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October 4 , 2004
HR, consultant to review 850 FLSA-affected jobs
By katherine hinson
As reported in late August, approximately 850 jobs at Emory are affected by recent changes to the Fair Standards Labor Act (FLSA), a federal regulation that mandates which kinds of jobs must be eligible for overtime pay.
However, according to Steven Greene, a consultant with whom the University has contracted in its compliance efforts, Emory is distinctive in that it has classified such roles as administrative assistant exclusively as “exempt” (paid on salary and not eligible for overtime), and therefore the impact to its employee population was more dramatic.
Each position originally identified as affected by the FLSA changes will be reviewed for accuracy. As part of this effort, Alice Miller, vice president for Human Resources (HR), has been meeting with the deans and vice presidents of each school and division to ensure they understand the review process and to develop the best process for collecting position-specific information in their areas. Many of the unit leaders have said this is a great opportunity to better understand the role these employees play within their organizations.
Greene, managing partner in the Atlanta law firm of Boyd & Greene, specializes in FLSA compliance audits. He will help the University in the review process and provide training to the 50 designated division and school representatives who will be assisting HR with the individualized reviews. The review process will begin this month.
The committee, in coordination with HR, will make recommendations as to which positions should remain exempt. These recommendations will then be evaluated by Greene for final determinations. Leadership will review these determinations and communicate the results with their employees.
As there will be employees who will move from monthly to biweekly pay, HR will begin offer personal-budgeting classes in November, continuing into early next year. These classes will be open to everyone and will focus on budget issues surrounding the FLSA-related change.
Regarding overtime: it is paid on time worked in excess of 40 hours in a given week—not hours paid, according to HR. For example, if an employee works 33 hours in a particular work week and receives
8 hours of vacation or holiday pay, the employee would not receive overtime pay in that particular week, even though the employee is paid for 41 hours of work. Rather, the employee would receive the regular time rate of pay.
Additionally, employees who are paid biweekly can work flexible schedules with the approval of their supervisor. Therefore, an employee can work four 10-hour days and still be eligible for overtime if the time worked exceeds 40 hours in that given week.
Telephone and e-mail answer lines, established by HR to handle questions about FLSA, are still open (404-712-4744 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Each call and e-mail will be responded to individually. Also, there is a Frequently Asked Questions page online at http://emory.hr.emory.edu/flsa.