New federal overtime pay regulations go into effect Dec. 1

HR will work with affected managers and employees to make sure they understand the changes

When new federal rules about who receives overtime pay go into effect Dec. 1, close to 700 Johns Hopkins University employees whose positions are currently exempt will be affected along with millions of other professionals across the country.

Under the new rules, all individuals making less than $47,476 will be eligible for overtime pay. Previously the salary threshold was $23,660, and the new amount will continue to adjust every three years. JHU Human Resources representatives have been working for several months with school and department leaders and faculty to review all positions that are currently exempt from overtime but need to change when the new salary threshold goes into effect.

The new salary level is part of the changes made to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which outlines the type of duties and the salary for positions to be exempt from overtime. President Barack Obama announced that expanded overtime eligibility was a priority focus of his administration and, following several years of review and employer input on the issue, the Department of Labor announced new rules in May.

Many of the affected employees' positions will become nonexempt (overtime eligible). Those individuals will start tracking their hours every week and receive overtime pay when they earn it. The changes will not affect employees' base salaries or benefits. Some positions will meet the exemption criteria if the individual receives a salary increase to or above the $47,476 level.

"This is a significant change that is a direct result of mandatory compliance requirements," says Heidi Conway, vice president for human resources. "Our teams are working to make sure the changes are equitable across divisions, fair, and transparent while ensuring our institution is meeting all of its legal requirements."

HR will work with managers and employees to ensure they understand the changes; all those affected will receive detailed communications by early November.

"An exemption change has no impact on any employee's value or importance to the university," Conway says. "Employers across the country are facing this challenge as these regulations bring about sweeping changes."

Additional details about the FLSA regulations will be available on the Human Resources website by early November.

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