University Announces New Resources, Additional Efforts Related to Changes in Fair Labor Standards Act
An educational campaign—including the launch of a new website—is underway to ensure that employees understand the impact of new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations. Since the regulations were announced earlier this year, the University’s leadership within schools, colleges and administrative units supported by the Office of Human Resources undertook an analysis of all potentially impacted positions.
“Syracuse University is home to nearly 5,000 faculty and staff, all of whom play a critical role in providing an exceptional educational experience to the University’s more than 21,000 students,” says Andrew R. Gordon, chief human resources officer and senior vice president. “Our employees help drive student success and the success of the University. Ensuring they are compensated fairly and appropriately for their work is our priority.”
The new website is dedicated to providing pertinent FLSA information, as well as the answers to frequently asked questions. Additionally, experienced senior human resource staff are in the process of scheduling a number of meetings with staff and supervisors to discuss what the FLSA regulations mean for their current positions.
In late May, updated regulations were released that employers, including academic institutions like Syracuse University, must follow in order to comply with FLSA. As part of the new FLSA regulations, some employees may be reclassified from exempt (not eligible for overtime) to non-exempt (eligible for overtime) status based on federal provisions for job classifications. The new regulations take effect Dec. 1.
Under the revised law, eligibility for overtime pay is determined by federal guidelines and certain tests of job duties and pay. This change provided human resources with an opportunity to review, evaluate and identify outdated job classifications, and modernize descriptions and duties associated with specific positions. This rule does not apply to faculty or adjunct faculty.
The University is also creating a new payroll category, which will allow those employees who are reclassified as non-exempt due to the FLSA changes to remain salaried and continue to be paid semi-monthly. This means these employees will not experience a disruption in the timing of their paychecks but will still be eligible for overtime pay when they work more hours.
As previously announced, the University has proactively decided to extend current benefit status for exempt employees who will be reclassified as non-exempt as a result of the changes to the FLSA. This means any staff member who is reclassified as a non-exempt employee under this review will retain the vacation, sick time, disability benefits and parking lot status associated with the exempt classification even if they transfer to another non-exempt position in the future.
Additional information will be forthcoming as the analysis of positions progresses. Employees who have immediate questions about the new regulations or their current benefits are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources at 315.443.4042 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.