Fair Labor Standards Act Overview

In May, the U.S. Department of Labor released new regulations that employers, including academic institutions like Syracuse University, must adopt to comply with the updated Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The revised federal law provides greater clarity for employees and will result in many more professionals across the country becoming eligible for overtime pay.

While the federal government’s regulatory changes do not take effect until December 1, the Office of Human Resources has been in ongoing communications with University leaders about the new rule and how it will affect current staff members. This rule does not apply to teaching faculty or adjunct faculty. As part of the new regulations, some employees will be reclassified from exempt (not eligible for overtime) to non-exempt (eligible for overtime) status based on federal provisions for job classifications.

The University recognizes and respects the dedication all of our employees bring to their work and their critical roles in providing exceptional educational experiences to the University’s more than 21,000 students.

To minimize disruption to those employees who are being reclassified, the University has made two important changes to our benefits and payroll categories that include:

    1. The University is creating a new payroll category, which will allow those employees who are reclassified as non-exempt due to the FLSA changes to remain salaried and continue to be paid semi-monthly. This means these employees will not experience a disruption in the timing of their paychecks but will still be eligible for overtime pay when they work more hours.
    2. The University announced in August 2016 that there will be an extension of current benefit status for exempt employees who will be reclassified as non-exempt as a result of the adoption of the new FLSA regulations. This means any staff member who is reclassified as a non-exempt employee because of the change in FLSA will retain the vacation, sick time, disability benefits and parking lot status associated with the exempt classification even if the employee transfers to another non-exempt position in the future.

Syracuse University is committed to our employees and providing an exceptional work environment. Like other academic institutions that are required by law to comply with the new federal regulations, we are working diligently to manage the process on behalf of our staff in a fair and fiscally responsible manner before the December 1 effective date. To learn more about this new federal rule, please visit the FAQ page.