Ask Amy — Practical Advice for Supervisors: How Will the Recent Fair Labor Standards Act Ruling Impact Us at Valencia?

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A Message from Amy Bosley, Vice President of Organizational Development and Human Resources

This is a great question that has generated a lot of interest across the College (and the nation).

To summarize the issue, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued a ruling, updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA is a federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, record keeping and child labor standards. The law affects full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments.

In the recent update, effective Thursday, December 1, 2016, the minimum payment required to qualify sliceas an exempt employee (or salaried employee who is not eligible for overtime pay) will change from $455 a week ($23,660 a year) to $913 a week ($47,476 a year). Thus, starting Thursday, December 1, 2016, employees must earn at least $47,476 a year AND meet the exemption criteria established by the Department of Labor to be considered exempt.

Exemption criteria is used to evaluate the duties, tasks and responsibilities of the position, not the individual performing them. After the evaluation of the position is complete and an exemption determination for the position is made, employees who do not meet the exemption criteria and/or earn less than that amount will be classified as a non-exempt employee who will be eligible for overtime pay.

At this time, we estimate that approximately 300 employees who are currently in positions considered exempt may no longer meet the test for exemption and may become non-exempt.

Non-exempt employees are paid to work for a specific number of hours per week (40), and Valencia’s non-exempt employees are responsible for recording all hours worked through Atlas. Non-exempt employees must be compensated for all hours worked over 40 in a given work week — Valencia’s work week runs from Sunday to Saturday.

Exempt employees, on the other hand, are paid a salary to complete a job — regardless of the number of hours worked — and do not record hours of work as they are paid a salary (and may not be paid an hourly rate).

This change does not impact faculty, as there is a special teaching exemption under the law.

We are currently assessing what impact this may have for the College, our students and our employees. Final determinations for the entire College have not yet been made. We will communicate with all employees about this change extensively in the fall through open forum sessions across the College to help educate all employees on what the FLSA changes mean and the impacts the changes will likely have at Valencia. In late October, we will provide important communications to individuals and their leadership who are affected. We are developing and exploring options that consider the impact for the entire College, not just individual employees.

As the ruling’s effective date of December 1, 2016, falls in the middle of a pay period, Valencia will be in compliance with the new law effective Sunday, November 20, 2016.

Please read The Grove for more communications on this important topic in the upcoming months.

Ask Amy” is designed to provide supervisors with guidance to successfully navigate opportunities and challenges in your daily work, as you create a culture for employee success within your teams. Each month, I, along with featured guest contributors, will address a question and offer practical solutions from which all supervisors can benefit.

If you would like to ask a question, simply email me with “Ask Amy” in the subject line. Submissions will be included anonymously in the Supervisor Segment and The Grove, and will be addressed monthly as they are received.

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