University Policies
Policy Contact
Director, Compensation & Organizational Services Email 401-863-1792

Exempt Staff Pay Policy

Policy No. Issue Date Effective Date

1.0 Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define how Exempt Staff at Brown University will be paid.

2.0 To Whom the Policy Applies

This policy applies to Exempt Staff working at Brown University in Rhode Island. Exempt Staff working in additional states in which the University is registered outside of Rhode Island should contact University Human Resources (UHR) for specific information regarding pay for Exempt Staff in other states. 

3.0 Policy Statement

3.1 Exempt Minimum Salary

Brown University’s minimum annual salary for full-time Exempt Staff is $50,000, or $962.00 per week, or $684.00 per week for part-time Exempt Staff.

3.2 Permissible Reductions of Pay for Exempt Staff

Reductions in pay must be made in full day increments. If Exempt Staff work any hours during a day, they must be paid for the full day. The few exceptions to this are:

  • Absences of one or more full days for personal reasons other than sickness or disability when the employee has exhausted all vacation time or the employee has requested leave without pay.
  • Absences of one or more full days due to sickness or disability when the employee has exhausted all paid leave benefits or is still in the probationary period as a new hire.
  • Unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days in accordance with Brown's policies.
  • Reductions in pay for unpaid leave taken in accordance with a legitimate absence under the Family Medical Leave Act or the Rhode Island Parental and Family Leave Act.
  • Reductions in pay for the first and last week of employment, when only part of the week is worked by the employee.

3.3 Dual Employment for Exempt Staff

Exempt Staff must notify their supervisor of any temporary work arrangement at Brown University outside of their primary department. The scope and duration of the work must be reviewed by the employee’s supervisor to determine if the assignment is outside the scope of the department’s services.

4.0 Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, the terms below have the following definitions:

Exempt Staff:

Exempt Staff, as identified by University Human Resources in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, are exempt from being paid overtime. In addition, full-time Exempt Staff at Brown University must be paid a minimum of an annual salary of $50,000, or $962 per week, or part-time Exempt Staff must be paid $684.00 per week. 


Staff includes full or part-time regular, seasonal/intermittent or union employees.  Staff does not include faculty, post-doctoral students or student workers.

5.0 Responsibilities

All individuals to whom this policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy. University supervisors and employees with student oversight duties are responsible for promoting the understanding of this policy and for taking appropriate steps to help ensure and enforce compliance with it.

University Human Resources, the Payroll Office, and Brown University Departments:  Responsible for ensuring all employees are paid in accordance with federal and state laws and paying employees for all hours worked. 

University Human Resources and the Payroll Office: Responsible for ensuring compliance with federal and state laws and communicating compliance information.  

University Human Resources: Responsible for determining whether positions are exempt or non-exempt and for reviewing all employee pay complaints. University Human Resources is also responsible for evaluating all job descriptions.

Exempt Staff: Responsible for submitting a complaint in writing to University Human Resources if they believe their pay is incorrect. The complaint should include the dates and circumstances of the pay deduction and whether it has occurred on other occasions. 

6.0 Consequences for Violating this Policy

Failure to comply with this and related policies is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension without pay, or termination of employment or association with the University, in accordance with applicable (e.g., staff, faculty, student) disciplinary procedures. 

7.0 Related Information

This policy is not a legal document. This policy does not confer a term of employment, nor is the language intended to establish a contract of employment, express or implied, between any employee and Brown University. The University reserves the right to change, amend or terminate any of its human resources policies at any time for any reason.

Brown University is a community in which employees are encouraged to share workplace concerns with University leadership. Additionally, Brown’s Anonymous Reporting Hotline allows anonymous and confidential reporting on matters of concern online or by phone (877-318-9184).

The following information complements and supplements this document. The information is intended to help explain this policy and is not an all-inclusive list of policies, procedures, laws, and requirements.

7.3 Related Forms


7.4 Frequently Asked Questions

Employees compensated on a salary basis and whose responsibilities meet federal and state requirements are exempt from receiving overtime pay. Employees who do not meet the exemption test are classified as non-exempt and they will receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 during the employer’s workweek.

Yes, the position must be a grade 9 or above to be classified as Exempt.

Sick and vacation time is tracked in half-day increments, not hours. 

7.5 Other Related Information

Policy Owner and Contact(s)

Policy Owner: Vice President for Human Resources

Policy Approved by: Executive Vice President for Finance & Administration

Contact Information:

Director, Compensation & Organizational Services Email 401-863-1792

Policy History

Policy Issue Date:

Policy Effective Date:

Policy Update/Review Summary:

Updated to reflect all states where Brown is registered.

Previous policy versions superseded by this policy:

  • Exempt Staff Pay Policy, Effective Date: May 8, 2020 (date change reflected on website only)
  • Exempt Staff Pay Policy, Effective Date: April 22, 2020
  • Exempt and Non-Exempt Employee Pay (40.030), Revision Date: October 30, 2019


Webpage Updated November 1, 2023