how is your company handling the halt to the new overtime rule?

A reader writes:

My entire company rescinded the promised raises under the new FLSA guideline. I’d love to hear from other readers what their companies did – any chance we can get a thread this week on it?

Yes indeed.

To catch people up who may not be aware: A new overtime rule that would have required an additional 4.2 million American workers to be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week — and which was scheduled to go into effect tomorrow — was blocked last week by a Texas judge, who issued a temporary injunction halting the rule nationwide.

The injunction is a temporary one, which means that it’s possible the rule could move forward again at some point … but with a new administration and Congress coming in, most observers believe that it’s pretty likely that it won’t move forward in its current form at all. The salary threshold for overtime pay will probably still go up at some point, but maybe with a smaller increase, and it might be phased in over time instead. That’s just speculation though; right now we really don’t know.

Anyway, let’s talk about how employers are handling this. Is your employer rescinding raises that were scheduled to bring people up to the new salary threshold, or letting those raises stay in place? If you were made non-exempt in anticipation of the new rule, is your employer keeping you non-exempt or moving you back to exempt? Tell all below.

{ 412 comments… read them below }

  1. Dave Espinosa*

    My wife’s company moved her from exempt to non-exempt a few weeks ago. They provided her with a raise and a bonus for doing so and she signed her contract to go forward. And now here we are..the day before Dec. 1 and they havent told her anything. Are they rescinding the offer? Are they not? Does she have to clock in and out beginning tomorrow? Overtime?

    The whole thing is beginning to really piss her and I off. We have no idea what’s happening and her attempts to find out have yielded zero results.

    1. Jeanne*

      I think she’s getting zero results because the companies are just as confused as the rest of us. You are right to be upset.

    2. Emmie*

      I can understand why you’re frustrated. Reach out to HR, and / or the to the person she signed a document with, so she can get information – even if it’s “I’m working on it.”

    3. Dina Khmelnitsky*

      She signed a contract – those terms should cover it, tbh. Maybe there’s a contingency clause that explains what happens if the law falls through.

    4. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Did she sign an actual employment contract (unusual for most workers in the U.S.) or — more likely/more common — an agreement to the new wage that preserved that at-will employment relationship? If it’s the latter, they can change it at any time, just not retroactively.

      1. Jason*

        I have an employee contract that states I’m salary. A month ago, that agreement was amended making me hourly.

        Now they want to switch me to salary.

        Do I have to agree to become salary again?

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          They can require it as a condition of your job (and probably will). You can certainly try to advocate for staying hourly and maybe you can convince them, but ultimately they get to make that call.

  2. WorkerBee 23*

    I was made hourly (even though my salary was above the threshold!) & unfortunately am staying hourly. Apparently it had something to do with the decision-making process of each role? I dunno but I am annoyed – I mentioned in another post that my company treats hourly employees like children so to know this change was made due to the new law & the change is staying despite the new law not going into effect after all… ugh.

    1. Natalie*

      “Apparently it had something to do with the decision-making process of each role?”

      The exemption test is two-pronged: salaries and duties. You have to meet both prongs to be exempt, but (in my experience) a LOT of companies completely ignored the duties test. It may be that someone in your legal department realized a whole lot of employees were misclassified based on their duties, no matter what they were paid.

      Sorry they treat their non-exempt staff like children, though. That’s entirely on them and not remotely necessary.

      1. Mona Lisa*

        This was happening in my last organization for sure. The HR lady thought that, as long as “admin” or “assistant” wasn’t in the title, she could make everyone exempt, including the front desk/shop people at our regional offices. When I was promoted to a new title to go with a system conversion, the role we created was expressly forbidden from having “administrator” in the title because she thought that would tip my into non-exempt.

        1. Manic Pixie HR Girl*

          Yeah, no, that’s not how that works. You can call the position Giant Paperclip Time Card Puncher, but if the duties (and salary, of course) meet the test, it can be classified as exempt.

          In fact, “Administrator” is in my official title and I am very much on exempt solid ground, as are many colleagues.

          (I’m assuming this comes as no surprise to you, but felt the need to chime in when I saw that!)

          1. Mona Lisa*

            Definitely! I didn’t know much about exempt vs. non-exempt when I started my original position there (which should probably have been non-exempt based on the job description) and only came to understand the differences through reading AAM. It still amazes me how incompetent and clueless our HR lady was.

            When I took my new university position at a 25% raise, I was actually happy to go back to being non-exempt because I was excited not to have that same pressure to work overtime that I had at the awful non-profit. It’s interesting that so many people look at non-exempt as a demotion; I saw it as a way to reclaim my time.

            1. Koko*

              Not only that, the exemption is actually called, “Exemption for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer & Outside Sales Employees.”

              Administrative is right there in the name of the exemption.

            2. Kristine*

              >It’s interesting that so many people look at non-exempt as a demotion; I saw it as a way to reclaim my time.

              Yes! I am non-exempt at my new job (90 days in) and love it. I work a solid 40 hrs a week and get paid overtime if I go over that. At my old job, 60 hrs a week was the norm. And I make the same amount of money now as I did before. TBH unless I was in a much more senior position where I was paid well for my time, I don’t ever want to be exempt again.

              1. Ornery PR*

                Same here Kristine. I’m hourly and make more than the proposed threshold (I also meet the duties requirement to actually be exempt), but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I work A LOT of overtime, and it’s like a pay raise without having to ask for one (I also get regular pay raises). If they proposed I go to salary, I would advocate for a huge raise. After I clock out I have no obligation to work, and I don’t think I would be great at setting my own boundaries if I was salary exempt.

              2. Anonymousaurus Rex*

                Well, I have the opposite problem, so it definitely feels like a demotion. I was reclassified as nonexempt (and I make over the threshold and use my PhD for my job….so WTF?) and I was working about 35-7 hours a week in practice (with some heavy weeks of overtime as exceptions). Now I have to work at least 40 hours in order to make my same salary!

                1. Boston Terrier*

                  Same here, only occassional OT because we were salaried at 37.5 base hours per week, and they changed us to hourly at 40 hours per week with the same pay. So it was an hourly pay cut as well as a loss of benefits. They said none of us met the Duties requirement. I guess that means they were in violation of the FLSA all these years since there was no change to the Duties. We were going to file a complaint about the previous violation however someone in legal suggested they make us salary again, at 40, but non-exempt. Now if we file a complaint about their previous violation they can make us hourly again and take away salaried benefits, or make us salaried at 40 with no OT, so it would be shooting ourselves in the foot. Bottom line result, more hours required for no extra pay. And now OT is verboten.

          1. Mona Lisa*

            I think in this case she was a person who had been with the organization for almost 30 years and had worked her way into the HR position over time. She clearly had no training except what she’d taught herself on the job, and much of employment law she had interpreted incorrectly. Working with her was incredibly difficult, and all of the employees avoided talking to her at almost any cost.

            1. AMT*

              “…worked her way into the HR position over time.” Gah! I’m sure that has real HR professionals cringing.

              I have a friend at a large, well-known company who says that people who don’t do well in their roles are transferred to HR rather than being fired. Surprisingly enough, their HR is terrible!

              1. Mona Lisa*

                Oh, yes. I’m aware that true HR professionals are valuable and contribute much to their organizations! I think ours wormed her way in when there was an opening after being a part-time secretary in another department for a few years.

                The CEO justified not firing the HR lady because of her commitment to the organization and how it was “her life.” I’m sorry, but the fact that she has no life outside of herr work doesn’t mean she gets a pity party and is allowed to waste precious resources when she was clearly terrible at her job. I’m still friends with an outside consultant we hired prior to my departure, and she said they were finally considering reorganizing her into another area and outsource HR. I don’t know if that ended up happening or not, though.

            2. HR U of Me*

              This sounds like a case of someone above her suggesting professional development, or even a SHRM membership, so she can get a clue, or know enough to be the liaison to contracting out some of the services so they are at least compliant.

              At 30 years in though, let’s hope she hasn’t lost the will for professional self-improvement.

          2. Green T*

            Our HR Manager is a Senior VP who wanted to move back to the home office. The only position open was VP of HR so that’s where they put her. She told us that she worked in HR in the 1970’s so it was a good fit. What?! I talked to her about my FMLA related issue and a month later when my manager had questions the HR VP didn’t remember the conversation I’d had with her. This is wrong in so many ways.

          3. Natalie*

            I take on HR duties at my office since we don’t have call for a full time HR person (I’m an accountant). Based on the various files I’ve seen, my last three predecessors were idjits regarding the HR functions of their jobs. I removed a half-dozen explicitly illegal policies from our handbook in my first week.

              1. Natalie*

                Primarily, we had a number of policies that used “not being paid” as the stick to enforce behavior – if you punched in early without approval, didn’t turn in timesheets, etc, the handbook said you wouldn’t get paid for that time. The timeclock rounding procedure that we didn’t even actually use was also illegal – we’d always round a late employee up to the next quarter-hour, but per DOL timeclock rounding has to benefit the employee or wash out to be okay.

                And there were a bunch of state issues: wage disclosure is specifically protected here, we had a policy against that. We weren’t providing enough pregnancy leave (this seemed to be an outdatedness issue as the law had been changed when FMLA passed), we weren’t complying with Ban the Box, and we weren’t providing voting leave.

                1. Jean*

                  What’s that about the timeclock rounding? I have our non-exempt people just round to the nearest quarter hour – it sounds like what you’re saying is that we should always round up? I’ve never heard that before.

                2. Elizabeth the Ginger*

                  Jean, I’m not an HR person, so I may be wrong, but I believe just rounding is ok because it balances out over time – about half the time you’ll round up and half the time you’ll round down. It’s also ok to have a policy that always benefits the employee (e.g. as long as you’re in by 9:14 your start time is officially 9), just not okay to have a policy that always goes the other way (e.g. if you come in between 9:01 and 9:15 your start time is always recorded as 9:15).

                3. Elizabeth the Ginger*

                  Adding on to what I said above – this is similar to how prices that include sales tax are rounded to the nearest penny. Since you can’t pay a fraction of a cent, sometimes the total is rounded up (you would owe, say, $10.927 and so pay $10.93) and sometimes down (you owe $6.283 and so pay $6.28) but over time it evens out for both the customer and the retailer.

            1. Liane*

              Good for you for making sure you do the HR functions properly even if it wasn’t what you trained for.

      2. Oryx*

        I’m actually super curious about how my old job is handling this because I know I was misclassified as exempt (but, luckily, paid appropriately).

      3. paul*

        That’s almost exactly what happened here (and it’s why I went back to hourly in 2015 as well). For the better for us though.

      4. Sunshine*

        This is what confused me about the whole thing. Most of my team is exempt, and the company determined to move them to non-exempt. But absolutely nothing was changed about the job duties. I trust my company to operate within the law, I just can’t get my head around that piece. If the duties fell under exempt status before, they still would be. Right?

        My company put a hold on everything, so no changes will happen right now. It may all be moot.

        1. MsCHX*

          Which is part of the entire issue with the ruling; the DOL is almost effectively removing the duties test which is unfair. If they reclassified exempt employees to non-exempt; it is very likely they will ‘change them back’ if their job functions meet the test because of the requirement to pay OT now.

          1. Natalie*

            Whether the new salary level “almost effectively removed” the duties test is very much a matter of opinion. The actual duties tests were not changed.

            1. MsCHX*

              Yes, I didn’t state it as fact; I stated it is the issue that has been raised with the ruling.

              Yes, I understand the duties test still exists. But you can very well have an exempt EE meet the duties test that makes $40,000 and an employer needed to make the decision to increase their salary nearly 20% or make them non-exempt. And many employers chose to reclassify their EEs to non-exempt and disallow overtime.

        2. Natalie*

          Yes, if they had been properly classified before and nothing changed about their duties, than nothing had to change for them.

          Misclassification is pretty common – even at a fairly ethical company I’m sure it happens more often than not. So it’s not unlikely that misclassification was the issue.

          1. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

            At my old job, we had a new HR person come in who had a traditional HR background (previously all HR had been recruiters) and *a lot* of our positions were reclassified, because everyone had been exempt. I would say at least 1/3 of our staff was moved to salaried non-exempt.

      5. Stranger than fiction*

        I haven’t read the whole proposed law, but I wonder if the duties and misclassification is a big part of the problem this is trying to fix (at the same time as low pay)? I seem to read here and elsewhere all the time jobs described as salary exempt that sound like they shouldn’t be. And the manufacturers that are disputing it? If they’re talking about line workers and such, shouldn’t they be hourly already? Or maybe there’s just grossly underpaid managers in that area in particular. Either way, it makes me mad because some people might be falling below minimum wage with all the overtime they’re working as exempt at the low threshold there is now.

        1. Natalie*

          There wasn’t actually any new law, this was a Department of Labor rule based on their enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It was all salary test, there were no changes to any of the duties tests.

      1. WorkerBee 23*

        Yeah – I said in a comment below that I’m pretty sure this role was mis-classified (probably not a real word) from the get-go & they used this as an opportunity to “fix” it. There was literally zero reason to make the change, otherwise. They’re not saving any money by making me non-exempt!

          1. WorkerBee 23*

            True. I am bristling as to how it was presented to me, though – “OH THIS IS SUCH A GREAT THING FOR YOU! NOW YOU HAVE TO BE PAID FOR ANYTHING OVER 40!” And then word came down that there was to be no OT, not even a minute of it. Uh ok.

    2. Angela*

      That’s really interesting. One of my staff members was able to stay exempt (higher ed) with a lower “academic threshold” (so he got a small raise), while another staff member (not managed by me) who was very close to the regular threshold was made hourly. To me, their duties seem very similar, but their job classifications are different (think advising vs program management). Our HR dept said that it takes way too long to go back and reclassify so they are moving forward with the changes.

  3. Dee Cee*

    We halted raises if employees had not been informed and continued with raises when employees had already been informed (and some of those raises are pretty high because the employees work in areas with low cost of living/lower wages). It would be nice if courts moved just a tad faster on this, rather than waiting a few days before the deadline!

      1. Dee Cee*

        Nothing. A few employees lucked out. It’s either rescind their wage or go broke to bring everyone up above market value for the area. We typically don’t like to rescind things once employees expect them, as they may have made plans, etc. (even though we are legally able to rescind wages not yet implemented).

          1. Another Manager*

            I think some of the contracts read “as a result of the change in the FSLA regulations” which gave employers an out.

            1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

              But most folks receiving raises didn’t have contracts. . . . I mean, it’s common in the U.S. for companies to make salary/classification decisions without the employee’s consent (unless there’s a CBA, or in certain government positions). That’s why it’s at-will employment…

          2. Ask a Manager* Post author

            It’s likely not an employment contract; most employees in the U.S. don’t have employment contracts. Assuming that’s the case here, an employer can change your wages at any time as long as it’s not retroactive.

          3. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

            I think the issue is most of us don’t really sign a true employment contract.

            I have an offer letter I signed, and when I switched internal jobs I received a new letter with the change, but those aren’t really contracts.

          4. E.V.*

            At my job (a brokerage) the company used this as an opportunity to switch all the salaried employees to hourly. They have kept this change in place and told everyone that there is to be no OT. This has resulted in those people previously on salary making much less now and all of the work load not being able to be done.

        1. Caro in the UK*

          How were you going to handle it if the law hadn’t been rescinded? (If raising everyone above the threshold would have made you go broke).

          I ask, because while I understand the budget implications, if I found out someone doing the same job as me in the same location, was getting paid significantly more, solely because their name was higher on the call list when you were notifying everyone of the raises, I would be horribly demotivated and would be looking for a new job ASAP.

          1. Jadelyn*

            Yeah, I could see this having horrible morale implications for those people who just *happened* to have not been notified yet. It’s really deeply unfair to people who weren’t lucky enough to have already been notified of the impending changes.

            1. Dee Cee*

              They are all in different locations (different cities). So, it was done on a location-by-location basis, and people in different cities are already being paid different rates for the same jobs because of cost of living (think SF versus Modesto).

    1. Emmie*

      This may create wage gaps along protected class lines – race, gender, IWD, Vets…. I recommend a wage analysis to see whether there are any wage gaps along these classes for job groups, and addressing any disparities proactively.

        1. HR U of Me*

          Many HRIS systems make this possible if they are tied in with federal contracts or affirmative action plans (which are about recruitment, retention and departure trends – hiring decisions are made on BFOQs) We use software like Berkshire, Peoplesoft, etc. for this. Not every employer needs to do this. And the math is statistical analysis based on the available labor pool which varies from local laborers, skilled crafts, and some GED/HSD/some-college (88 million people in the work force) positions that require a bachelor’s degree or more (55 million+) and related demographics.

          1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

            I apologize; I meant how might this create wage gaps along protected class lines (I should have been much clearer!).

            1. JessaB*

              Well if office one has already been given raises and it happens to contain oh let’s see 10 white men, and office two has been put off and happens to contain 10 women of various ethnicities, you may have a problem. Even though the demographics weren’t a deciding factor when the calls were made, the fact that 10 white men got raises and 10 women did not could be an issue. Because it LOOKS like the company decided to start with the men and not the women on purpose.

              1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

                I understand the idea that demographics could differ, but I’m having a difficult time understanding why the class of folks receiving raises would have received notification along protected class lines when Dee Cee’s original post is so brief that it wouldn’t indicate that phenomena happening.

                But at this point I’m worried that I’m derailing Emmie’s point, so I’m going to try not to prompt further. :)

        2. Emmie*

          Excellent points, @HR U of Me. Through these HRIS systems or outside contractors, you can also compare similar positions within your company and based on location too.

      1. Koko*

        Unless they used categories like that to determine the order they notified people, it seems like those variables would be orthogonal to who got raises. Is there reason to suspect that the order of notification was correlated with membership in a protected class as opposed to job function?

      2. Emmie*

        A company can run afoul of pay discrimination regulations in essentially two main ways: it can directly pay members of protected classes differently, or it can inadvertently pay members of a protected class differently. I am suggesting that a company analyze its pay practices to see whether there are any inadvertent pay disparities for protected classes that are not permissible under law. There is a bit more risk, IMO, when a company that moves forward with raises for those that received information already, but does not move forward with raises for the other groups of individuals that have not received an announcement.

        1. HAAPy*

          The basis for the change was non-discriminatory, it was the anticipation of the effective date of the new law, with specific criteria. I haven’t looked at the basis for the injunction, however, I see your point that it is wise to check on all of this, if positions are moving forward in a non-exempt status, also balancing in other factors, such as leave accrual and benefits.

          Given that this is a group that is at the bottom of exempt pay, and likely near the top of non-exempt, hourly earners, the analysis should hold up

          1. Emmie*

            FWIW I’d feel differently if all impacted positions had the same decision. Here, you have two separate paths for impacted employees.

        2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

          Unfortunately, Emmie, I don’t think that’s quite right. If the pay differences are related to a person’s job classification or position, then as Koko noted, it’s orthogonal to the analysis. At least under federal anti-discrimination law, the wage gap has to be between similarly situated employees.

          With respect to the differential impact of the roll out, if a company can show that it used a non-race-based approach for who got raises and whose raises were frozen, then I think they escape liability there, too.

          I don’t mean to be thick, but could you explain why you think the roll out would have run afoul of protected class concerns?

          1. Joshua Soccer*

            In another comment, Dee Cee mentioned that they implemented the pay changes on a location/city basis. So if say rural Idaho city (which is going to be more white) got the announcement and raises, but Southern Arizona city (which is going to be more Hispanic) or urban Mississippi city (which is going to be more African American) did not, that could inadvertently make disparate impact. Even if the company didn’t mean it that way, the result would still be the same and would need to be fixed.

      3. HR U of Me*

        This likely “is what it is” – the people are already employed and it’s likely that their demographics will remain the same. They can conduct the analysis, certainly, but this is more of a job for the person who filed the EEO-1 for the employer.

  4. Bekx*

    They are moving forward as planned– many people who were salary are now hourly.

    People are freaking out. My one coworker is extremely offended, which is kinda annoying as I’ve always been non-exempt at this company.

    1. Mike C.*

      You know, I hate hate hate this idea that somehow being hourly is “lowly” and being salaried is “professional”. It’s the definition of being classist and it’s gross. Why not institute a caste system while we’re at it, right?

      1. fposte*

        Agreed, but it’s an entrenched enough belief that my employer clearly had to take it into consideration when handling the message about the change. And of course some of that is because of the way hourly workers are policed, which as you have often noted isn’t usually necessary anyway. I would like to think that this vacillation is at least bringing to the fore how absurd it is to treat the two classes of worker so differently.

        1. Zombii*

          But if you don’t make hourly workers clock out for bathroom breaks, they could take like 4 or 5 bathroom breaks every day of up to 5 or ten minutes per break. That’s 20-50 minutes per day the company is paying them to not-work and that’s time card fraud.

          /Ex-job logic.

            1. RVA Cat*

              Policing bathroom breaks can amount to de-facto sexism too, as women have 3 bodily functions rather than 2 for most of our working lives.

              1. Jadelyn*

                That, too. Seriously, if someone’s frequently absent from their desk to the point where it’s disruptive to their work in some fashion, the manager should be able to deal with that directly as its own issue, without needing to force everyone to clock in and out to go to the bathroom. That is such a bad policy.

          1. Liane*

            WTF? None of my jobs has ever required you to clock out for the bathroom. And that includes a Famous Discount Retailer that in the past has been on the losing side of suits for things as egregious as off-the-clock work demands in some areas.
            And people taking advantage was pretty common. Frequently, when I (CSR) would ask my supervisor for a restroom break, the reply would be, “Sure. And if [Cashier] is still in there, let me know when come back.”
            As far as I know, no one got in trouble for their long restroom visits, beyond a dirty look/grumble from an (also-hourly) annoyed immediate supervisor.

          2. Elysian*

            They were doing things improperly if they weren’t paying you for bathroom breaks – unless you’re eating lunch in the loo, bathroom breaks aren’t long enough to qualify as non-compensable time. Your boss can make you clock in and out for them (just to track you and be kind of creepy), but even if you clock out they still have to pay you for them, under the FLSA. So this may have been improper; if not it is certainly overzealous.

      2. WorkerBee 23*

        I don’t personally see hourly as being “lowly” but some companies, such as my own, treat hourly workers differently than salaried workers. Everything is scrutinized to the letter. I am the kind of person where I like to come in early to eat my breakfast, drink my coffee & check my email. This was not an issue last week when I was salary but now that I am hourly – forget it. We are also restricted to a 31-minute (EXACT) lunchbreak, no more, no less, but are required to make up that five minutes elsewhere during the week. And oh yeah, NO overtime. It’s ridiculously stringent & I feel like a child. I was just hired last month & had I known that the position was going to change like this, I may have opted out.

        1. Dee Cee*

          Strict wage and hour laws I think are why a lot of this policing and treating employees like children happen. I think it’s the big reason so many employees prefer to be exempt, even though that means they essentially work “free overtime.” I’ve never really understood why someone sees being nonexempt as “lowly,” but it definitely is the case. I’ve even had employees ASK to be made exempt and be upset when we told them their position does not qualify to be exempt under the law.

          1. WorkerBee 23*

            And I get that – this particular role across all sites nationwide was classified incorrectly from the get-go. I guess it just burns me up because this job pays considerably above the threshold yet they changed me from salary to hourly anyway.

            I’m also grumpy because the HR rep (at a different site) was supposed to be over here last week to program the timeclock for me & she never showed. So for the last 3 days I have had to input my time into this cumbersome online system which then my manager has to go in & approve after each change request. Bah humbug.

        2. EA*

          Does anyone know if that kind of monitoring is required under the law? I am now exempt, and have been non-exempt in the past. I never used a time clock (just submitted a time sheet). No one would have noticed/cared if I took a longer lunch, or did a few minutes of personal work during the day (as long as my work was done) . Are rules often broken, or is the policing required?

            1. Dan*

              It’s also worth noting that it’s ok to pay for hours not “worked” or for that matter, that “work” can be a flexible definition.

              In the past, I’ve been a blue-collar non-exempt employee for 7 years with three different employers. I had to punch in to report for duty, and out to leave for the day. I did have required start and stop times each day, but never punched out for lunch or breaks or anything.

              One of my jobs including working the midnight shift for a private jet handler. There were extended periods some nights where there was absolutely nothing to do. We could watch TV, nap, or whatever, and yes, we were on the clock, even though we were definitely not “working”.

              My point is that this stringent monitoring that others describe is not a required part of the FLSA. Your employer can pay you for time not working at their discretion.

              1. Natalie*

                What you describe is considered work time under the FLSA, it wasn’t up to your company’s discretion. You were “engaged to wait” – required to stay on the premises and be available – rather than “waiting to be engaged”, such as an on-call situation.

                1. Dan*

                  I can imagine an overly strict employer who would say, “we forecast no work between 1am and 3am, so punch out and enjoy your time off.”

                  These companies also paid us for our lunch breaks, but never guaranteed us 30 minutes of interrupted break.

                  I guess my point is I’ve never punched out to use the bathroom or whatever other meticulous things that employers make people punch out for.

                2. Natalie*

                  @ Dan, they could, one of my first employers did that. They would have to actually let you leave the facility, of course. (I quit that job, but I was in high school so it was a pretty easy decision.)

                3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

                  Dan, both you and Natalie are right. Although depending on the State, a company could still be required to compensate you for time spent waiting for work (but of course, that’s not an FLSA issue).

          1. Zombii*

            That kind of monitoring is what the company has determined it has to do to protect the company, on the basis that the company assumes its workers are as mercenary as the company is.

            If the company is paying some workers $x/week based on required tasks being completed regardless of how long it takes to complete those tasks, it doesn’t care how many hours those tasks require because the work is paid for, not the time it takes to complete the work.

            If the company is paying other workers $x/hour, it suddenly cares exactly how that time is being spent because that is “work time” and no non-work activities should be happening because the company is paying for the time it takes to complete the tasks rather than paying for the tasks to be completed.

            These compensation systems are nearly opposite each other but strict monitoring isn’t required of either unless the company has no trust in its workers (which is sadly common).

            1. Princess Carolyn*

              This is a great explanation. In industries where it’s common for white-collar, “professional” positions to be non-exempt (think news reporters, graphic designers, probably some nurses and pharmacists, etc.), I don’t see much policing. I’m a proofreader/copy editor, and all I’ve ever had to do is turn in a time sheet. It’s not a big deal if I come in a little late or leave a little early, take a long lunch, check my personal phone during work hours, etc. I have the same freedoms as exempt employees except that I’m paid for hours worked over 40. Works great for me.

            2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

              This is one of the best/clearest explanations I’ve seen—I’m totally going to steal it. Thank you, Zombii! :)

          2. Elysian*

            Some policing is required under the record-keeping requirements of the FLSA for non-exempt employees, but some employers go overboard.

            1. Dan*

              See above, but for three different employers over seven years, I never did more than a single punch in and punch out for the entire day. IMHO, anything beyond that is a cheap company more concerned about making sure they are NOT paying you for time not making money for the company vs. satisfying the record keeping components of the law.

            2. Dee Cee*

              Actually, shake down wage and hour claims are pretty common and getting more common, so the strict time-keeping and monitoring is designed to protect the company from such a shake down, if possible, so they have ample documentation in place to be able to prove each and every employee was paid appropriately, under the law.

          3. Koko*

            Not really. The company can get in legal trouble for short-changing you, so there’s good reason to stop you from working more than 40 hours per week. They can’t get in legal trouble for giving you however many paid breaks to use the bathroom or eat lunch you want. As long as you showed up at 9 and left at 5 (or whatever) and then signed a timecard that just said 9-5 every day of the week, the company is covered legally.

            The problem is what Zombii gets at, that once the company knows they can’t get “as many hours as it takes” out of you for one flat rate, they become more incentivized to maximize your work output per hour or per minute. Peeing and eating cut into that, so they suddenly see it as a threat to their profit$.

            Personally I think the company would be better off establishing productivity targets for non-exempt staff, holding them accountable for meeting them when they are attainable, and supporting them in the event that the targets are out of reach for more than just one or two people by providing better training, more efficient tools and processes, or readjusting the targets to something attainable. Tell employees not to work more than 40 hours, tell them what they need to get done in those 40 hours to remain in good standing as an employee, and let them manage their own peeing and eating.

            1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

              We do a variation of this, as well, and it usually works. We’ve only had one case in which someone was billing time while employed at a completely different job.

            2. Melissa*

              This is what my job does. I’m a salaried, non-exempt (and unionized) state government worker. I get paid overtime, overtime is non-mandatory, and I have to fill out a time sheet (but not actually punch in/out). But what my employer cares about is that I’m meeting productivity expectations set for my role/level. And for the most part, it’s very effective.

          4. SystemsLady*

            If anything, monitoring would be required to make sure employees are taking required breaks under whatever state law applies. But I’m not sure if that would be a thing in more than a few states.

            I once worked for a retail giant who rigidly applied a hybrid of Maryland and Washington’s laws (with a dash of Minnesota and Vermont) – two unpaid fifteen minute breaks they somewhat enforced, and one thirty minute unpaid break you absolutely had to take by a certain point. I remember getting a walkie call from the HR manager insisting I went on my unpaid lunch right that instant on a few occasions.

            (I lived in none of those states at the time, so they were being a bit paranoid whether that was required anywhere or not, but it was nice they made company policy out of all that)

        3. ShanShan*

          That all sounds so odd!! It would take up a lot of my time to track my lunch break to the exact minute, make-up exactly 5 minutes somewhere in my week and make sure I have exactly 40 hours to the minute at the end of the week. It just sounds so inefficient and ridiculous!

          1. WorkerBee 23*

            Yes, exactly! I was dumbfounded when all of this was explained to me. “Wait… thirty-ONE minutes?” It really just leaves you hovering around the time clock until the exact minute hits. What a colossal waste of time.

            1. Zombii*

              Hang on. Exactly 31 minutes for a lunch break and you have to make up the extra five minutes.. how? Clock in early/late on a different day? or is this a secret, off-clocked making up of five minutes? (Definitely inefficient and a waste of time–speaking as someone who uses a timecard system that requires two different logins and loading screens, meaning each punch is roughly 2 minutes after I’ve started logging in and yes I have a job that cares about the 2 minutes.)

              1. WorkerBee 23*

                Apparently you have to tack on the 5 mins at the beginning or end of another day during the week – but NO more than that. The rule is, 31-minutes for lunch daily & 40 hours per total week. I truly don’t understand the specificity of the 31-minute lunch break. Maybe someone here knows & can enlighten me.

                1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

                  I think they’re doing it to create an “easy” number of extra minutes to tack on over the course of the week. (1 minute * 5 days = 5 minutes)

                  Or am I misunderstanding how they’re making you structure your time?

                2. Zombii*

                  Thank you for the clarification and that is super weird. The only way that makes sense to me is if the work is such that it is possible to be over by 5 minutes during the week (but no more.. somehow) and they wanted to build in a surplus of time.

                  But five minutes?

            2. SystemsLady*

              I’m realizing they are trying to get 30 minutes exactly now, and my guess is the company does business in a state that rigidly requires a half hour lunch break.

              But…why exactly does it matter to them if you go over 31 slightly or don’t make up the 5? That’s several cents less they have to pay you! What a bargain!

              (The below mentioned retail giant had time clocks that counted to the exact second and beeped at you if 30 minutes hadn’t passed, incidentally.)

            3. boop the first*

              Hovering around the time clock is exactly what we do. A non-rounding timeclock is kind of agonizing.

      3. Jeanne*

        That’s pretty harsh. I would be upset if I took a job under certain terms and worked for years that way and boom the terms are all different. If I take a job knowing it’s hourly I am fine with that. If I take a job knowing it’s exempt then I expect it to be exempt. I know the companies didn’t choose this change but I wouldn’t be happy.

        1. Mike C.*

          What does this have to do with the societal views I was talking about? I don’t understand your point here and taken out of this context would really have no problems agreeing with you.

      4. Natalie*

        My suspicion is that this happened precisely because the salary threshold was so low. The duties test is poorly understood and hard to police, so with basically anyone above starvation wages able to meet the salary test, exempt or non-exempt started to be used as a proxy for professional or not-professional.

        1. fposte*

          Yes, I agree. I’m also hearing of employers (and employees) whose risen consciousness is making them realize that they have employees who don’t pass the duties test either way.

        2. Mike C.*

          The salary test (like pretty much every other legal benchmark tied to a specific monetary amount) should have been tied to inflation from the beginning.

          1. Natalie*

            Oh, 100% agree. But this is true for basically all of our laws – a lot of property crimes become a felony based on dollar amount (so under $500 stolen is a misdemeanor but over $500 is a felony)… and those levels are never changed. 100 years from now it will be a felony to steal a pack of gum or something.

            I assume this is because inflation was less of a factor prior to having pure fiat currency, but it’s been nearly 50 years since we completely abandoned the gold standard. Time to catch up!

        3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

          Yes. I mean, that was the primary justification for increasing the salary threshold in the new regs.

      5. Oh what, oh what, oh what*

        Agree. My son is a licensed professional engineer which is typically salary. His company is very unique in how they pay employees. Everyone below Director level is paid on an hourly basis. And they all get paid time and a half for overtime.

      6. mbea*

        I (someone who is being moved from salaried to hourly) don’t like it not because of inherent classism or grossness, but because of how differently my office treats the two groups. Agreed, we’re all professionals but we aren’t all treated that way.

        1. Zombii*

          If you’re all “professionals” but the office treats the two groups differently, that is a form of classism and it is gross. Nothing against you as a person or as a professional but the fact that you don’t like it is definitely tied to inherent classism, based on your office’s treatment.

      7. AP*

        I preferred being hourly, honestly. At least where I’ve worked, I was treated the same under both classifications, but when I was hourly I was paid overtime. Now I’m salaried, still clock in and out, but work longer hours without pay. It’s fine, but I don’t see what’s so great about being salaried.

        1. Nichole*

          Yeah, this. It’s up to the company to treat people how they want and it does suck if they suddenly treat people like they’re not adults, but that’s within the company’s control.

          Personally I’m salaried and have to work minimum of 40 hours (44 average is recommended), use PTO to make up 1/4 hour or more of absence, and track my hours worked to the 1/4 hour. There’s nothing innate about being exempt that means my company has to be flexible with me, and given everything, I’d rather be hourly to get paid the overtime or get the time when I’m working overtime back if overtime weren’t allowed.

      8. Lovemyjob...truly!*

        I agree. I also find it amusing that the only positions I have held that were salaried were in retail, which a lot of people also consider less than. They were also the only positions I’ve held where I didn’t have to pay for my health insurance. It was 100% company paid. I miss that company. :(

      9. Temperance*

        At least in my org, salaried staff members received a lot more flexibility and autonomy. There’s work from home opportunities, flex scheduling, working fewer than 35 hours some weeks if workload is light … it’s much preferred.

        I’m also happy to work a few hours more one week if I can work a few less the next. FWIW.

        1. MsCHX*

          Slightly (??) tangential, our PTO policy states that exempt employees don’t need to use PTO if they are out of the office fewer than 4 hours whereas our non-exempt staff uses PTO to the 1/4 hour. I know the 4 hour threshhold is quite common and I can see that being a huge issue for someone going from exempt to non-exempt.

      10. NaoNao*

        I think part of the reason that hourly employees may be perceived as a different and lower “class” is because *very generally* hourly work pays for labor, physical labor–like standing and moving around a retail store, sitting at a phone in a call center, or working on a factory line. Since there’s a perception that, with training, almost any able-bodied personal can perform these duties, they are less valued in the workforce. Also, very generally, one doesn’t achieve higher education such as Masters, PHD, or JD to perform “labor” jobs.
        However, salaried positions allow for some measure of personal judgement calls: how will I spend my time and resources? How will I delegate and support performance as needed? How will I break this project down into discreet tasks to achieve it? And so on. So the bulk of the work is being done with the mind, not the body.
        Of course this is a very generalized idea, and one that perhaps is no longer applicable. But that’s why so many people (perhaps wrongly) associate “hourly” with a demotion of class.
        Now, does that make any of it right? No. Are there tons and tons of exceptions to the rule (like, let’s say Detectives on the job who get OT and are hourly? Sure!)–yes. But that’s where this perception came from.

    2. Sunflower*

      I never realized until I started reading this blog how much people don’t know about this stuff. There is so much misconception out there. When I told my friends I get paid for overtime, they were so confused how that was possible. No joke- some of them don’t understand how I have a full-time office job where I don’t clock in everyday and am able to work somewhat flexible hours but I’m not salaried. These are all intelligent people. Honestly I don’t really tell anyone I’m non-exempt because a lot of them don’t understand it and if I said ‘duties test’ they wouldn’t know what it is. A lot of them are probably mis-classified- or at one time were mis-classified.

      Only a very small handful of my friends were aware of this law. One of them because she works a non-profit whereas a lot of her salaried staff was under the threshold.

    3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      Agreed. Unfortunately this also comes from the fact that companies were moving people to non-exempt classifications under the salary threshold rule in order to game the system (which was what the reg was trying to address).

      But it’s super classist and gross and gauche to have the audacity to think you are somehow a more worthy human being because you’re salaried. I would argue that we have this nasty streak throughout the labor system, regardless of a person’s classification, and it is also gross/vile, etc.

  5. Betty*

    Any company rescinding raises shouldn’t be surprised when morale hits an all time low & employees leave for companies that are willing to pay a fair salary or a fair market value.

    I think there are too many companies that have abused their low paid salary workers & taken advantage.

    I am sad this didn’t go through. Hopefully it will eventually.

    1. Dee Cee*

      In our case, the raises put a couple of people ABOVE fair market value. Most of our people were already at that threshold. The ones affected were working in areas with a lower cost of living where wages are proportionally lower (as we have multiple facilities). Most of the managers really struggled with whether to make exempt employees nonexempt (as many wouldn’t like that) or just give them the raises even though it’ll make them above market value.

      1. fposte*

        As a manager I get that–but as a human being I think the chances of somebody shrugging and saying “Oh, well, I would have been overpaid anyway” is vanishingly small.

        I’m seeing a lot of posts on legal forums from people whose raises have been taken away, and who are seriously pissed. The irony is that the companies that planned with forethought are the ones where employees are getting hurt worst, because they’ve been planning on this raise for months.

        1. Dee Cee*

          That is why we aren’t rescinding any raises for employees who were already informed. In this case, procrastination paid off for some folks.

        2. Retail HR Guy*

          Except the companies that ACTUALLY planned with forethought would have also paid attention to the court cases that brought the possibility of an injunction. That wasn’t a secret or even much of a surprise to those following the news on it. Our company specifically waited on the judge’s ruling before communicating any final decisions to the employees and we were prepared to go in either direction.

          1. Dee Cee*

            Yes, the court case was known, but the decision came in just before the TG holiday with an effective date of Dec. 1. Only small companies can truly wait til the very last minute to process affected employees right around the TG holiday, before Dec. 1st. The rest of us were aware of the court case, held off til the end of November, and then started to get the paperwork in order to make the change effective as of December 1st.

              1. Dee Cee*

                Yes, our corporate payroll would have hexed us if we sent them 50 status change forms on November 29th or 30th :) Guess what I spend the day before TG doing? Yep, calling everyone in tarnation to find out who wanted to put the breaks on and who wanted to move forward, and participating in the email exchange to end all email exchanges. :) Job security, I call it. LOL

          2. Anon Two*

            The states filed the paperwork in September. My employer instituted the rule change effective July 1, because they wanted to make sure they had several months to work out any of the kinks.

            1. Becca*

              That’s what my non-profit employer did as well (about half our staff became salaried non-exempt) and we are keeping the changes in place, regardless of what happens with the law.

        3. Koko*

          Yeah, even if the raises were going to be burdensome on the company and now they’re relieved to not have to make it work, what the employees saw was that the company *had* found a way to pay them more and is now choosing not to.

            1. Jadelyn*

              Possibly – although tbh if a company was underpaying people to the point where they’d have to lay others off in order to comply with wage laws, that’s a problem with the company overall, or a poor decision on the company’s part to keep people exempt who didn’t need to be – but that’s not what employees will see. Is that a possible effect of the decision, absolutely. But you have to think about the optics of it and employee perception is most likely going to be a lot closer to Koko’s comment than anything else.

              1. Koko*

                Yes, my comment was purely about how it looks to employees and the fact that they aren’t going to consider the company’s perspective when it comes to money in their own paycheck. Typically only upper management who deal with things like budgeting and payroll have even the slightest concern for the company’s financial solvency. To lower level employees they just see that the company has some huge number of dollars in sales and can afford to pay the big wigs huge salaries. They don’t see the balance sheet, and there’s a natural inclination to think that as the bottom-rung employees they’re getting the short end of the stick when there’s a big pay disparity between the top and bottom rungs. “They can’t pay 20 of us $5,000 a year more but CEO makes $1.2 million and all the executives got a $20,000 bonus?” That’s how it looks to the rank-and-file, regardless of what it actually is.

                1. OP*

                  My company is struggling and this could help us meet our gross margin goals – BUT I’m already underpaid by $20k for the work I do and I’m a little annoyed. My raise was $5k, we’d save that by an economy flight instead of business class to the UK.

        4. Kate*

          We just made a decision not to give anything more than nominal rauses, and let people generally fall where they fell, even if the expected overtime was going to be more than the raise. I didn’t want to throw off our compenstation norms and create salary disparity. But we also didn’t expect to change people to hourly – they were just going to have to go into our system and let us know if they worked more than 40 hours. They were still salaried employees, just salaried employees who were eligible for overtime in the unlikely event they worked it.

  6. NorCalHR*

    We’re in California, and the minimum exempt salary was higher than the FLSA requirement. As a result, we had just one person who fell under the proposed FLSA salary threshold. They were hired as exempt a number of years ago, under different circumstances which no longer apply, and everyone else in that job title had been hired as non-exempt. So we’re changing the one person’s classification to match the co-workers. The only modification we made is to make the change in status effective 1/1/17 instead of 12/1/16.

  7. Anonon*

    I have three exempt colleagues who were under the threshold. They were told they’d be non-exempt starting this pay period, and have been tracking their hours. Yesterday, they were told they’d stay exempt. They’re all relieved. They were used to a lot of autonomy in where and when they worked. They were upset about having their exact hours tracked, and not being able to check email after hours. One had started looking for a better paying job to get above the threshold.

    1. Mike C.*

      Why were they so upset about tracking hours that they’d prefer to work free overtime not to have to worry about it? Is this a position where schedules aren’t regular or is the entry process unusually obnoxious?

      The autonomy thing I don’t understand either as lots of hourly folks have autonomy to work or adjust their schedules.

      1. GigglyPuff*

        And there are plenty of places that make exempt people track their hours also. I have to, doesn’t seem like that big of a hassle, but I’ve always done it.

        1. Leatherwings*

          Yes. I’ve had to do it because I’ve been in grant-funded positions and because higher-ups need to see where people are spending their time anyways.

        2. ThatGirl*

          Yep, I track my hours for each project my team is involved in – it’s not tied to my pay but I still have to fill out a rather lengthy timesheet each week.

        3. my two cents*

          yep – at OldJob, the dev engineers were all (well paid) salaried employees but they were still expected to hourly track their activities during the day to be addressed during their one-on-ones. I was part of the ‘customer care’ team as an apps engineer and was expected to be available to answer incoming support calls (8-5), but the dev guys all had different start times (2@7am,1@ 730,2@ 9am-6pm) and their manager worked the same core 8-5 hours I did. To be fair, the guy showing up at 7:30 did so because the 2 7am guys were always too busy to even notice that 7:30dude was watching youtube videos or sleeping until their manager arrived at 8, and then 7:30dude could waltz out at 4pm “because he always ate lunch at his desk for 30min”.
          (7:30dude was pretty much The Worst)

          You’d get a bruuuutal stink-eye from people if you tried leaving even 15min before you were ‘supposed’ to.

      2. Tara*

        I work in higher ed, and a lot of researchers underpaid themselves for their work so that they could still do research (they couldn’t get the bigger grants and fund themselves better). A lot of hired researchers accept lower wages for way more work for the same kind of reasons: they get to build their research background and CV.

        Making these people have to track their hours would have been a big cultural shift. I think it would have been for the better, since they should get paid appropriately for their work. However, people are upset because they feel like if they only work 40 hours, they’ll never be able to get their work done (or deal with those middle-of-the-night emails from their PIs). They also can see having to track hours as an assumption they can’t be trusted to get their work done without monitoring.

        1. Mona Lisa*

          These are the type of people with whom we are having issues as well. Several of our postdocs were concerned that certain PIs might try to flaunt the law or that the postdocs would clock out and then go back to the lab to work anyway. I think it will be good to get postdocs up to a living wage, but I see the concerns they have, especially around grant timetables. Some of them were concerned they may lose their jobs because they work for PIs who just got new five year grants that couldn’t support the salaries of multiple researchers with the new salary levels.

          1. Tara*

            Yeah, we tried really hard to impress upon the PIs and researchers that fudging the timesheets creates a huge liability that could cost the university (and the PI) a lot of money in fines and lawsuits. But I’ve had a couple PRAs tell me “oh yeah, we talked about tracking hours. *wink*” and I’m like NOOOOO. The PIs are scrambling to sort it all out and the researchers are worried. And a few PIs don’t have the money to pay themselves above threshold, let alone their researchers!

            Plus, lots of our labs have both postdocs and graduate assistants working together. The grad students are automatically exempt because they are in “an education relationship.” If the post-docs have to go non-exempt, it creates a weird situation where the grad students are working crazy hours to help cover what the postdocs can’t do in 40 hours? Apparently the higher ed lobby argued that postdocs should be considered in a educational relationship during the comment period for the law, but the DOL disagreed. And because they brought it up, postdocs are addressed specifically in the law, so there’s very little wiggle room!

            1. Mona Lisa*

              Our university ended up committing a bunch of money to get all postdocs above the OT threshold, but my assistant dean strongly advocated a two-tier approach where 0-3 years would be non-exempt and 3+ would be exempt. HR emphatically said they would not deal with trying to track their hours though.

              That’s so fascinating about the DOL writing in postdocs. I had no idea that had happened!

              1. blackcat*

                I think part of why they did it is that many, many post-docs have salaries that are actually set by government entities (NIH or NSF most often, but there are others). Government agencies know other government agencies appreciate clear rules :)

                1. Tara*

                  Places like NSF and NIH may set salaries funding levels, but we don’t actually have to pay the researchers those rates. A lot of our researchers in certain labs get paid under the NIH level. One of the RAs came in a little while back, excited that he was going to get a salary increase since NIH has raised the postdoc rate, and my boss had to tell him that while the university might get more money, it didn’t mean it would go to his salary. Raising his salary is governed by a whole different set of rules from the university.

            2. Starbuck*

              Just goes to show how people in academia are disgracefully underpaid and overworked. Several of my peers are currently on the phd track and while some have lucked out with good funding and reasonable work expectations from their PI, I’ve heard disturbing stories from others.

          2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

            I saw this happen all the time when I was a researcher and again in grad school. When your PI is also your advisor or your professional link to excelling in your profession, it creates a heavier power inequality than a normal employer/employee relationship. I have literally never met a full-time grad student, researcher, or postdoc who was paid appropriately.

      3. Anonon*

        Candidly, they often don’t work 40 hours. Our manager is very results-focused. While we all have set schedules, in practice what most people on my team do is work whatever hours they need to do to get their work done (often < 8 hours), go home, then keep on eye on email in the evenings in case something urgent comes up and to assess when to arrive the next day. (We have company iphones; "keeping an eye on email" usually means opening email 2x and skimming for < 5 minutes.) I know some people would find that frustrating, but I really love it. Our manager isn't typical for the company, so it would be a big issue if higher-ups noticed that three employees weren't following set schedules and often worked closer to 35 hrs/week.

      4. The IT Manager*

        Because as non-exempt (for my organization), you don’t have autonomy. You work set duty hours; you cannot adjust them at all. You must take time off for appointments which requires your supervisors approval in advance. If you work overtime, you must get your supervisor’s approval first.

        Now we do earn excellent amounts annual and sick time off so using time off for appointments is not terribly burdensome, but you can’t really say we have flexibility that we can make decisions about when we work on our own volition – everything requires supervisor approval first.

        1. Anonon*

          Yes, excellent point– It’s possible to have flexibility as a non-exempt employee (with a good manager), but that’s not the same as autonomy.

        2. Mike C.*

          This still seems artificial to me. I’ve been in my current position for a few years, with a promotion that moved me from hourly to salary and my managers simply said, “we need you here between this range of hours, if you get busy and need OT go ahead and for emergencies let me know”. That didn’t change going to salary. It’s a difference that is artificial and based on company culture than the law.

          1. Jadelyn*

            It being “artificial” doesn’t stop it from being burdensome from the employee’s point of view. As Anonon said, it’s possible to have flexibility as an hourly employee – and I agree, I do have a lot of flexibility myself despite being hourly – but whether it’s “artificial” or not, that reduction in autonomy/additional record-keeping restrictions and requirements is still a thing that exists and will affect people at that company, and that newly hourly employees may quite understandably resent.

            *Should* employers have those kinds of policies or treat salaried/hourly employees that differently? Maybe not, and that’s a discussion that could be had, but the fact remains that many employers DO have policies like that, so it’s a valid consideration for people’s feelings toward having one status or the other.

        3. my two cents*

          We’re super duper flexible here at NewJob, with a gracious 24 days of PTO(inc sick time), 17 paid holidays, and we even leave at 4 on Fridays during the Summer.

          I still need ‘to check with’ my senior-level colleague before our boss will OK me taking a half-day, and I have to at least tell people when I have appointments that cause me to leave early.

          At OldJob, I would have loved to be salaried – every week-long tradeshow I had to go on was presented as though it was some Magic Gift Vacation from Management. I would have LOVED to rack up those hours as well as the times I had to bounce back to the office to provide trainings over Skype for the various office locations of OldJob in China and India.

      5. nonymous*

        In my first job after college I was sharing employment info with a fellow newb graduate and she explained that salary was desirable because she could leave when work was completed (not necessarily hitting 40 hrs in that week, and with the expectation that some weeks would be 45 or 50 hrs). Now, I have yet to have a salaried position (nor am I of the personality type, even in my private life) where I could leave “when my work is completed” and have that be <40hrs…

        I now work as an hourly employee with a high degree of autonomy in part b/c my org has a comp system in place, but I know that is not an option for private employers. This makes it problematic to handle workload differences from week-to-week. Honestly, I think many people are totally fine foregoing OT if a 45hr week means that there is a 35hr week forthcoming. No one wants to use up their PTO for errands (e.g. bank, accountant/lawyer meetings), and it can be hugely beneficial to mental health to periodically start your weekend at noon on Friday :-)

        1. Zip Silver*

          I can get away with about 30 hours a week every once in a while, but yeah there are the occasional 60-70 hour weeks, and I’m generally at about 50.

          Idc either way, I get a revenue based bonus at the end of the year, so the long weeks definitely pay off.

      6. hbc*

        My guess is a lot of people have been accustomed to working more than 40 hours a week to get the job done, and they’re upset about essentially being forced to fail at their job. Nevermind that it’s the definition of failure and the workload that’s the actual problem.

        Me, once I realized I could work 120 hours a week and not be “done”, I stopped feeling guilty about not burning my midnight oil to benefit the business.

        1. Anonymous Commenter #472*

          I agree with you. If the legislation goes forward, I can just imagine thousands of performance reviews one year later:
          Boss: Your productivity has really gone down over the past year. I can’t give you a raise and I’m going to have to put you on a PIP.
          Employee: That’s because last year I was working 50-60 hours a week, but now I can only work 40 because overtime isn’t allowed.
          Boss: Stop making excuses. Sign here please.

          I had a similar realization to yours after spending more than a year putting in 60-hour work weeks.

      7. Stan*

        And really, exempt people should probably think about tracking their hours anyway. I started tracking mine when I changed jobs a couple years ago. When review time came around, it was great to have hard data about just how many hours I was working each week. (The number surprised me and my boss.) The end result was a nice raise and some duties being reassigned to even the load a little more.

      8. Elsajeni*

        What’s not to understand? Lots of hourly folks have autonomy to set their schedules as they want, sure, but lots don’t; presumably Anonon’s coworkers know the situation at their office, and knew that they wouldn’t have that autonomy.

      9. Kate*

        For checking email after hours in some organizations that’s something that gives you more visibility and more possibility for promotion. “oh, Nefertiti was available to take care of that urgent issue! She’s always on the ball…”
        I personally take care of some emails just before bedtime so I don’t have super urgent matters waiting on me in the morning (or if they are waiting I know how to prioritize the day from brushing my teeth onwards).
        I know that’s not normal for everyone, but if I had to track the time I did emails “whenever I felt like it” at home knowing that the time would be scrutinized and might need to be paid un-budgeted overtime for it, that would change my email habits right quick.

  8. Red Reader*

    It didn’t affect me personally, but my organization had already rolled out changes for the ~1000 (out of 31000 employees) that would be affected, and they specified this morning that they would not be undoing those changes and would be proceeding as if the injunction hadn’t happened.

  9. Leatherwings*

    I was recently hired above the threshhold (where I think the offer would’ve otherwise been just below it) and will stay there.

    A few friend’s situations are much more interesting: At one place, they switched all the managers who were making just under the new threshhold to hourly and limited their hours to 55 a week (where they had previously been working 60+). The result was an increase in pay and fewer hours. The company decided to keep the change which nearly everyone was pleased with.

    At my old (progressive nonprofit) workplace, they were paying people around 25k for 70 hours/wk on average. They stalled on making the change but finally in mid November announced that they were going to cut everyone down to minimum wage hourly rolesand a cap of 60 hours. The result was going to be a pretty significant increase in pay and fewer hours for most people anyways. They’re now of course not implementing the switch and celebrating that they get to continue to pay people crap.This is a place with high turnover anyways, but nearly 1/4 of the staff in my old location put in notice on Monday when the plan was announced.

    1. JuniperGreen*

      The decrease in hours thing is interesting to me … Chances are, if you’re working 60+ hours a week, you’re quite busy, and not just sitting around filling time.

      My organization is switching many of us to nonexempt, so I am now eligible for overtime at 40+ hours, but have been told to try to flex hours whenever possible and will have to get overtime approval. I regularly clock 50 to 60 hour weeks, though, and its not as if the tasks that filled those hours are going away…

      1. Mike C.*

        To be honest, I think companies should be tracking time anyway so that they understand the true costs of their work. Even if someone isn’t being paid overtime, they should understand how long it takes to do something so that they can properly staff their work.

        1. Wakeen Teapots, Ltd.*

          I really agree with this but you and I are geeky like that. It makes total sense to me and it’s something we absolutely do, albeit slightly informally with non-exempt. We understand people’s hours even if we don’t track every last one.

          I need to know the cost of my goods! I can’t know the cost of my goods if I don’t know how many people hours they take to “produce”. (Plus, how would I properly plan growth if I didn’t know how many hours it takes for X so I know how many people it takes for 1.2X, right?)

          1. Jadelyn*

            I’m with you both on this – my org asks our exempt people to please not just put 8-8-8-8-8 for their timesheet, but to accurately reflect what they worked and on what days, because if they’re regularly working 10 hour days and 6 hours on Saturday, we have a staffing issue and that documentation helps us make the case to the higher-ups to authorize new FTE for that department since obviously they needed the extra work-hours to cover their workload.

            Some of them are still lazy about it and just do 8-8-8-8-8 anyway, but we try to get them to not do it.

        2. paul*

          IME, there’s a lot of boards and CEOs that just don’t care, particularly for smaller to mid sized non profits.

          “We expect you to live the mission!” indeed. Ugh.

          1. Starbuck*

            How bizarre! In every non-profit I’ve worked with so far, most positions are funded by grants to at least some degree, and for that you HAVE to track hours to properly do reporting on the grant! I think this is also the case if the grant is funding a project, not a position- keeping track of staff hours spent on that grant-funded project is usually required. I haven’t held a development position, but I have had to report my hours in this way.

          2. Jadelyn*

            That’s so depressing to me. My org is super progressive about pay for the most part, since our mission is all about economic justice. We try to “live the mission” in the other direction, as in the *organization* needs to live up to its mission – so we have both an internal pay floor that’s almost double the federal minimum wage, and an internal pay cap for executive positions that’s around 100k-ish, on the philosophy that “nobody should be “getting rich” off of serving underserved communities”.

            However, there have been a few cringeworthy moments where our CEO commented that if someone quits for a higher-paying job because of the money, “they obviously weren’t a good mission fit for us and didn’t belong here”. Which is easy to say when you’re making $100k a year, but if you’re struggling along at $12 an hour it’s not exactly *greed* to take a new job that pays you enough to make your rent.

        3. Retail HR Guy*

          The problem is that with a lot of exempt employees it is hard to track. Just because someone is at the office doesn’t mean that they are working, and just because someone is out of the office doesn’t mean that they aren’t working. Am I supposed to clock in before mentally planning a meeting strategy while I’m in the shower? Before every phone call and text I get at home? Clock out while I’m in the office but making a personal call?

          1. Mike C.*

            I understand that fuzzy stuff like that can be more difficult to track but lawyers have to do it, so it can be done. Draw a line that makes sense to you.

            Inspiration in the shower? You’re not clocking that. Answering emails/calls at home? Track it to some extent that seems reasonable. If they’re at work doing something productive, track it. Use consistent judgement and you’ll have a better picture of what it takes to finish a project.

            1. Shelby Drink the Juice*

              Agreed. I’m exempt (above the proposed threshold so I wasn’t going to be effected anyway), but I have to track all my hours to the 6 min. I work under government contracts and the company needs to know how many of my hours were against which contracts to bill against.

              If people are regularly working 60-70 hours a week like mentioned above I’d be concerned with burnout and turnover. That’s not a sustainable situation and clearly you’re understaffed.

        4. Annie Moose*

          Yeah, OldJob did that, or at least the IT department did. We used it to track the budget for projects (“you said this would take 200 hours, it’s now at 400 and counting…”) and project planning in general (can’t estimate time very well if you have no clue how long previous projects have taken), and to keep an eye on how heavily different teams were being worked. (e.g. if the spout analysts are working well over 40 hours a week on average, is it time to hire a new spout analyst, or at least give some of their work to the chocolate engineers?)

          Of course, we were doing a lot of project-based work, so I understand that in other contexts, this might not have been as useful.

        5. Tyrannosaurus Regina*

          I strongly agree, Mike C. I think it’s to everyone’s benefit to know how long it actually takes to get work done.

      2. Leatherwings*

        Well it’s certainly tougher on these business to decrease hours – they have to find ways to make things more efficient, hire more people or make do without certain tasks being done. The decrease in hours in both of these cases is because it’s easier for them to decrease hours than pay a crap ton of overtime. I get how that’s a tough choice for businesses to make, but I think it’s a much better long-term retention strategy than what my old employer did.

        1. Mike C.*

          I’m torn on this idea myself – it certainly feels intuitive.

          Yet after all, if they could be more efficient or make do without now, why didn’t they do it before? It’s extra money for the bottom line, right?

        2. Zombii*

          This depends on the job so much.

          I am in a seasonal retail sales position to hold my budget together until I can find a real job and the company is stupid-bordering-on-malicious. In addition to the weekly toxic DM conference call bullshit, their solution to the new salary threshold was to make our store manager hourly instead of salary with a strict 55-hour work week. The hourly they figured out would have equated to a $2k/year pay cut vs his salary (yes, I’m adding the overtime correctly) and the time it takes to do the job has been 10-12 hour days, 6 days a week (he became store manager 4 months ago and the previous store manager was working a similar schedule).

          The store is understaffed, the company doesn’t care and they’re not willing to pay people enough to keep them, including managers. They are somehow of the mindset that If You Yell It At Someone Loud Enough, They Will Obey, which is a terrible business strategy.

      1. Mona Lisa*

        My previous non-profit institution paid most people $25k-30k for at least 50-60 hours of work a week. The only people making above that were at the director level, and even some of them were still at $30k. I refused to work more than 40 hours a week because of how low my hourly wage would have factored out to be, and the salary was one of the major reasons I ended up leaving.

      2. TCO*

        Agreed–even in a low COL area that would be horrendous. I’ve never had a nonprofit (I’ve worked for several, mostly in social services) mistreat me or my coworkers like that.

        1. Leatherwings*

          Yep. The worst part is that that’s the pay in one of the most expensive cities in the country. I only managed ok because my SO was paid better but many many of my coworkers went into debt working there. We were also expected to front a significant amount of daily operating expenses for the organization and be reimbursed later and they intentionally made the reimbursement process overly cumbersome so people wouldn’t submit smaller expenses (I often didn’t bother printing and submitting $2.50 parking receipts because each one would cost me 5 minutes. The sooner I was done, the sooner I got to go home, and I often literally paid for it).

          I know I’ve told this story before, it just feels like a service to let people know that this crap happens all the time.

    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      I see this, often, and it’s enraging. I remember watching a presentation from a nonprofit that bragged that 90% of its employees were low-income. They were trying to make it sound like they had hired folks from low-income backgrounds, but what they really were doing was paying poverty wages to their staff, which had resulted in everyone satisfying the state definition of poverty (and some meeting the federal poverty definition, which is rare in that part of CA).

      To me, it’s the height of hypocrisy to preach social justice and then screw your staff by underpaying them. If you can’t afford to pay people what they deserve, then you have not come up with a sustainable nonprofit structure. I think the lack of “practicing what you preach” feels like a special betrayal because an organization is otherwise masquerading as “good.”

      1. Tyrannosaurus Regina*

        “If you can’t afford to pay people what they deserve, then you have not come up with a sustainable nonprofit structure.”


  10. Zip Silver*

    My company is going on ahead with the raises. They took effect before the injunction, and the company is going forward with it anyway. It only affects about 250 out of 10,000 employees (management employees, most of the rest are hourly, and the others are above the cut), so the head honchos decided not to shit on us after rolling out 5-10k raises.

  11. anonykins*

    I have no fucking clue. I immediately asked my boss, since I was slated to go hourly that Sunday, and eventually got word that nothing was changing. But I have also received ZERO training on how to log my hours, how long to take for lunch, what the changes are to my schedule flexibility. So…who knows?

    1. anonykins*

      aaaaaaaaaaaand I’m back to exempt. Honestly, I’m happy about this. Even though I won’t be earning overtime now, I think that going hourly would have changed the nature of my position in ways I wasn’t happy about. Plus I (hopefully) go back to my regular pay schedule.

  12. fposte*

    As far as I know, we’re staying the course and acting as if the stay didn’t happen. My impression is that a large majority of the affected employees were moved to non-exempt salary rather than being given raises, so that it’s mostly just an administrative pain if the threshold is rolled back.

    1. fposte*

      Whoa, I had it completely backward–we’re holding on everything. Oof, I hate it when important stuff gets communicated over holidays.

  13. CoffeeCoffeeCoffee*

    My pay was really, really close to the new threshold (and significantly under what their analyst said was market value for my job.) My employer originally had said I’d be raised to the market average for my role which would exceed the threshold. Then, a week later, they decided nobody would be raised to the threshold and we’d all become non-exempt because it was “too much work to give so many raises.” We are now staying exempt, but I think their decision-making reflected the true colors of my employer and I’ve already started applying other places.

        1. Natalie*

          Eh, I suspect a lot of employers affected by this are in either areas or industries where their employees don’t have a lot of options. That’s why they had to make the change in the first place, after all – the magical hand of the market wasn’t cutting it.

          1. CoffeeCoffeeCoffee*

            I don’t necessarily agree that’s true- I’m a contract attorney for a large university system and most of us who were “on the bubble,” and like I said, way underpaid to begin with, are not working here because it’s our “only option.” At least for me, I started working here because I liked the mission of the university system, the work-life balance and because it has a lot of prominence in the area I live in. Most of my colleagues who were similarly near the threshold fall into one of two categories: people like myself who do have other options and work here for reasons besides just salary, or people who have been with the university for longer than ten years and are then at the higher-end of the wage bracket for their position and likely aren’t looking to leave that any time soon.

  14. Lemon Zinger*

    I work at a large public university. Everyone under the new salary threshold was made hourly on 11/21, and we had a long departmental meeting about what that would mean for us, especially since we often work non-traditional hours.

    Our system for logging hours didn’t even work properly for the two days we were hourly. On 11/23, we received an email saying that we were once again considered salaried, and that we should carry on “as usual” until the issue is clarified.

    Supervisors are once again piling on the hours, simply because they can. It’s extremely upsetting.

    1. Zephyr*

      This is similar to my public university. HR told all departments not to give raises because they understood the threshold was to have gradually increased in future years and they didn’t think departments could afford to keep up. Since everyone under the threshold was to have officially switched to hourly as of tomorrow, they all stay salaried now.

  15. Tara*

    The university I work at is continuing with all raises, but has halted any transitions from exempt to non-exempt.

    1. Lemon Zinger*

      I don’t know anyone who got a raise (at least, nobody talked about it) but I would not be surprised if my university didn’t honor them.

  16. Meg Murry*

    I work for a very small company and only a handful of people were below the salary threshold. Their jobs meet the duties classification for salary, but their weekly earnings do not. They were going to be re-classified as hourly (based on their current schedule and 40 hours a week). The plan was to use an electronic timeclock in order to meet the timekeeping requirement (this was the big boss’s plan, as he wanted something more than just paper timesheets, because he was involved with a previous company where the hourly employees accused the company of pressuring them to not write down their overtime on the paper timesheets and it was a legal mess).

    The timeclock was ordered but not yet hung on the wall, (it was scheduled to be installed the day after the ruling came through) so it’s sitting in a box and we’re still running business as usual right now with everyone on a salaried schedule with only 40 hours of work expected.

    Our company really does only expect 40 hours of work out of all employees (except the biggest bosses, and they only work extra at super crunch times) so if anything the time clock was just going to be an annoyance for the hourly employees and make their checks fluctuate (39 hours one week, 41 the next, for instance) based on whether they occasionally wound up staying 15 extra minutes one day or traffic made them 15 minutes late another.

  17. Rebecca*

    I was supposed to become non-exempt this week. I received my monthly pay for November today, pro-rated to exclude the last few days of November, as they would be covered by this week’s timesheet. HR emailed today to announce their decision to keep existing classifications, so I’m staying exempt. I’ll receive the last few days of November pay on Friday, then continue to get monthly salary checks. I’m really, really lucky here. Going non-exempt would affect nothing, except filling out time sheets instead of requesting PTO through an online system.

    I’m concerned for my friends in small non-profits or service management jobs, who could have been really helped out by what would have been the new law.

    1. Leatherwings*

      I’m similarly concerned and dismayed for people who would’ve benefited from this law the most. In general, they’re also the folks who need it the most too.

  18. Foot Solider*

    Absolutely nothing happened at my company, a nonprofit. They were scheduled to tell us what the plan was to comply with the overtime rule today (nothing like waiting until the last possible minute) and are just relieved that they don’t have to change anything now. My supervisor actually said to me “Well now I don’t have to worry about you making too much money from overtime with all the extra hours I need you to work.” I feel like she was expecting me to smile and agree with her, when all it really did was convince me I have to leave this job.

    1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      It is disgusting that she even thought that was an appropriate thing to say. Girl, bye.

    2. zora*

      I worked at nonprofits with similar mindsets, some people are the worst.
      I am avoiding calculating how much overtime I would have had to be paid if this had gone into effect at Ex-Horrible-Job, because I don’t even want to know. I stayed there for too little money for waaayyyy too long.

  19. Tad Cooper*

    My company didn’t have a plan, at least one that they shared with employees as of early November, so I don’t know how things changed or didn’t change.

  20. Anony*

    I WAS going to be switched to hourly, now I’m not.

    So nothing changed in my part of the business world, despite everything having gone into place for it.

  21. entrylevelsomething*

    My company is going through with the overtime…because it is so small, I am the only employee affected, I’m only a seasonal employee, and I only work a couple weeks of overtime in the four months I’m contracted. Still relieved as I’m working a ton of overtime this week and next, so it’ll make the holidays a little easier.

  22. Pam*

    The California State University had just completed MOU’s with the bargaining units that were affected. We were notified of this by the union, and also notified of the hold. We haven’t seen anything from our university HR on my campus.

  23. Mona Lisa*

    My current university employer sent out a message on Monday saying that they’re going to honor all of the changes they’ve made. I was surprised to say the least because they had committed several million dollars to help professors with postdocs on grants for the next year with the idea that the professors would apply for additional funding to cover the new expenses by the close of 2017. It’s been a major topic of discussion among groups I support for the past five months because the plan wasn’t fully in place until the beginning of November. For as many problems as the administration of my institution has, I’m glad to see they aren’t going back on what they had promised.

    1. Tara*

      Wow, my university didn’t commit any funds to help with the transition! All raises had to come from existing budget, which has created all kinds of compression pay issues.

  24. Anonymous for this*

    My organization conducted a review of affected jobs and adjusted some above the new threshold. They sent letters to impacted employees letting them know they would be receiving a salary increase and processed the changes to take effect prior to 12/1. When the judge placed a hold on the FLSA changes late Tuesday, my organization scrambled to send out an email essentially saying “just kidding” about the salary increases. Oh and Happy holidays.

  25. RR*

    We’re a non-profit with a large percentage of Federal funding, so everyone has to track their hours already. We had a small number (less than 5% of our staff) who are exempt and who were under the new salary threshold. We raised their salaries and are not rescinding these (modest) raises.

  26. cataloger*

    I’m at a large public university, and we were specifically told that all changes would go forward as planned.

  27. Bawab*

    They very promptly let us know that we were keeping our raises. And the specifies that it was because they thought we deserved them anyway. Maybe they were just being polite. But I work for a huge university, so I give them props for committing

  28. Cordelia Naismith*

    The university I work for already made the transition. I was made non-exempt on 11/17. Now that the law has been halted, we’ve been told that the university is consulting with its lawyers for guidance, but they don’t know what they’re going to do. In the meantime, I’m staying non-exempt.

  29. Interviewer*

    My HR leadership decided to make 2 of the 3 affected by the new law non-exempt, instead of giving them raises. I spoke to their supervisors, and with them present, I had conversations with them explaining the new law and the change, how it would affect them. We told them they would need to start punching the clock on November 28th. Then injunction happened. But HR leadership didn’t change course since I had already had the conversations with them.

    The 3rd employee, I spoke with her supervisor and offered to have the conversation, but he said he would do it. Despite reminders, he didn’t do it for 2 weeks. Then the injunction happened. I asked about the missing punches on her timecard, and now he’s asking me why we have to change at all.

    Technically, I guess we don’t have to do it, but it’s pretty annoying that he didn’t just do what we decided, and what I asked him to do. And now we’re heading into a busy season for his team, I’m sure this is a way for them to avoid OT. ARGH.

    1. Zombii*

      Wow. Please use this situation as ammo next time you offer to have a difficult conversation with an employee and he says he’ll take care of it. I recommend next time give him a single reminder, then have the conversation for him since it’s unlikely that he knows a Texas court judge who can intercede on his behalf to prevent him from having to do a difficult part of his job.

  30. Susan the BA*

    My employer (private university) is moving forward with all of the raises and changes as though the ruling hadn’t been halted.

    As far as people wondering why their employer would have made them hourly if they were already above the threshold: mine uses job “grades” with a corresponding range for each. If you had an exempt grade that’s mostly below the threshold, it probably made the most sense to eliminate that whole grade and reclassify the positions as non-exempt rather than have two people doing the same work but classified totally differently.

  31. Sibley*

    I’m unaffected, my coworkers are unaffected, and I don’t know of anyone who is. I mean, I’m sure I know people who are, but I don’t actually KNOW it.

    The most interesting thing reading these comments is how many people are looking for new jobs, already found a new job, etc. Sounds like a lot of places may be forced to raise pay, not because of a law change, but because they have to hire new people at current market rate, which is higher than what they currently pay. Sounds like poetic justice to me. :)

    1. Rob Lowe can't read*

      Same here – I’m a teacher, and most of the people I know whose salaries are below the threshold are also teachers, so no changes for us regardless. My husband got a new job over the summer, and I think that his salary might have been impacted by the proposed ruling (he was hired at juuuust over the proposed threshold), but there’s no real way to know for sure.

  32. Jamie Starr*

    People whose salaries were close to the threshold and given raises several months ago at the end of our fiscal year as part of their annual pay increase/review will not have their increase rescinded. Those whose salaries were still below the threshold were told two weeks ago they would be reclassified to salaried, non-exempt on December 1 and would have to fill out time sheets, etc.

    After the injunction was announced they were told that they will remain salaried exempt under the current law, until the court rules on the lawsuit.

    The only feedback I’ve heard was from one person who was happy they weren’t going to have to track their hours/fill out timesheets. The others who were affected haven’t said anything. I’m a manager (and exempt), but if it were me, I’d be upset that I was going to have to keep working the same amount of hours (which, at our company, is frequently more than 40 for everyone) but _not_ get paid for it.

  33. L.*

    Rescinded promised raises? What a great holiday gift! Change in the law or no, I hope anyone subjected to that is eyeing the exit.

    1. OP*

      Yeah and I’m significantly underpaid for the market rate…. I love everything else about my company but they are not paying me enough.

  34. miki*

    Large public university as well: 7 days ago received an email that they are suspending the announced salary increases and the changes in overtime eligibility while they consider the court’s determination and the impact that it has on the employees. And this was effective immediately.

  35. EJ*

    I haven’t heard anything yet…..

    Whether I’m exempt or non-exempt, my HR department made it clear that we are still making the same annual pay. And it doesn’t really affect me because I rarely have overtime and we aren’t expected to work outside of work hours. It’s just that instead of a monthly pay check (as I am getting with exempt), I will getting bi-weekly on non-exempt. Nothing else changes!

  36. Wakeen Teapots, Ltd.*

    We had few changes. Almost everybody we needed to be exempt was already above threshold and we’ve never relied on hours past 40 for most people.

    We did have to fiddle with the way our top inside sales reps are compensated because a good chunk of their income is commission and it’s important to them to be able to work when they want/when their customers need them. The new rules let us only count 10% of their salary as commission toward the limit, which meant someone making $75k but with a 40K base was under the threshold.

    We had to bump everybody up to where they’d be at just the limit with the 10% calculation. And no, we’re not taking it back. Have you ever tried to take money back from people in sales??? Pry a steak from a tiger more easily, just sayin’.

    1. HR Bee*

      This is interesting to me, because we had a weird sales position as well. I finally was told that our 100% commission employee was completely exempt from the salary test anyway, but we also have a salaried employee who makes commission, mostly doing outside sales but ALSO sometimes doing administrative work in the office. She’s below the threshold, even counting her commissions, so I knew we had to do something, but I am really unclear as to whether this employee even would qualify to be exempt in a job duties test.

      We hadn’t yet made a decision when the injunction came through, so it’s tabled for now, mostly because our exec team doesn’t want to be bothered with it.

  37. YawningDodo*

    I was supposed to become hourly/non-exempt as of yesterday (the start of the pay period) with no real changes in terms of pay or how I track my time (they already had us doing time sheets; it was just going to be a matter of being stricter about overtime). We got an email on Monday saying that at present none of us who were scheduled to become non-exempt are being changed over for now and that they’ll send an update when they know more.

    Don’t know if anyone at my organization was supposed to get a raise or anything else. From my personal perspective I wasn’t expecting much noticeable change until next year’s big annual event (usually involves a lot of unpaid overtime that gets unofficially compensated with bonus PTO), so I’m just waiting to see whether the law goes into effect by then.

  38. Academic Librarian*

    I work at a state university and I was supposed to become non-exempt on December 1. However, in light of recent events, I will remain a salaried exempt employee for now.

  39. BAS*

    We advised our clients to not rescind any raises that had already been communicated as it is a HUGE morale issue. Some employees stayed Exempt for the time being, but thankfully we haven’t had a ton of issues or push-back.

  40. MWKate*

    I was moved to salaried, non-exempt in that I would have to start punching in and out. Due to the timing of pay periods between hourly and exempt salaried I had to either forgo a paycheck or sign a document in which my employer was basically giving me an advance – and I would have to pay it back when I leave.

    I started punching in and out – and now they are just reversing everything. I don’t think they bumped any salaries so hopefully no one is losing an increase.

    Though – considering I was slated to get a few ours of overtime, it kind of feels like it. I don’t care about the “status” of punching in or punching out. I was going to get more money on my paycheck so I was happy about it.

  41. sole*

    Our non-profit was going to move all exempt employees under the new salary threshold to hourly non-exempt beginning this Sunday, but have halted all changes with news of the injunction. No one’s rate changed, and expected worked hours remain the same (our employees already track their hours due to federal funding regulations). We are extremely lucky in that we’re only out the time we spend planning all of the changes, communicating them to our team, then panicked emails back and forth the day before Thxgiving :/ Our staff seem relieved, as they don’t want to have to chase down every half-hour and are able to flex between 2 weeks as opposed to one. Thankfully everyone was already properly classified as exempt as far as duties went, so really nothing has to change for us.

  42. Mrs. Batts*

    I work at a nonprofit so while one we supported the change as an organization (those people in retail NEEDED this change) it was going to be really tough to implement with our budget. We are leaving raises for those who received them or been told they will receive them in affect but the majority of the changes were for people to move to non-exempt and hourly. Everything was set to go into effect Dec 1 but we decided to put a hold on the changes for now and get the feedback of those affected. What I’m hearing so far and expect to continue hearing is that those who were going to be reclassified as non-exempt and hourly would prefer to stay exempt so they can continue to have the flexibility in their schedule per the work need rather than restricted within a week.

  43. Science!*

    My company is going through with it. What I heard is that ~100 people will be affected (make too little to be given a pay raise and not already hourly). A large number of people at my company are already hourly and receive overtime, the minimum hourly wage was recently increased about 6 months ago, and the concern now is that those individuals who were salaried, when they go to hourly will make less than that wage if their overall net take-home remains the same. I _think_ there are plans to then increase those wages as well (at least to the currently minimum of the already hourly workers) but that will likely happen in the new year.

    The main issue I’ve heard is that there was very little communication between the upper management and the people who would be affected by the changes. In fact, most people only just received their letters confirming the changes and the new regulations that those changes will follow yesterday. One consideration (that I don’t understand, so if anyone can explain it to me) is how going hourly will affect benefits, and I heard people complaining that they wanted time to make changes to their benefit plans if they went hourly.

    I’m already above the minimum so I’m still salary exempt, and I have no direct reports or any influence over anything so I’ve mostly stayed out of the conversations and just took a listening role.

    1. CS Rep By Day, Writer By Night*

      In my company, Long Term Disability is free for salaried employees, whereas hourly employees have to purchase it. Now that my company had made me hourly, I am losing this benefit, along with paid sick days and any opportunities for a bonus.

        1. CS Rep by Day, Writer by Night*

          I wish they would. I’ve been there less than two years, so it’s leaving me feeling like I’ve been baited and switched on this job.

      1. Science!*

        Hmm, I’m not sure in my company whether there are differences on that front. I must admit I’ve never thought about it. I do know that hourly and salary employees have different levels of PTO, but it’s actually in the hourly employees favor (their schedule moves more quickly, so you get more time faster than salaried).

    2. Science!*

      I should also mention that it looks like everyone who was salaried and went hourly did get a pay bump (based on how the pay scale works, with the minimum pay starting at $15/hour). For some people it was fairly substantial, close to $5000, which I think is a good thing.

  44. Lils*

    My university hasn’t announced anything yet. One employee in my department received a raise to bump them up above the threshold. The increase pay has already been implemented on the latest paycheck. I believe they can’t make employees pay back the overage, but they can reduce the salary back down to the original level on the next pay period. That would be a blow to morale.

  45. Noah*

    The company I work for (airline) is ruled by the Railway Labor Act and didn’t have to comply, or so we were told. However, several people in salaried roles that are not airline-specific (like HR, accounting, and admin) were given raises. We didn’t want to lose people to other industries.

    The raises are not being taken away but apparently they’ve adjusted pay-bands again now that the law is not immediately taking effect. So new hires may not be at the same level as existing staff. That should be interesting.

  46. Hallway Feline*

    My company promised us that we would be getting the pay bump to meet the new minimum threshold, even going so far as to break down what the new check amounts would be, etc. As of the ruling and specifically Monday, we were told it was no longer happening. I know it’s not illegal for them to have handled it this way, but it feel icky to promise something and then take it away. I’m still not going to be eligible for OT pay, so I guess I’m no longer going to work as long as needed to get my workload done (if they raised the salary it wouldn’t be as painful to stay an extra 2 hours a day or come in over the weekend).

    Since there are 4 of us in this position and we all work extra hours, do you think they might change the salary on their own anyway once they see the work can’t be completed in a regular 40 hour week and we won’t stay longer to do it if we aren’t paid OT?

    1. zora*

      I hope you talk to your coworkers and all agree to stop working over 40 hours, and that it does push them to change things. Because that’s the cost of doing business for them. Good luck!

    2. Zombii*

      I understand that you’re frustrated to not be getting the raise but you were never eligible for OT in the first place. Consider going to your employer as a group with your colleagues and making a case to have a pay increase/become non-exempt/whatever it is you want to advocate for yourself.

      Stopping work at 40 hours as some kind of protest would be short-sighted and unprofessional. You accepted an exempt position, on salary, with the agreement that you would get the work done regardless of whether it took more than a standard work week.

  47. Bridget*

    They hadn’t even told us what they were going to do anyway so everything is staying the same for now. At least I don’t have to worry about potentially being made hourly now, because that would have sucked.

  48. krm*

    There were only two of us in my organization that were going to be impacted. We were going to switch to non-exempt starting tomorrow. That has been put on hold for now. I’m pretty happy about it, because I enjoy the flexibility my exempt status gives me. I rarely work more than 40 hours in a week, so I would not have benefited much from overtime eligibility.

  49. ThatGirl*

    My husband is a mental health counselor at a university, and they had JUST ironed out the details and he signed an agreement/change in employment status. He was well below the threshold but to make him hourly would’ve required a lot of overtime (thanks to on-call hours), so they raised him to the minimum but prorated it over a 10-month position. It ended up being about a $3k net raise and he’ll get to take four pay periods off over the summer (two at a time).

    As far as I know they are going to honor that … but I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point they tried to revert it back to a 12-month position if they can get away with paying him less. (That said his office has always been slow over summers.)

    1. ThatGirl*

      In the meantime one of my co-workers confided in me that she’d had her salary raised to the threshold (which tells me she’s making a good bit less than I am) and I’m pretty sure they won’t rescind that, but it’s entirely possible she won’t get much of a merit raise in the spring. (That might have been the case anyway.)

  50. Ebonarc*

    My for profit company of about 100 people has no non-exempt employees, but we were going to make the two lowest paid salary grades non-exempt starting 12/1–no pay changes, just status changes.

    When the injunction was announced, they stated that the change was on hold until the fate of the injunction was better known, so it’s business as usual around here with everyone staying exempt. This was met with relief from a lot of folks, as many were worried about a loss of flexibility in their schedules from going non-exempt.

    1. Ebonarc*

      I should mention–the change to non-exempt status would have affected maybe 30-40 people, so 1/3 to 1/2 of the company. Everyone else is above the salary threshold.

    2. Judy*

      How can a company not have any non-exempt employees? My current company designs product, and contracts out the manufacturing. We do have a couple of guys in the warehouse who receive and ship goods, and an AP/AR clerk who handles billing and payments, though. I assume all of the engineers are exempt, but the technicians in our lab probably aren’t.

      Does everyone in your company have autonomy, no one is in the support functions?

      1. fposte*

        Yeah, that’s an interesting model if so, but it also makes me wonder if the duties test is being overlooked.

        1. Natalie*

          The only thing I can think of is if everyone there is a highly-compensated employee. But even that seems pretty suspect.

          1. Ebonarc*

            We’re a consulting and outsourcing firm (trying to stay vague here in case a colleague reads AAM), and most of the employees do consulting work for our end clients. In theory, if you’re not reading it too hard, we all pass the duties test, though in practice I think a substantial proportion of the company (the same folks the salary threshold change would affect) would not. So this change in the law is something I had welcomed for the sake of my colleagues, albeit quietly. It wouldn’t affect me as I’m over the threshold and, in my view, correctly classified as exempt.

            A bunch of functions that are commonly done by internal staff at other organizations are outsourced here. (HR and all accounting functions are done by a single executive level person with the help of a payroll processing firm and similar, for example). We’ve generally had one admin (whom I’m pretty sure should be nonexempt per the duties test) for many years, but we run really lean in terms of our need for that type of support (our office doesn’t interact with the general public, so our front desk is generally empty, for example, since no one comes to the door in the office building we lease space in).

            So, a combination

            1. Ebonarc*

              Sorry, didn’t proofread before posting. That last paragraph should have been:

              “So, a combination of our business model not needing many non-exempt employees, and the duties test for exemption not being properly applied or understood, at least in my view.”

          2. Judy*

            Not if 30-40 of them would be under the new exempt salary threshold.

            We’ve got 75 people, and I’d guess we have somewhere between 5-10 non-exempt folks, but that’s certainly specific to our business model where we design and sell things, but pay another company to build them.

      2. Elysian*

        I agree, this sounds fishy. A company that big should have SOME non-exempt folks. A receptionist, an administrative assistant, someone in accounts payable/receivable… it would be very hard to run a business of that size without nonexempt folks.

        1. Jesmlet*

          Don’t those type of jobs fall under administrative exemptions? I’ve always been a little fuzzy on the duties test, but I thought that as long as it isn’t just simple clerical work, it counts as exempt. Receptionists no, but payroll should and depending on how much independence and responsibility the administrative assistant has, that could skew over as well.

          1. Elysian*

            Generally they don’t, but you’re right that it depends on the duties of the people involved. Because the Administrative exemption requires using a high amount of discretion and judgment about significant matters, most administrative assistants don’t quality. Most accounts/billing folks do a large amount of data entry with little discretion, so it usually doesn’t capture them either. Again, it depends on them and their actual duties, but as a rule I would start with the assumption that none of these people are exempt unless their duties fall outside the norms for those positions.

          2. Ask a Manager* Post author

            In addition to what Elysian said, it’s helpful to realize that “administrative” in this context really means higher-level positions that are helping to run (administer) the business — exercising independent judgment on key matters.

            1. Jesmlet*

              Ah ok, that clears it up for me. I guess I was looking at it coming from a smaller company where everyone sort of pitches in on different things and has a large amount of discretion to make decisions on things. Our payroll person would probably count as exempt but I can see how others in different companies don’t.

  51. Stan*

    My company is sticking with the changes that were made. There was only one employee who had to be bumped up above the new threshold and it was a small bump. The rest were reclassified as non-exempt. (The were improperly classified for years.)

  52. J*

    I didn’t personally hear of anyone getting their raise rescinded at my company, but it was pretty depressing how many of my would-have-been-non-exempt coworkers were excited the change was put on hold because they didn’t want to track their hours. Unpaid overtime for everyone! It’s a Christmas miracle!

    1. Ebonarc*

      That was pretty much the reaction at my company when it was announced everything was on hold. The mindset of “nonexempt=low status lackey” we talk about on AAM is very much the zeitgeist at my company, unfortunately.

    2. AMPG*

      I wonder if they’re used to a lot of flexibility with their hours? I’ve often had jobs where I knew that if I worked late hours one week, there’d be another week down the road where I could skip out early a day or two and it would all wash. Someone hourly can’t do that.

  53. Jesmlet*

    I’m not even sure if my employer was planning on doing anything… My year end gross is well above the threshold but since I think they only count 10% of commissions, I would’ve been just below. I never work over 40 hours a week anyway so my boss probably assumed there was no need to do anything. I certainly wouldn’t have brought it up since the only thing that would change by reclassifying would be the addition of a time sheet which is really unnecessary for the type of work I do. Endless sympathies to everyone negatively affected by this change. Hopefully anyone who wants to jump ship ends up somewhere that is much more considerate of their employees and their time.

  54. J*

    Made non-exempt, given an hourly rate that requires 5 hours of overtime to make the same salary. Frustratingly- no explanation of how this affects benefits like holiday pay and vacation pay.

  55. KL*

    I’m in higher ed and was moved on Nov. 17. Some of our fellow state institutions are not moving now, but we haven’t heard if we’re staying or going back. All we keep hearing is that we’re waiting on guidance from the state attorney general.

  56. Ginger*

    I work in HR, and we did not increase anyone’s salary. I informed about twenty or so employees that their status was changing from exempt to non-exempt, and they would be eligible for overtime pay, but we were going to limit overtime as much as possible. The ones I heard back from were not happy about it…they were viewing it as a demotion even though I tried to emphasize that it was not the intention. They also did not like the thought of having to complete a time sheet each week. So, we are not going to do anything and leave them exempt for now.

  57. hermit crab*

    Our company converted a certain category of staff to non-exempt back in August, in anticipation of the rule. So far, there is no indication that they will be converted back to exempt. Pretty un-dramatic! I’m actually really pleased with how management handled the change here. (All the staff who were converted to non-exempt already had to track all their time for billing purposes, so nothing changed for them other than the ability to get overtime.)

  58. Chicago Recruiter*

    We reclassified certain job groups to non-exempt which rolled out Nov 1. We decided to implement early due to the number of people affected (Fortune 100 company, 200k+ total employees nationwide – not all were affected). Right now we are holding tight and keeping them non-exempt until we hear otherwise but I wouldn’t be surprised if we moved them all back to exempt to avoid paying overtime if the rule doesn’t move forward.

  59. NPOQueen*

    My salary was above the limit and I was made non-exempt. I learned about the change right before Thanksgiving, and I’ve receive no communication since. Neither has my manager, so both of us are confused as to what this means or what processes I need to follow. Definitely not pleased at how this rolled out. The one good thing was that for job searchers, you could easily get a sense of the salary if the job was non-exempt or not. I had a friend going out for a role and the non-exempt title told her it was under $48K. It’s easier than asking “what’s your salary range?”

  60. Dealthwiththis*

    My HR department had sent me a calendar appointment to discuss the FLSA requirements. I had heard from the grapevine that I would be getting bumped up. Then, yesterday, they cancelled the appointment. No word other than that. But it is kindof a bummer to know that they had decided I was worth the new minimum but now I’m not…. :(

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      It was really never a question of whether your company thought you were worth it (in the sense that you mean it); it’s about complying with a legal change that is now on hold.

      Are you being paid market rate? If not, approach it from that angle. If you are, the legal stuff is really not something to take personally.

      1. Justin*

        Some employers are keeping their plans to give people raises, so it is about value at least on some level, if they were planning to give Dealwiththis a raise

  61. TheLazyB*

    Question that’s kind of relevant (sorta kinda)- does anyone else not in the USA really struggle to get their head around the whole exempt/non-exempt thing?? It seems very double-negative.

    1. Leatherwings*

      Hm, I’ve never thought of it that way before but I see what you mean. I’ve always mentally added the words “from overtime” after exempt, but you’re right that “non exempt from overtime” sounds a little silly with that formula.

    2. Tara*

      So double negative! I’m in the US and we still trip up all the time. Overtime-eligible and overtime-exempt are easier.

    3. AMPG*

      YES! I used to manage our hourly employees, and it took a ridiculously long time to get it straight in my head.

    4. Lissa*

      Yes! I’d never heard the terms until AAM and everyone seemed to know what they meant, so I think I’ve mostly picked it up from context by now.

      1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        I often use “exempt” or “covered” when speaking to non-lawyers about it, because “non-exempt” is just silly.

  62. irritable vowel*

    I supervise a staff member who was told at the beginning of November that he would be receiving a mid-year salary increase to accommodate the legislation, while staying exempt (he was thrilled, of course). I just received an e-mail from our company HR yesterday that affirmed that the company is doing the right thing and honoring these pay increases.

  63. Miradan*

    The university system where I work was going to implement the switch over to non-exempt for about 700 employees on December 1, so right now we’re all still at status quo as exempt, and they’ve decided that nothing will change unless the rule goes forward.

    Our HR did a really good job of being proactive to help people negotiate the change — instructional videos on logging time, what counts as time worked, etc, and meetings on several campuses to explain the change — and were great about answering emails with questions related to personal circumstances (I should know, I sent a lot of them). And people were still acting last week (before the ruling) like this was all news to them. I feel badly for all the work they put in to make everything go smoothly.

  64. Just Anon for This*

    None of our employees received raises. They were all being switched to non-exempt and HR is reversing that except for one group of employees that it was determined they were classed incorrectly and have to stay non-exempt.

    A lot of our employees took being moved to non-exempt as a step backwards and were not happy at being non-exempt, even though we switched them to SNE and no one had to start punching a time clock (we just fill out excel spreadsheets for our time) or adhering to a strict schedule. I haven’t heard, but I’m assuming they are happy to keep their exempt status since they weren’t happy to switch. Also, no one typically works a lot of overtime here. This place is a ghost town after 5pm, so they didn’t see the “benefit” of now being eligible for OT.

  65. CR*

    I received a letter from the HR department 2 weeks ago saying that I was going to be non-exempt starting November 26 (the beginning of our pay period that encompasses Dec. 1). I did not receive any other information and my file is still showing me as exempt. So I figure that nothing is happening (I work for a government agency so raises were never on the table) and it will just be business as usual.

  66. AMPG*

    We were reclassifying a number of employees (not sure how many), and that’s now on hold. Our HR department does think that some exempt employees are probably mis-classified from a duties standpoint (including my own direct report), so they might revisit it even if the new rule is permanently scuttled. It made my direct report’s life easier not to switch because she regularly has to cover evening events, and so would have had to be very careful about reducing her daytime hours accordingly. Obviously, I encourage her to do that anyway, but she’s not breaking the law right now if she doesn’t do it.

    I’m curious about the duties test for exempt/non-exempt, and will have to do more reading. One of our HR reps told me that I should technically be reclassified because I only supervise one person, but I’m considered upper management and report directly to the CEO – I just run a very small department.

    1. Jessie*

      “so they might revisit it even if the new rule is permanently scuttled”

      Yeah, they should absolutely revisit if they think some are misclassified. That’s a big legal liability hanging over the head of the company!

      The Dept of Labor has some guidance on its website on the duties tests for each class of exemption. There are very few bright line rules about it – it’s a lot of “depends on the situation” type advice, so if you do not do it for a living it can be hard to come away really knowing what the tests actually mean in practice. Which is why it is so common for companies to misclassify!

      But, for some light reading (ha)… the fact sheet from DOL on the various exemptions can give you a decent sense.

      If you only manage 1 person, you do not qualify for the executive exemption, but maybe you qualify for the administrative exemption.

      1. AMPG*

        This is useful – I can see why classifications are so tricky, based on the vagueness of some of these descriptions.

        It seems like I would probably qualify under either the administrative or learned professional exemptions. My report might actually qualify under the creative professional exemption, as she handles all our media and a large chunk of her job consists of photography and video production.

  67. Bird*

    I’m a graduate student working as a PA at my university. It’s a salaried, exempt position, but ostensibly only for 20 hrs/wk (limited by the Graduate School), and even full time would be under the threshold stated in the overtime rule.

    I was going to be moved to hourly starting December 1, but that has been suspended indefinitely.

  68. Katie*

    Almost everyone who is full-time here except the top 2 execs a make less than the new exempt cut-off, but our company wasn’t going to switch them to non-exempt. They were just going to have to track hours and not work overtime without our GM’s approval. So they’re still doing that. I imagine that plenty of OT will be approved since they do not have to pay for it! As an hourly part-time employee I am mostly unaffected except that our company used to give us paid lunches but was told that is illegal (is it???) and so now I only get paid for 28.5 hours per week instead of 30.

    1. Zombii*

      Not illegal. If you are being paid for a break/lunch, there is a potential legal liability if you get hurt or something during that time, maybe that’s what they figured out—but nothing stops employers for paying you for time you’re not working, it’s only the other way.

      (Ex-job had a rule about not leaving the building on paid breaks because of that, you had to clock out to get out the door; current job has a rule in the handbook that if you’re told it’s too busy to leave the store and you have to eat lunch in the building, they are required to pay you for the time (because “engaged to wait” I assume)).

  69. inkstainedpages*

    I work for a small non-profit with three staff members. Two of us are exempt under the duties test but not the new salary threshold. We were going to be made non-exempt. We also changed our public open hours and are now closed on one weekday so there’s an easy day for people to take off if they are working evening events or weekend hours. We are going to stick with the plan for the most part, including the new public hours. The board hasn’t decided for sure yet, but I think they will not pay overtime hours (the two of us will still be exempt). But they are encouraging all three of us to stick as close to 40 hours per week as possible. The combination of new public hours and slight tweaks to each of our schedules (being scheduled for 8-4 instead of 8-5 and not ending up taking lunch, which is what happens most days) is going to make 40-hour weeks much more possible and likely. So I’m happy that the new law spurred us into that.

  70. MsCHX*

    70% of my staff is exempt and aside from one recently promoted person; no one is anywhere near the threshhold. When the promotion happened she would have fallen just below so we bumped the increase to get her there. Our non-exempt staff is clearly non-exempt based on duties; and I think I’ve seen 2 hours of overtime clocked in a year.

    So we have been watching with interest, but are largely unaffected. I am curious as to where the legislation will go next. I think a bump in the salary basis is overdue.

  71. Kate Henry*

    For any employees who were getting a salary change (a relatively small number; they had to be pretty close), we are leaving the salary change intact. For employees who were going to be newly eligible for overtime due to the salary test, they aren’t any more. I doubt any of them see that as a loss, because they don’t tend to work overtime in any case so it was more about the administrative hassle of tracking their hours. And we were planning on making sure that remained the case, and had communicated that to employees as well. We also, though, as I see some other employers did, went through an FLSA audit of sorts and reassigned some employees’ status due to the duties test. We are leaving those employees under their new classification.

  72. Critter*

    I’m very confused by all this – but I work at a school district, and many of us are in contracted positions (I think I signed one…), so maybe anything that needed negotiating was done through the unions. Our salary increases went through as usual, and although I benefit from this, I don’t really like it.

    1. Rob Lowe can't read*

      Hmm, I do wonder how that was going to be handled with respect to non-instructional staff. Paras and TAs are covered through our teachers’ union, but I don’t know for sure whether our food service workers and custodial staff are unionized or not. (Probably yes, but I don’t know what that looks like exactly with respect to the teachers’ union.)

  73. IT Kat*

    Our company rescinded all raise offers (they were scheduled to go into effect Dec 1), and everyone that was scheduled to go non-exempt from exempt and vice versa is now not changing class.

    Essentially, we’re operating just the same as we were before the rule was ratified. Doesn’t affect me because I was exempt and above the salary threshold either way, but I’m irritated on behalf of our lower-paid employees who are getting paid far below what they should and that aren’t getting overtime for it.

  74. Drowning in Student Debt*

    My boss had the audacity to say to me, “Well the good news is now you won’t have to go through the hassle of filling out a time card!” To which I replied, “Yes, but now you will be working me for 60+ hours a week and I will never see a dime for my overtime.”

    What a world we live in.

  75. Joa*

    I’m in local government (public library director) so overtime is given as comp time at a 1.5x rate, rather than cash. Exempt employees get comp time, too, but at a 1-1 rate. We don’t have enough staff to cover for people taking comp time off at a 1.5x rate regularly, so non-exempt overtime is only approved if there is an emergency or extenuating circumstances. However, exempt staff have a bit more flexibility to shift their hours between weeks (work 45 hours one week and 35 the next.)

    Everyone already tracks their hours here and the change wasn’t going to effect anyone’s take home pay, so the only difference now is that some of my librarians get to maintain a bit more flexibility with their scheduling.

  76. anon for this*

    My company was going to force everyone, exempt and non-exempt alike, to start filling out time sheets, which I thought was decently wise as we would have had some “mixed” departments with some employees above and some below the threshold and that sounded like the best way to avoid fostering dissatisfaction without being able to give everyone a raise. I believe the ability to approve overtime hours was left to the discretion of the particular department head but we were preparing to be approving and paying out some new overtime in some cases. This change is now on hold, with the rationale that if the law changes in the future we’d rather just wait and make a big change like this once we know what the law actually will be, rather than constantly changing things around, which makes sense to me.

    I figured I would convert to salaried non-exempt because my salary was mildly below the threshold. Even though I was not looking forward to a curb in flexibility or the administrative burden, I was semi-relieved to know we’d *all* have to fill out timesheets so that I wouldn’t *know* it if I happened to have been the only department head who was under the threshold, which I sort of suspected I was but was dreading discovering for certain. I know that seems weird, but I love my job and am happy in it, and didn’t like that some idealized number proposed by the government was suggesting that I should feel undervalued.

    However, much to my surprise, I was given a raise that took me from slightly below to not inconsequentially above the threshold, my boss claiming it had nothing to do with the overtime law and having to do instead with additional responsibilities being added to my job, and that hasn’t been rescinded so far. So that’s…unexpectedly great and I’m trying not to feel any imposter syndrome about it, especially as it does remove some financial stress. But I did hear that some other employees who were also under the threshold were to be converted to non-exempt instead, and I feel like those folks work hard too and deserve raises. So I still feel imposter-y about it.

  77. pnw*

    My organization took this as an opportunity to re-examine all of our job descriptions and many of the jobs that were considered exempt have now been reclassified as non-exempt. We were not giving raises to anyone to get them over the threshold so no one was losing a pay increase due to the injunction. Only one of my staff was affected by this (she went to non-exempt) and she is pretty upset. Even though I gave her several reasons why this is a good thing (reasons supplied in our HR trainings), she still says that she feels like this is a step backwards in her career. At least before the injunction she held the belief that it was the big, bad government who was forcing our hand. Now she just thinks HR and her manager (me) are trying to hold her back.

  78. Joan Callamezzo*

    My company sent out and email stating that they are committed to valuing their employees and that going along with the set guidelines is their way of living that value. I should mention that I work for a non-profit dedicated to eradicated poverty and inequality, so it was fitting!

  79. Ghost Town*

    My university already implemented changes to comply with the new regulations. They went into effect on 11/20. Almost immediately after the injunction was announced, they sent out an email stating that they were continuing with the changes as made.

  80. Is it Friday Yet?*

    Is it just me? I feel like the description of exempt job duties is incredibly broad. I’m exempt, but I don’t really feel like my job fits into any of the categories described.

  81. amp2140*

    My company is panicking. Tons of super secret meetings with the management teams on the laws for each state. I have CA… yay!

    The reality is, our staff was underutilized. I’m personally very worried about them being even less efficient and whining that they need overtime to finish. It’s not like they were working extreme hours before.

    Part of the resentment is that they took away company lunches to offset the cost, but didn’t explain it, so everyone is already pretty resentful.

  82. Fluke Skywalker*

    Literally just found out what’s happening here. I had signed HR papers to go to hourly just a couple of days before the change, so I went to ask just now about what we’re doing. We’re all getting changed back to exempt, which is nice, but also kind of sucks because I was hoping for some extra money in the form of overtime. XD No idea what they’re doing about the people they were going to bump, though. It would suck if they rescinded, but I wouldn’t be surprised either.

    We’re supposed to get new papers to sign by the end of today so that we can go back to our old reclassifications effective tomorrow.

  83. Lia*

    I work for a state university, and they announced this week that they will rescind the planned raises. Not surprisingly, morale among those who were impacted is about zero.

  84. Kinsley M.*

    I was always non-exempt so I wasn’t changing anyways, but my husband was given an almost $10k raise to push him over the new threshold. He works in local government so there was just no way to move him to non-exempt with all the board meetings and contract negotiations and randomly scheduled events. Some weeks he works 35-40 hours, but there’s other where he works 60-70. Tracking his hours those weeks would be an absolute nightmare. It’s not like he’s actually in the office. He’s at events or conferences or whatnot.

    The City hasn’t actually told him anything regarding the injunction, but his raise had already been approved by the Board, and the Mayor was absolutely appalled that he was making in the $30s to begin with. So I, thankfully, just can’t see them rescinding it. However, if they did, he’d immediately begin looking for a new job.

  85. CS Rep By Day, Writer By Night*

    My company had decided to make us all hourly and are not changing course. I have lost all of the flexibility ability to manage my own time, as well a s a few other perks that made up for my crappy salary (work from home opportunities, paid sick days, free long term disability, bonus potential, etc). They’ve pretty much ruled out overtime so somehow I’m supposed to fit a 50 hour week into 40. They also don’t want to tell our clients, which means that my customers are3 going to think I’m slacking when I can’t say tale to put out a fire at the end of the day or respond to emails after hours. Basically, they’ve handled this about as poorly as possible, and you bet I’ve been applying to other companies non-stop for the last two weeks.

    1. Tempestuous Teapot*

      State government here and close to the same. No changes to sick time and disability for being first responders, but the weekly timesheet instead of biweekly takes out a lot of flexibility until this injunction is cleared up. We could opt for OT pay or comp time, but again neither until the injunction is cleared up. I’m covering three people’s jobs but have to do it in 40 hours or take hours on my PE, and right at end of year. Awesome.

  86. Dolorous Bread*

    My company (publishing) is keeping the raises and exemption changes, since they had everyone sign and acknowledge the new rule. We have a lot of happy junior staff.

  87. Jeanne*

    This is just insane. Many companies have spent time and money complying with the law. Now it’s a mess because it was only a few days before a change that was planned for a long time. I feel bad for all the workers in limbo.

  88. Lady Tech*

    Thank you for this thread Allison, I’ve been looking for something like this.

    I work for a state university in Maryland and was given a letter a few weeks ago confirming that my salary would be raised to reach the new threshold effective December 1st. The day after the injunction was announced our HR sent out a campus-wide email breaking the news and stating that, per advice from counsel at the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, ALL institutions in the University System of Maryland would be halting ALL changes made or planned to comply the the rule.

    I have a few friends in other departments who were also impacted and given written notice of the raises they would be receiving, and we were shocked that those offers were effectively being rescinded until further notice. I know that its legal for the university to take that action, but offering raises to staff and then declining to honor them at the last minute just seemed ethically out of step with the normal policies of the university as an employer. They were able to come up with the funding in preparation for this without laying anyone off or enforcing furlough days or revoking exempt staff benefits, so its not as if they’re saving anyone by taking back the raises. In fact, most impacted staff I know were offered raises instead of reclassification, which to me indicated that the university could apparently afford the raises and thought they were a worthwhile retention strategy for valuable employees. Now I’m not sure what to think.

    The only updates I’ve gotten from HR are that USM plans to hold off on any changes until a final decision is reached in the courts. I have no idea when that will be and I’m not hopeful that the final decision will result in any of us getting the raises we were offered. I’m wondering what sort of backlash this will create. It just seems like a great way to destroy morale of staff who are already either overworked or struggling financially. But then again, the impacted group are those with the lowest income who are less able to afford resigning to look elsewhere or pursuing lawsuits. I don’t know how we would go about fighting this, I guess we’ll just have to suck it up.

    1. Jeanne*

      I doubt there’s anything anyone can do to fight it. I’m sure it’s legal. But it stinks all around to say no raise that you thought you were getting.

      1. zora*

        If it was me, I would organize and protest publicly. Mount a full campaign to try to get the whole USM to pay their staff a living wage. Do you have any grad student or staff unions or organizations in the system? They would probably join you. But that’s just what I would do, and I’m a rabble-rouser. ;o)

        1. Lady Tech*

          Leadership in my department are keen on this idea from the conversations we’ve had this week. Thankfully I do have bosses who believe in being advocates for their staff, and some of them have some good connections with higher ups in the institution. The leadership who originally pushed to give me the raise are trying to push for action to see it through in spite of the injunction, but we don’t know yet whether this is something that we can fight within the university or if this is an inflexible order from higher up in the USM or state of MD hierarchy.

          In the meantime I’m just applying positions with more competitive salaries. I really don’t want to leave, but I’m being paid well below what I’m worth for my position/expertise/level of productivity and there is no where for me to move up from where I am now. Ideally hoping I could leverage a job offer to get a raise if this falls through, but that’s not really something I know anything about or have ever attempted.

          1. zora*

            Good, I’m glad you have a couple people on your side, at least! That should help the sting even if it doesn’t work. And good for you for searching anyway, you gotta take care of yourself.

            I wish you the best with everything and I hope it works out somehow. And please come update us in the Friday open thread at some point, because I’ll be thinking about you.

    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      This sounds icky and not great. My suspicion is that they had money in the short term for the raises, but they didn’t have a real plan in the long-term. It could be that they wanted to withhold the raises in order to have greater flexibility in the coming months. It’s not how I would have done it, and I agree it’s a morale killer, but hopefully they’ll get their act together and do the right thing.

  89. Ellie H.*

    The university I worked at announced at a faculty meeting today, that they are still honoring the new overtime law as if it will go into effect as originally planned. I think that’s great. It doesn’t affect me personally, so I don’t know if there were changes that had already gone into effect or been set up beforehand. But overall it was really pleased to hear this and it seemed others were too.

  90. LisaD*

    My company implemented raises last year in anticipation of the rule. nothing will be rescinded as employees are now already due for annual reviews after their first year at the new pay grade!

  91. Happy with my job*

    I work for a small business (<10 employees) and I'm pretty sure I'm the only one affected by the new rule. I was about $5,000 below the threshold, but I was given a raise at my review a few weeks ago, effective at my first December paycheck, even though I've only been here for a few months. Our workload is unpredictable and the company is doing well enough that they didn't want to deal with the hassle of making me hourly. When I told the owner today about the rule being on hold he said he would honor my raise, although he had not heard about it until I told him. I was pretty sure he wouldn't rescind the raise, but I thought it was dishonorable not to mention the situation when I knew about it.

  92. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

    Our nonprofit has very few employees who were below the threshold, and those below the threshold live/work in rural offices where the market rate is below the salary threshold (think Bay Area v. Fargo, but all in the same state).

    Nonetheless, we raised wages for current employees’ who were below the new rule’s threshold in October because we thought it was the morally right thing to do. To help absorb the cost of those raises in the short-term (like, through May 2017), however, in consultation with staff we decided to leave a few entry-level positions open. Although we could afford to fill the entry-level positions with part-time folks, for fairness reasons, we prefer to bring folks on full-time whenever possible so that their benefits opportunities are as similar as possible (they can opt out of certain benefits, but we want them to have the option).

    We may now hire for some of the vacant positions, but in the short term starting salaries will be the same as our prior, just-barely-below-threshold rate. In the meantime, we’d like to have all positions filled and brought up to the same salary levels by the last quarter of 2017 (even though this is above-market), regardless of whether the rule is upheld. We just think this is the right thing to do and that it’s better for morale if similarly situated employees are compensated at comparable rates.

    At bottom, the rule just gave us a good excuse/opportunity to review our salary structure and catch any gaps or inequalities. It helped keep us honest ;)

    1. zora*

      wow, that is really good to hear, I love knowing that some people took it as an opportunity to do the right thing!

  93. anon this time*

    going anon so I can post some details: my company (mid-size PR firm) rescinded all raises and changes to status that they were planning to put into effect on Dec 1. It doesn’t affect me, though, and it seems to only have affected a small handful of employees. Most of us seem to be paid above the threshold, and most of the staff are highly-skilled employees with billable hours and exempt.

  94. Space Pants*

    I work for a big company that has different divisions all over the US (and outside), but I just started here in June, as salary exempt making just a little bit below the threshold. I asked about this whole thing at my slightly delayed 90 day review in October, and at that point it was still all up in the air- corporate was doing a massive analysis of everyone’s jobs who made below the threshold, and at that point it was still a mess. They were trying to re-categorize some people who had been exempt into non-exempt hourly, which would have required an on-site supervisor there to supervise them, except for that facility and industry and location it wasn’t a doable thing… so everything was kind of in disarray.

    My supervisor and I worked on re-writing my job description to focus more on all of the things I do that meet the duties test to be exempt, and it was submitted up to corporate, but we hadn’t heard anything at all after that, and she just checked with HR and nothing is changing for me, I’m still exempt as of tomorrow. Unfortunately I don’t know what they would have done- bumped up my pay, or made me go hourly, and the not knowing is kind of frustrating, since if this does go through later, I’ll still have to wonder what’s going to happen.

    One of the reasons I wanted this position so much was for its exempt status and flexibility- coming from customer service, and having been in call centers, I really was sick of the tyranny of the time clock! For some people, no amount of possibly being paid for overtime can balance not feeling like you’re having your time micromanaged, and I’m one of those people.

  95. Bagen*

    We instituted all of our changes in July as that is the start of your fiscal year. Any position that was affected had a review of the position requirements to see if it truly was exempt or nonexempt, and then we reviewed the salary scales and implemented as appropriate. The biggest pushback came from folks who were salary and became hourly. I would severely pushback on my CFO and CEO if they did a roll back. The proposed threshold is a more just salary for the expectations that come with an exempt position.

  96. jrnonprofitperson*

    I am a junior employee at a mid-sized nonprofit in a major metro area. I have been there 3 years. My salary is 40k and was slated to be bumped up tomorrow to the new threshold. It would have been a huge raise. I made financial decisions based on that raise that is now not coming in full. My nonprofit is not in the financial position to easily absorb raising everyone, but instead of acting like nothing happened, they are giving those effected a small raise. They would have done the right thing and bumped everyone if they could have. They just are not in a financial position to make it happen. We had major budget cuts over the last year. This is not ideal but they are showing a lot of goodwill and trying to not gut morale by giving a modest raise. I read through the thread and did not see any other org taking this approach. I am trying to take it in stride. This does make me want to look elsewhere considering current market rate.

  97. J*

    I was informed TODAY that as of November 21st my Salaried exempt position had been changed to salary non-exempt. I am now limited to 40 hours per week, lost my paid time off for sick leave or doctor’s appointments, have to fill out time sheets, and am no longer eligible for profit sharing or our annual (7%) bonus program because “Overtime is it’s own reward.” OH, you mean the overtime I won’t be getting? And thank you for the clear message that only hours worked OVER 40 per week contribute to the company’s success. As a side note, I also found out today that my male counterpart, was bumped up to the threshold to remain exempt. I have more education, twice the experience, and better technical skills. I like him, he’s a good guy, but I am better (fact not ego). We do the same job with the same title. He will now be making at least $10K more than I am. I am turning in my resignation tomorrow afternoon.

    1. Zombii*

      Also please put in a complaint at the relevant government agencies: 1) The Bro Code is no reason to promote a less qualified employee and your employer should have to defend that decision to someone. 2) If you’re saying that they told you on the 30th that your status was changed 9 days ago and they never informed you at that time, they’re not allowed to eff with your pay retroactively and someone definitely needs to hear about that.

      1. J*

        Yes, they told me on November 30th and the change took effect on November 21st. The VP of HR handed me a letter yesterday during the meeting which she backdated to the 21st. I am not sure where to start on the legal aspect of the salary differences between my coworker and myself. As stated we have the same job description and title. We do different types of work based on the projects we are assigned by our manager – but the assignments are based on the manager’s personal preference (ie: she likes his designs and the fact that she can take credit for his work, she gives me the technical things like analytics and digital projects that she doesn’t understand – she tries to take credit for those projects, but it falls apart when she can’t explain it to upper management and has to loop me in to answer their questions – which . . .”I’m sorry?” That’s not MY fault). In the meeting with HR yesterday, the VP acknowledged – out of left field – that my manager doesn’t have management experience prior to her current role and so therefor can’t be expected to actually perform well as a manager because it’s still early in her career path, so it’s important to be understanding of that and manage up. . . “Um, okay?” I don’t understand what’s going on in this company. I feel like I’ve entered the Twilight Zone. Any advice appreciated. And yes – I know, look for another job. I’m trying.

      2. Lanon*

        Very hard to prove that, although I generally agree with you.

        Mostly due to the workplace laws, employers get away with strategically and systematically underpaying female employees.

  98. Gratiana*

    I’ve been losing sleep over this, tbh. The public university I work for (like many, apparently), just put everything on hold across the board—no reclassifications, no raises—but the thing I’ve been struggling with is the view from the top.

    I’m currently president of the board of a small nonprofit in a traditionally poorly-paid field. At our board meeting right before Thanksgiving, we bit the bullet and voted to give the nonprofit’s director an $8K raise to meet the new rules because we’d end up paying him more if we switched him to hourly. The nonprofit’s finances are always tight—especially so at the moment as we’re recovering from a really bad year—and that decision took our director well over current market value. It was very clear that we were only doing it because of the new law, but now he’s pissed that we’re even thinking about reconsidering that decision. I’ve polled the board, and their views are broadly spread between no raise (we can’t afford it), full raise (he deserves it), and compromise halfway (the sane answer, in my view, but he will definitely see it as us rescinding $4k instead of gaining $4k, so the morale issue doesn’t go away).

    I still haven’t decided what to do.

    1. Zombii*

      Would he have been paid more if you’d switched him to hourly at minimum wage? Because that was (and still is) an option, especially if the finances are as dire as it sounds.

      Having a tantrum over $4k when he’s in a position to know how tight the budget is and how much others are being compensated (or not compensated) is incredibly tone-deaf.

  99. stacie roman*

    We have just changed two of our employees from salary exempt to hourly effective 12.01.
    (They really didn’t meet the duties test).
    The third person (executive assistant that works a lot of time out of the office, including weekends and would be a pain to keep a time sheet for every little thing she does for the CEO) will remain on salary exempt, with no increase in wages. Until January 2017, when California’s minimum wage bumps to 10.50/hr, so her salary will be going up because of that. Then we will see what happens with the FLSA case.
    No change in their PTO, as all employees accrue at the same rate. A little bit of grousing about having to use the time clock. But that’s basically it, their wages should remain the same as long as they have PTO to apply to any time off, and they do very little, if any, overtime as it is.

  100. JoAnna*

    My husband’s employer rescinded the $7,000/year raise he was supposed to get to keep him exempt. They made this decision AFTER the employees signed a “letter of reasonable assurance” acknowledging the pay hike. He got an email to that effect yesterday (November 30). To say we are devastated is an understatement.

  101. AliceBD*

    HR never got around to telling me what would happen, which I think is pretty crummy in the first place considering the injunction came only 10 days before implementation. My duties are exempt and it said so in the letter about my promotion from earlier this year; HR later claimed I was non-exempt all along and everyone knew that, which is bs since they are the ones who wrote the letter. My manager was advocating for me to get a raise to the new threshold, which would have been very useful as I am applying for jobs since I want to move and some of them require salary history. But nothing at all has happened since HR is so slow so I am just sticking with the status quo.

  102. Colette*

    At my ad agency, anyone who already got notified of their raise gets to keep it, which only applies to a couple people. The rest are going back to salaried exempt without change.

    The unintended consequence of all this is it got employees discussing wages with each other and learning the company was lowballing everyone. Then when HR blundered and made the “FLSA discussion schedule” public, in which they were only meeting with people who were affected in some way, we all saw that they were only meeting with women and no men. Even though there are plenty of men at the same hierarchy levels. I already knew the company has some issues but this highlighted it.

  103. Some2*

    I was notified that I’d be getting approximately a $2k raise…the day before the judge issued the injunction. Now I’ve been notified that my raise is not happening. The people that weren’t getting raises that were converted to non-exempt are remaining non-exempt.

    As you can imagine I am not pleased…

  104. KEM11088*

    I am about 20k underpaid in my industry in a very expensive area…I was ecstatic to get moved back to hourly because the overtime would be an increase in itself. (My company is outsourcing and the result is I am now doing the job of several people).

    Nothing has been announced yet about what’s happening….but if I get switched back to salaried, I will be looking harder than ever.

  105. Lanon*

    I’m from germany, so I’m not affected by this, but 2 friends of mine are. I posted about what one told me (rantingly) in teamspeak the night after the ruling, but not the other:

    Friend 1:

    They laid about 20% of staff off in preparation and raised the other’s wages above the new thresholds while requiring more (then unpaid cause exempt) overtime from their existing employees to cover the loss of 20% workforce. When the hold was decided the raises were rescinded immediately, and the 20% stayed laid off

    Friend 2:

    They made some of their employees (who’d been working 50-70 hour weeks) hourly and put a 40 hour cap on them per week. They’ve also raised the salary of some managers to have them stay exempt. Everything has been rescinded and continues as before there now.

  106. SaaSyPaaS*

    About two weeks prior to the injunction, I had asked our HR rep how the new rules would affect me and was told to stay tuned. Now, they’re waiting to see how it plays out in the courts, and that’s fine by me.

  107. joseph*

    My wife has been making 53,000 for the past 4 years. According to her pay stub it is based on 40 hours ($ 25/hr). Now her company sent her a form saying that she is making $20/hr and she has to work 51 hours to achieve the same salary. Instead of basing her pay on 40 hours they are basing it on 51. She is losing 400 a week in overtime because of the decrease in pay, and they are telling her she is making more a week. Is this really legal?

    1. NaoNao*

      It’s legal. They can change the pay rate to whatever they want as long as it’s not retroactive.
      The thing is, if she’s hourly exempt (which it sounds like based on the inclusion of hours on her paycheck) I would look at the “duties test” part. If she’s really meeting the duties test, I guess it’s time to mosey along to another job, since this job is pretty clearly showing her their cards.
      If she’s hourly non-exempt (based on what you said for OT) I think the law is that if you make *less* than 47k a year they have to pay you OT *or* raise you to over 47K. So, sadly it seems like even though it’s fishy and not cool, it’s legal.
      It sounds a little odd to me that a salaried job with a fixed salary is allowed to go over 40 hours in calculating the per-hour rate, but I don’t know enough about the law to address that.

  108. ChrysantheMumsTheWord*

    I work for a medium sized non-profit.

    We had a group of employees that passed the duties test but due to their work schedules were falling under the new salary requirement. We moved them all to non-exempt as of 11/21. We moved them all back to exempt once the law was changed. For the most part these employees saw being salaried as a benefit (no clocking in, ability to manage their own hours however they wanted) and were relieved that things are back to normal for the time being.

    We had one employee that we gave an increase to in order to get her over the new threshold and it was decided to leave her there.

  109. Justin*

    Pretty lousy of employers to renege on this, but hey, unemployment is low so vote with your feet if you can.

  110. Catnip Melba Toast*

    I literally signed on to a new job the week before all this, and I’d used the new overtime rule to negotiate a higher salary. Now I’m terrified the company is going to try to change the parameters of my pay or retract the offer prior to my up coming start date!

  111. NonProfit Woes*

    My non-profit decided to give our exempt employees below the threshold the raise to $47,500 effective today. We are in California, so the minimum pay rate for exempt employees is already $41,600 and will be $43,680 January 1 regardless of this regulation.
    We knew they were anticipating the raise, so we did not want to hurt morale. However, we did say that this raise may mean there is no additional raise at the new fiscal year July 1 (when we normally give raises).

  112. twice_actingdirector*

    How’s this for morale boosting:
    Apparently I am the only employee where my current agreement is standing as I am in an interim role and they increased my salary to the FLSA threshold temporarily while I am covering my bosses maternity leave with the plan that in 2017 my role would become 10 months a year at my current salary (I work at a college).
    “Please note that if implementation of the new regulations is delayed or materially modified before December 1, 2016, [college] will not take the action described in this letter until the regulations actually take effect. In addition, if, due to legislative or court action, the new regulations are invalidated before July 1, 2017, [college] may reconsider the changes described in this letter and may revert to the current status quo.”

  113. HR Bee*

    I’m a single-person HR department at a relatively small business (~130 people.) We had about a dozen people affected, and I was literally trying to wrench a final decision out of our execs when the injunction came through. Immediately, they stopped even considering making any changes (nothing had been communicated yet.) I was told “Oh look, for once our procrastination worked in our favor!”

    It kills me, because the direction they were leaning towards was raising most of the affected staff above the threshold, and I am well aware how badly those people could have used that raise, and how much they deserve it. Ugh.

    1. HR Bee*

      Also, I spent HOURS compiling information, drawing up proposals, manipulating numbers and arguing with the execs over this, only to have the entire thing just fizzle out at the last second. I’m annoyed.

  114. smokey*

    Some of us got raises to remain exempt. Company hasn’t decided if we can keep them or not- they are “still reviewing”. They started last Monday though, so we will have at least one larger paycheck since they can’t change our pay retroactively (as I understand it).

  115. Darcy*

    Since we had already communicated the changes, we kept them in place. We changed one large group to hourly, and bumped everyone in another group up to the new minimum. While we aren’t confident that the law will ever go into effect now, we weren’t willing to create the morale issues that would have resulted from reneging on our communications.

  116. Anon please*

    I was just notified yesterday that I will be re-classified to non-exempt, even though there is doubt on the law passing. I make over the threshold amount and reading through the duties test, I believe I easily qualify for an admin exemption. However, HR and my manager are not budging. I never have cause to work OT so I see no benefit from this. I don’t know what their motive is for making this change, but if it’s not reversed I will be seeking other employment. Very disappointing! I have no idea what benefit my company gets from re-classifying me given the circumstances so if anyone has a theory, I’d love to hear it!

  117. Champagne_Dreams*

    My company of ~4,000 employees used the looming FLSA deadline as an excuse to conduct a job-by-job analysis throughout the entire company.

    We determined that two major jobs (i.e., huge percentage of employees are under one of these titles) were mis-classified under the duties test. One major job was mis-classified under the salary test.

    After the stay, our decision was that the two jobs that failed the duties test remains non-exempt. We won’t revert them back to exempt because of the duties test.

    The one job that failed only the salary test will remain exempt. I don’t believe the people in that job title that made less than the threshhold had been notified of any raise yet. That lack of communication enabled that decision to keep them exempt.

  118. Joe*

    I work as a Collector for a current bank in Upstate NY and make just less than the overtime rule salary of $45,500. I was recently informed on 11/22 that my position was changing from Exempt to Non-Exempt based on the Obama Overtime Rule. However on 12/2, I was told the rule was overturned, so therefore I am still Exempt–right? Plus when my employer told me of the change on 11/22, they also said I would have to fill out a weekly timesheet of my “exact” time worked. I was not happy about this, since I’ve been an Exempt employee over 25 years and I also felt “demoralizing” going from Exempt to Non-Exempt. I felt relived on 12/2 when the rule was blocked. However, my employer told me later in the day they still want me to fill out a weekly timesheet to “track my hours” should the rule be overturned and they’re thinking it would be “back-dated to 12/1”. Do I have to still fill out a timesheet? Can my employer refuse to pay me or fire me if I don’t? Thoughts for anyone including current HRs.

  119. Fantasy*

    My company already changed their job descriptions and raises. I am now considered exempt and have been raised to $47500. However, this required a reduction in staffing and doubling workloads of those that are now exempt. This makes about a 60 hour week for executive, administrative, and professional duties. But as managers we are requires to fill staffing vacancies (direct support- non-professional duties). We do not get paid for filling vacancies. Some weeks I end up working 120 hours a week.How is this legal?

  120. Geologyst*

    I was one of the few people at my small company that would have been affected by the new law. As far as I can tell, they just ignored that it was even happening. One of my bosses even seemed surprised that I would be affected by it when I mentioned it a few months ago (after being asked to work my Nth weekend in a row with no pay). I’m one of the lowest paid people here (mostly a seniority thing though) but am the only one asked to work OT for no pay.

    In fact, about a week before the injunction came down, I had emailed the DoL to ask about how to take recourse if my company refused to pay me under the new law because I felt confident they would try not to.

    So, in any case, I am sure they are happy they can keep squeezing all that free work out of me until further notice.

  121. PartTimeHR*

    We gave employees raises (all of our employees were and are salaried and exempt) at their annual reviews to bring them up to the minimum. We didn’t mention this was why they received the raise. Most got raises higher than they would have, but not drastically. If we had had any employees we weren’t comfortable raising to the minimum (poor attendance or performance), we would have switched them to hourly.

  122. Newlynonexempt*

    I was recently placed from salary to hourly, but do not understand why. I make well above the salary threshold and am a professional employee. I work in a technology based field and hold a professional license and have a specific degree. I was pulled into an office with fellow co workers and told I am now non exempt and there is a strict no OT policy. I guess I don’t understand if this change is due to this new law, or my company is doing this for other reasons? In a couple of weeks I will be working well over 40 hours for an implementation and now with the strict hour guidelines, I see some potential issues. Any ideas as to why my company would switch me to hourly? It seems suspicious.

  123. Bridget*

    My company just plain refuses to let us work overtime what so ever. I mean not even 1 minute of overtime even if we were in the office an extra half hour. Without permission from the owner she will not dish out a dime no matter how badly everyone needs to work overtime to catch up. She feels over time is “stealing” her money.

    1. K2*

      I’m in the exact same situation! Ive never worked anywhere else that the president of the company had to sign off on overtime. It’s really stressful not to be able to put in even a few extra hours occasionally when you get swamped or have an event.

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