Inside Clemson

Clemson adjusts overtime exemptions based on Department of Labor ruling

On Sept. 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule regarding overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The DOL’s final rule includes updated earnings thresholds that employers must consider when exempting employees in certain positions from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements. The DOL’s rule does not make changes to the “duties tests” for these positions, which remain a critical factor in determining overtime exemption. The updated “standard salary level” threshold necessary to exempt an employee from FLSA overtime pay requirements will be $35,568 annually. Employees who are “exempt” are not entitled to overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek and, consequently, are not required to track hours worked.

The Office of Human Resources recently completed a review of approximately 1,400 Clemson University positions and has made determinations regarding overtime exemption status based on the DOL’s new rule. During this review, the following factors were considered:

  1. Whether or not the duties listed on the employee’s position description meet the duties test for executive, academic administrative, administrative, computer or professional exemptions as defined by the DOL’s regulations.
  2. Whether or not the employee is paid on a salaried basis.
  3. Whether or not the employee earns $35,568 or more annually.

Because exemptions are based on all three of these criteria, many employees making above $35,568 will remain FLSA “nonexempt,” meaning they will continue to track their time worked and will be eligible for overtime pay.

What’s next?

  • This week, approximately 300 employees whose FLSA status is changing to “exempt” will receive a communication from the Office of Human Resources explaining the rule and detailing any changes. Each employee’s supervisor will be copied on the message.
  • Exemption status changes will become effective Dec. 15, 2019.
  • Employees whose positions are FLSA “exempt” are not eligible to receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Additionally, these employees are not required to track their hours worked in Kronos or on a time sheet.
  • At this time, no further action is required.

A list of frequently asked questions and answers is available for your reference.