Emory Report
August 30, 2004
Volume 57, Number 02


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August 30, 2004
Biweekly pay change to wait

By Katherine Hinson

Realizing that sudden change can be difficult and hoping that extra time will give employees and departments a chance to prepare for the impact of new federal labor regulations, the University has decided to delay the transition from monthly to biweekly pay until February 2005 for the some 880 employees affected.

Changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that went into effect last week caused concern not just at Emory but across the country. Since its creation in the 1930s, the law has defined which employees are eligible for overtime and which are not.

During the next four months, the University will review its compliance with FLSA. “We want to gather more information to ensure the best possible results for Emory,” said Alice Miller, vice president for Human Resources (HR). “We will be working with schools and divisions to better understand and address individual situations and to review the initial determinations.”

A special website—http://emory.hr.emory.edu/flsa—has been established to provide the Emory community with additional information on FLSA. The site contains answers to frequently asked questions, a list of job titles that are currently affected, relevant policies and procedures, up-to-date communications to the University community, and contact information for employees with questions.

Also, HR is working with Emory leadership and departmental representatives to develop a review process for affected positions. As soon as more information becomes available about this process, it will be communicated to the Emory community via print and the FLSA website.

Even though the affected employees will continue to be paid monthly until February 2005, they should now be recording their hours worked each week and are eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours during a work week. However, they may not work off the clock. There are no changes to job responsibilities, and nonexempt employees can be timekeepers but cannot approve their own time.

The new timesheet for employees to use during this transition period is now available both on the FLSA site and on the Office of Finance webpage at www.emory.edu/FINANCE. This timesheet will be used to record time worked per week as well as any overtime worked. Please note that the standard biweekly process for submitting time will not be used for this group of employees until February 2005. Both the Finance and FLSA websites provide instructions on how to administer pay for monthly paid, nonexempt employees and request payment for overtime worked.

When the Department of Labor ruled that the new revisions would go into effect Aug. 23, the academic year or the budgeting process was not taken into consideration, so there will be ongoing conversations about the impact to departmental budgets. However, payment of overtime is not optional and steps are being taken to develop a strategy for meeting these unplanned budget impacts.

“Remember,” Miller said, “these changes in no way detract from the important role and valuable contribution each employee makes to Emory.”

HR has established an FLSA “answer line” at 404-727-4744 or via e-mail at flsa@emory.edu. Anyone with questions may call or e-mail them, and they will be reviewed and answered promptly.