of reporting hours under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and for eligibility of benefits. 

II.  Definitions

A.  Exempt.  Employee is ineligible for overtime under the FLSA.

B.  Non-Exempt. Employee is eligible for overtime under the FLSA.

III.  Employee Classification - FLSA

A.  Academic Personnel (Exempt). All faculty members who are directly engaged in instruction, departmental research, or public service. Academic personnel may be employed either on a nine (9), ten (10), eleven (11), or twelve (12)-month service basis (academic year), compensated over a twelve (12)-month period, hereinafter described as academic personnel, or on a twelve (12)-month service basis (fiscal year), compensated over a twelve (12)-month period, hereinafter referred to as twelve (12)-month academic personnel.

B.  Executive, Administrative, and Professional (Exempt). All personnel, other than personnel primarily employed in instruction, research, or public service, who primarily have executive, administrative, and/or professional responsibilities, and whose positions require recognized professional achievement acquired by formal training or equivalent experience. This classification includes non-academic personnel who are exempt from the provisions of the Federal Wage and Hour Law.

C.  Professional (Non-Exempt). All personnel whose positions meet the duties test for exemption under the FLSA but do not meet the salary basis test. 

D.  Adjunct faculty (Exempt). All faculty whose temporary appointments are based on demand each semester.

E.  Clerical, Support, Technical, Maintenance, and Operations Personnel (Non-Exempt). All personnel, other than those classified as executive, professional, academic, or administrative, or who are subject to the provisions of the Federal Wage and Hour Law.

F.  Student Workers (Non-Exempt). All personnel whose primary purpose for being at the University is to be enrolled in an academic program of the University. Student workers are temporary appointments.

G.  Graduate Research Assistants/Graduate Teaching Assistants (Exempt). Appointments subject to Policy 225 Appointment of Graduate Assistants, where the specific terms may be academic year semesters, fiscal year, or based on a percentage of appointment. They may be part-time or full-time temporary appointments.

H.  Graduate Assistants/Administrative (Non-Exempt). Appointments subject to Policy 225 Appointment of Graduate Assistants, where the specific terms may be academic year semesters, fiscal year, or based on a percentage of appointment. They may be part-time or full-time temporary appointments.

I.  Volunteer. An individual not considered an employee, agent, or independent contractor employed by MTSU. 

IV.  Employment Designations for Benefit Purposes

A.  Each employee is assigned one of the following designations:

1.  Regular Full-Time Employees. All personnel (executive, administrative, professional, academic, clerical, support, technical, maintenance, and operations) who are employed on a continuing basis, expected to exceed one (1) year, and who have a regular work week of 37.5 hours or who are scheduled to carry a full teaching load or its equivalent. Regular full-time employees include full-time modified fiscal year employees. Regular full-time employees are eligible for benefits as specified in policy.

2.  Regular Part-Time Employees. All personnel (executive, administrative, professional, academic, clerical, support, technical, maintenance, and operations) who are employed on a continuing basis, expected to exceed one (1) year and who have a regular work week of less than 37.5 hours or who are scheduled to carry less than a full teaching load or its equivalent. Regular part-time employees include part-time modified fiscal year employees. Regular part-time employees are eligible for prorated benefits.

3.  Temporary Employees. All personnel whose period of appointment or expected service is less than one (1) year. This definition should not be confused with employees who are designated as probationary employees, who may be regular full-time or part-time employees, and who are entitled to all leave benefits of such employees. 

a.  Temporary employees are ineligible for benefits. Refer to Policy 202 Faculty Definition, Roles, and Responsibilities and for the temporary appointment type for faculty,  this type may be eligible for benefits.

b.  However, if a temporary employee is budgeted for thirty (30) hours or more at the time of appointment, certain benefits may apply under the Affordable Care Act.

4.  Modified Fiscal Year Employees. All regular, full-time, and part-time personnel whose service period is at least nine (9) months, but less than twelve (12) months. The actual length and work schedule can vary at the discretion of the President or designee.

B.  Breaks in Service

1.  An employee who has worked as a temporary employee for the maximum time of one (1) calendar year must be completely separated and off the payroll for fourteen (14) calendar days before becoming eligible for re-employment in a temporary position.

After one (1) year of employment as a temporary employee, the campus should consider adding a position with benefits if the assignment is needed on a regular basis.

2.  The process for filling the position will follow Policy 801 Personnel Transactions.

C.  Staffing Agency. Temporary employees contracted through a temporary staffing agency are not MTSU employees.  

D.  Volunteer

1.  All volunteers must be registered with the State of Tennessee pursuant to T.C.A. § 8-42-101 prior to beginning work at MTSU. The use of volunteer employees must have the prior approval of the supervisor/department, the President or designee, and Human Resource Services.

a.  The department/division requesting volunteer(s) must ensure that the work assigned to the volunteer(s) does not negatively impact another employee’s duties; i.e., reduction of hours, reassignment, or reclassification.

b.  The volunteer must complete the Statement of Understanding Agreement Form. Since volunteers are not employees, Human Resource Services will not maintain any records of the volunteer(s), other than the Statement of Understanding Agreement Form and will also register the volunteer(s) with the Tennessee Board of Claims.

2.  Non-exempt employees cannot hold a paid position and also perform the same type of duties on a volunteer basis. Non-exempt employees may volunteer at MTSU as long as they perform different services.

Forms: 

Statement of Understanding Agreement Form

Revisions: none.

References: Policies 202  Faculty Definition, Roles, and Responsibilities; 225 Appointment of Graduate Assistants; 801 Personnel Transactions;T.C.A. § 8-42-101.