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Changes could be coming for 1,700 Purdue employees

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) About 1,700 Purdue University employees could soon see their jobs reclassified so it doesn’t cost the university millions. It’s all because federal rules governing overtime pay are expected to change this year.

The changes are coming to the Fair Labor Standards Act. There would be an increase in the salary minimum for exempt employees, or employees who are salaried and don’t track time worked. That means even if they work more than 40 hours a week, they don’t get overtime pay.

Vice President for Human Resources Trent Klingerman said the minimum for exempt employees is expected to jump from about $23,660 to $50,440. That’s based on the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers.

The impact at the university based on our preliminary review is about 1,700 employees, or 1,705 employees, impacted to the tune of about $13.4 million if we were to bring everybody above the new salary minimum, said Klingerman.

Therefore, the 1,700 exempt employees may be reclassified as nonexempt employees, or employees who are hourly and track all time worked.

“If people aren’t raised above the new salary minimum, and we manage overtime so that people don’ incur overtime, we don’t pay overtime. That’s the way that we wouldn’t be facing the huge labor cost impact,” said Klingerman.

President Mitch Daniels said the university will adjust to the changes and make it so students don’t have to absorb the cost.

“Just like businesses and other institutions all over the country, we will be looking for ways to reduce that. Each time the government imposes one of these mandates, there”s a lot of cost that comes with it and people adjust, said Daniels.”

Klingerman said the Department of Labor may have the final regulations in May or June. The university might only have 60 days after that to implement the changes.