On March 13, 2014, the President issued a Presidential Memorandum that directed the United States Department of Labor to make changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations that govern the classification of exempt and non-exempt employees. The Department of Labor was instructed to update the regulations to determine what changes might be made to the salary threshold and/or duties test which are used to classify employees as exempt or non-exempt.
Proposed Changes to the Salary Rule.
Currently, a worker may be classified as an exempt employee (and therefore not entitled to overtime pay), if the worker makes at least $455 a week ($23,660 annually for full-time employees) and meets the appropriate designations of the FLSA duties test. The proposed rule change would change the salary test to require a weekly income of $921 ($47,892 annually for full-time employees). Employees making less than $921 per week would no longer be classified as exempt employees and would become entitled to overtime pay for hours worked above 40 hours per week. The changes will become effective in December of this year.
How Might This Affect Schools?
Classroom teachers and academic administrators, such as principals and assistant principals, fall within an exemption (29 CFR 541.303) to the salary rule. These changes would not affect classroom teachers and academic administrators. If the proposed changes are put in place, a narrow class of school employees may be affected. Certain classified employees may be affected by the rule change, including any exempt salaried classified employees meeting a duties test who fall below the proposed salary level. Districts would likely choose to reclassify currently exempt employees not falling within the classroom teacher and academic administrator exemption as non-exempt employees or may choose to increase the salary of otherwise-qualified employees who are near the threshold to maintain their exempt status.
Originally published on 8/23/2016 on www.apsrc.net Legal Briefs, accessed 10/27/17.