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University to Protect and Extend Current Benefit Status to Employees Affected by New Federal Labor Standards Act
In May, the U.S. Department of Labor released new regulations that employers, including academic institutions like Syracuse University, must adopt to comply with the updated Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The intent of the revised federal law is to provide greater clarity for employees as it relates to eligibility for overtime pay.
While the federal government’s regulatory changes do not take effect until December 1, 2016, the Office of Human Resources has been in ongoing communications with University leaders about the new rule and how it will affect current staff members. This rule does not apply to faculty or adjunct faculty. As part of the new regulations, some employees will be reclassified from exempt (salaried and not eligible for overtime) to non-exempt (eligible for overtime) status based on federal provisions for job classifications.
As the regulation examinations are underway, the University has proactively decided to extend current benefit status for exempt employees who will be reclassified as non-exempt. This means any staff member who is reclassified as a non-exempt employee will retain the vacation, sick time, disability benefits and parking lot status associated with the exempt classification. Moving forward, new employees will be eligible for benefits associated with the position for which they are hired, or reclassified if they move into a different position.
“While this move is not required by the law, this action demonstrates an exceptional commitment to our employees and affords benefit consistency to any transitioning staff,” says Andrew R. Gordon, senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “Our Human Resources team is thoroughly analyzing the Department of Labor’s new job classifications to determine staff members who may now be allowed to receive overtime pay.”
Gordon says that the Human Resources team is continuing to meet with University leadership, including deans, directors and department heads, to interpret the FLSA changes and ensure the University is compliant with all federal regulations. Employees who are affected by the new law will be personally notified this fall in advance of the December 1 effective date.
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.
To see highlights of this new change, view this infographic.