FAQs: Federal changes to wage rules

What is happening?

The U.S. Department of Labor is revising 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.

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 all 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 $50,440 to be affected, though there may be some exceptions. If you are currently an exempt employee making between $23,660 and $50,440, you may be affected depending on the salary level in the final regulations.

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. If you are uncertain, please check with HR.

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

We can’t say at this point. Exempt employees currently making between $23,660 and the new threshold salary level that will be identified in the final regulations could either see an increase in salary to meet the new required level or their positions will be converted to non-exempt hourly positions. Human Resources is in the process of identifying individuals who would be affected at different salary levels and working with leaders in each academic and administrative area to determine the best course of action for each position. In addition, we are consulting with our counterparts in the University System of Georgia and professional associations in our field to ensure best practices and fair and objective standards for making decisions.

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 time keeping, pay schedule, flexible working hours, overtime, comp time, etc.

What’s next?

We will not know more until the final regulations are issued, and we will communicate any new information as we get it. After we communicate these impending changes directly to employees, all related information will be posted to Jagwire (Jagwire.augusta.edu/employees) as it develops, so please check it regularly. Once we have the regulations, affected employees and their managers will be contacted directly.

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Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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