Federal Fair Labor Standards Act Revision Has Minimal Impact on Mason

Posted: February 2, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

In late April 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor revised sections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that dealt with the tests used to determine which jobs are eligible for overtime pay; the new revisions went into full effect on Aug. 23. Under the revisions, fewer employees are exempt from being eligible for overtime pay, with the minimum salary for consideration of exempt status being raised from $150-250 per week to $455 per week or $23,660 annually.

According to Ilse Riddick, compensation manager, Human Resources and Payroll, university staff reviewed classified employee positions in pay bands 3 and 4 in response to the FLSA revisions. “We took a very conservative approach [when] interpreting the FLSA changes,” says Riddick, adding that employees in bands 1 and 2 were already eligible for overtime pay, and employees in pay bands 5 and up are still exempt from receiving overtime pay.

As a result of the revisions, approximately 100 George Mason employees became eligible to receive overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours per week. University offices and departments that are affected have been made aware of the legal changes and are working to limit their overtime costs.

Unlike private sector employers, federal, state, and local governments are able to offer eligible employees overtime leave instead of overtime pay, which is at the rate of 1.5 times the number of hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. As a state university, George Mason is also able to offer overtime leave to eligible employees in lieu of overtime pay.

Riddick notes that the FLSA is “a very technical and complex law,” and George Mason employees seeking further information are strongly encouraged to check information on Human Resources and Payroll’s Classification and Compensation web page. A PowerPoint presentation with useful technical information is also available at the site.

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