FAQs for federal changes to wage rules: May 19 update

May 19 update

What is happening?

The U.S. Department of Labor has revised the salary requirement for determining which employees must be paid overtime for hours worked above 40 per week and which employees are exempt from that requirement. The threshold below which employees must be paid for overtime has changed from $23,660 to $47,476.

Why is the DOL changing the regulations and how far-reaching are they?

The purpose of the initial regulations was to ensure employees get paid fairly for the work they do. The salary threshold has not been changed since 2004, so it was decided it needed to be raised. The new regulations will impact nearly all industries across the country, including those in higher education and health care.

How will this affect me?

We do not expect employees who are currently non-exempt or who are exempt with a salary above $47,476 to be affected, though there may be some exceptions. If you are currently an exempt employee making between $23,660 and $47,476, you may be affected.

How do I know if I/my employees are currently exempt or non-exempt?

Exempt employees are paid to perform a specified job for an annual salary without extra compensation for overtime. They are not required to clock in and out of the office each day. Non-exempt employees are paid an hourly wage on a biweekly basis and are eligible for overtime. They are required to use the TimeNet system to clock their hours in and out on a daily basis. Generally, exempt employees are paid monthly and non-exempt are paid bi-weekly, except in Augusta University Medical Associates, where pay is bi-weekly.

If an employee is currently exempt making $30,000, does that mean the employee will be getting a raise?

Exempt employees currently making between $23,660 and $47,476 could see an increase in salary to meet the new required level, or their positions will be converted to non-exempt hourly positions. Human Resources has been working with leaders in each academic and administrative area to identify individuals who will be affected and determine the best course of action for each position.

What happens to employees converted to non-exempt?

We will provide training for employees whose positions are converted from exempt to non-exempt, along with their managers, on changes in procedure for timekeeping, pay schedule, flexible working hours, overtime, comp time, etc.

When will the changes take effect?

The DOL has announced an effective date of Dec. 1, 2016.

How can I get more information?

We have scheduled information sessions on both campuses to review the terms of the final rule, share the work we have done to date to prepare, share next steps and answer your questions. Town Hall meetings (one on the Summerville Campus and one on the Health Sciences Campus) are planned for the week of May 31. Continue to check Jagwire for specific dates and times.

What’s next?

After we communicate changes directly to affected employees, all related information will be posted to Jagwire  as it develops, so please check it regularly.


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