Why doesn’t everyone get paid weekly?

Dear Benny:
Why is it that some Penn employees get paid monthly and others get paid weekly? Can you please explain this for me?
—Puzzled About Payday

Dear Puzzled,
According to the Payroll Department, employees at Penn are categorized as either “exempt” or “nonexempt,” in accordance with the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Exempt employees are paid on a monthly basis and are exempt from receiving compensation for overtime hours worked. Non-exempt employees are paid on a weekly basis and must be financially compensated for hours worked beyond 40 in a given pay cycle.

Exempt employee types include all faculty, research associates and administrative employees; teaching assistants, teaching fellows, research assistants and research fellows; graduate students on fellowships paid directly from University of Pennsylvania funds; and retirees, people on long term disability and post-doctoral appointments.

Non-exempt employee types include non-exempt salaried support staff; hourly part-time, temporary workers, occasional workers, and full-time members of bargaining units, including the library; and all non-exempt hourly students, such as Work-Study students.

The monthly pay cycle runs from the first of the month through the last day of the month. Monthly employees are paid based on a ratio of the number of days worked in the month and receive their pay on the last working day of the month.

Exempt employees are automatically paid by the Payroll System based on the information that has been entered into the database.

The weekly pay cycle runs from 12:01 a.m. Monday through midnight Sunday. Weekly employees are paid according to the number of hours worked during the weekly pay period.

Weekly paid employees receive paychecks on the Friday following the Sunday of the week for which they are being paid.

Got a question for Benny? Send it via e-mail to current@pobox.upenn.edu or via regular mail to the Current, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106.

Originally published on May 7, 2009