Community Announcement: Changes in federal law to affect some employees at Willamette

The Department of Labor is increasing the minimum requirement for exempt employees.

Effective December 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is increasing the minimum salary requirement for employees to be “exempt” from overtime pay from $455 to $913 weekly (which is equivalent to an annual salary of $47,476). This means that current employees who make less than $913 weekly must be paid for hours worked, plus time and a half for all hours worked “overtime” beyond 40 hours in a week.

The change does not impact employees whose primary duty is teaching.

All employers are required by law to implement this change – and neither the employee nor the employer can waive the requirement. Job titles do not determine whether or not an employee is paid hourly.

In addition to hourly pay and overtime, non-exempt employees must also take mandatory meal and rest breaks. These breaks are established based on hours worked and cannot be used to adjust the beginning or end of the employee’s work shift.

In light of the change, Willamette explored options to create a more equitable vacation accrual program for all employees. As of December 1, non-exempt employees will accrue vacation benefits at the same rate as exempt employees. This significant adjustment will impact current non-exempt employees who were not accruing vacation at the same rate as exempt employees in the past, as well as exempt employees who shift to non-exempt status as a result of the DOL’s new requirements.

Willamette’s human resources office has established a list of frequently asked questions about the change and how it impacts employees at the university. Employees affected by the change have been contacted by their supervisors and will receive additional information from human resources.

Employees are encouraged to talk to their supervisors or to contact human resources with specific questions.

For more information:
Human Resources
hr@willamette.edu503-370-6210

Additional information and FAQs can be found online via the Human Resources website.