If My Job Is Or Becomes Non-Exempt, Why Can’t I Teach at Valencia?

non-exempt-grove

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

Throughout last month’s Total Rewards Meetings, which featured information about the recent Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) changes and the ruling’s impact on Valencia, many thoughtful questions surfaced. One of those questions was: “If my job is or becomes non-exempt, why can’t I teach classes at Valencia?” As many people asked this question, I wanted to make sure to answer it in as much detail as possible.  

I realize this is an emotionally charged question, as many employees teach not for the money, but for the personal and professional desire to empower our students. That said, I want to express my gratitude for those of you who feel this way. It is dedicated people like you who make Valencia such a great place to work and learn.

Unfortunately, while the College deeply values all of its faculty, including staff members who double as professors, non-exempt employees are not permitted to teach credit-bearing courses at Valencia and have not been able to do so since 2005. This does impact employees who currently teach credit-bearing courses, but who will become non-exempt as of Sunday, November 20, 2016. It also impacts non-exempt staff members who hoped to teach Valencia courses in the future.

The reason behind the decision to not permit non-exempt employees to teach credit-bearing courses is rooted in financial risk and, more importantly, fairness and consistency.

The Department of Labor, which oversees and enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), mandates that if an employee assumes an additional part-time job to his or her non-exempt primary job with the same employer, then all hours worked in both the primary and part-time job must be counted as non-exempt. As such, employees who work a full-time job and teach part-time would be paid overtime (time and a half) for all hours worked over 40 in the work week.

Not only is this scenario cost-prohibitive, but it could also lead to a lack of fairness and consistency in faculty compensation for similar course loads. See the below example for an illustration of why:

While I wish it was possible for all Valencia staff to teach classes at Valencia, I hope this example helps illustrate why it’s not a feasible practice for the College.

I also hope that, if you are impacted as a newly non-exempt employee, you consider teaching part-time at another institution such as Seminole State College or the University of Central Florida. Keep in mind that many colleges and universities in our region have similar policies, so we are working within our network to share our colleges’ teaching talent with one another to sustain academic excellence for the students in our area.

Furthermore, this policy does not apply to continuing education courses at Valencia — which means non-exempt employees are welcome to teach these courses.

If you are exempt from earning overtime and have the appropriate credentialing and supervisor approval, you may inquire with departments at Valencia regarding  possible teaching needs of that department.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at abosley@valenciacollege.edu or extension 8255. You may also contact Mary Beth Clifton, assistant vice president, total rewards and workforce planning, at mclifton4@valenciacollege.edu or extension 8263 or Laurie Youngman, director, compensation and workforce planning, at lyoungman@valenciacollege.edu or extension 8116.

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