Georgia Tech, in collaboration with the University System of Georgia, has developed an approach to new Fair Labor Standards Act federal regulatory changes. This webpage is your source for information and tools related to Georgia Tech's FLSA implementation. Check back often for tools and resources to assist you in the transition.
The FLSA Final Ruleset raises the minimum salary threshold required for an employee to be considered exempt from overtime from $23,660 annually to $47,476 annually.
This change in no way reflects adversely on the value of employees’ work or the importance of their contributions to Georgia Tech. The change of position from exempt to non-exempt is necessary to comply with the Department of Labor regulations and provides employees with wage and hour protection afforded by the legislation. A change from exempt to non-exempt status will have no impact on pay grade, benefit elections, or your base hourly rate.
All jobs are categorized by an employment classification determined by the FLSA. Georgia Tech Human Resources works within FLSA guidelines in evaluating the employment classifications of all staff and faculty positions. This takes place during the creation, back-filling, or re-classification of positions.
These classifications are based on several factors such as the actual job duties outlined in the job description, as well as the salary, among other things.
Not Eligible for overtime
Must record exceptions to work (Sick, Vacation, Jury Duty, Bereavement, etc.)
Eligible for overtime
Must record all hours worked in addition to absences
Non-exempt employees must be paid for all hours worked. Hours worked include all the time during which an employee is required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty, or at a prescribed workplace.
Higher Education Specifics
Many faculty members will be unaffected by the FLSA changes because they meet the FLSA's "teaching exemption." Some specialized faculty members who do not teach may be impacted (including those working part-time). Any specialized faculty reclassified to non-exempt will become overtime eligible (pre-approval of any overtime hours will be required) and will have new timekeeping procedures.
Adjunct instructors may also be exempt as teachers if they are employed and engaged as teachers in an educational establishment, where their primary duty is teaching, tutoring, instructing or lecturing.
Academic administrative personnel generally eligible for this exemption include: department heads; academic counselors and advisors; intervention specialists who must be available to respond to student academic issues; and other employees with similar responsibilities provided they are paid on a salary or fee basis of not less than the salary level, or be paid on a salary basis at least equal to the entrance salary for teachers in the same educational establishment.
Most students working for the Institute are hourly workers who do not work more than 40 hours per week. The Final Rule will not affect these students.
Graduate teaching assistants who have teaching as their primary duty are not subject to salary tests and, therefore, remain exempt under the Final Rule.
Generally, the Department of Labor views graduate and undergraduate students who are engaged in research under a faculty member’s supervision in the course of obtaining a degree as being in an educational relationship with the school.
Enrolled student residential assistants receiving reduced room or board charges or tuition credits from the Institute are not generally considered employees under the FLSA, and therefore not subject to the FLSA’s wage and hour requirements.
Changing from Exempt to Non-Exempt
The most significant change associated with moving from exempt to non-exempt status is the change from being paid Monthly to Bi-Weekly (every two weeks).
The calendar explains which days are included in a pay period for each check. For best results, print the calendar format document in color.
Benefits (medical, dental, etc.) as well as parking deductions will be split between bi-weekly checks for non-exempt employees.
Non-exempt employees who are signed up for Flexible Spending Accounts, which are accounts designed to save money on taxes for health care or dependent care expenses, will not have to do anything. Their deductions will be recalculated automatically to be deducted in the remaining checks for 2016.
Employees enrolled in retirement plans will have deductions recalculated automatically to spread over the remaining pay checks for 2016.
Wage garnishments and flat additional deductions for taxes and retirement plans that were coming out monthly will need to be adjusted to prevent the same amount from coming out per check as a bi-weekly employee.
Travel Time Guidance
Managing compensation for travel time for overtime-eligible employees can be challenging. To help you accurately track, calculate and report travel time, Georgia Tech Human Resources has developed a general guidance document. GTHR encourages managers and employees to consult with a human resources representative for specific guidance before travel occurs.