Survey: Admission Offices Prepared for Changes to Overtime Rule

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect the federal injunction.

Adjusting salaries, altering work schedules, and paying overtime during peak periods are among strategies admission offices plan to use to comply with a new federal rule governing employee pay, according to NACAC survey data.

The updated regulations — originally scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1 — would significantly broaden the pool of employees eligible for overtime pay through the Fair Labor Standards Act.  However, a federal judge’s injunction last week has halted the rule’s implementation.

When the  proposed change was unveiled in May, many in higher education expressed concern about the impact it would have on college admission offices. Under the new rule, any salaried or hourly employee earning less than an estimated $50,400 annually would be entitled to time-and-a-half for work that exceeds 40 hours per week.

The current cutoff for overtime is $23,660.

Nearly all of the 408 admission professionals surveyed by NACAC this fall reported that their institution had either finalized strategies to comply with the new rule or were on track to do so by the time the rule was due to take effect.

Top strategies included:
• Paying overtime during peak periods (53.9 percent)
• Adjusting salaries upward for certain employees (43.9 percent)
• Altering work schedules for non-exempt staff (37 percent)
• Using comp time (17.2 percent)
• Increasing travel time for senior employees (12.7 percent)
• Allowing employees to bank overtime (11.5 percent)
• Hiring seasonal or temporary staff (7.1 percent)

Read more survey results and learn more about the new overtime rule.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

2 thoughts on “Survey: Admission Offices Prepared for Changes to Overtime Rule”

  1. Can you tell me more about the following strategies you cite:
    • Using comp time (17.2 percent)
    • Allowing employees to bank overtime (11.5 percent)
    On the face of it, those sound like things that violate the law, but if your respondents have figured out a way to do that legally it would be most helpful. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for your question! I spoke with our government relations team. They pointed me to this resource: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/highered-guidance.pdf

      I looks like pages 12-13 address the issue. According to the guide, “overtime-eligible employees generally may not accrue more than 240 hours of comp time, but employees engaged to work in a public safety activity, an emergency response activity, or a seasonal activity may accrue as much as 480 hours of comp time….If an overtime-eligible public employee receives comp time instead of overtime pay, the comp time must be credited at the same rate as cash overtime: no less than 1.5 hours of comp time for each hour of overtime worked.”

      Since an employee is allowed to accrue up to 240 hours, banking is allowed.

      Hope that helps answer your question!

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