Frequently Asked Questions
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If you are affected, you’ll be notified by your supervisor.
Employees currently classified as non-exempt, regardless of pay—WILL NOT be affected.
Employees currently earning less than $47,476 a year in base pay AND who are currently classified as exempt—MAY be affected.
Campus and institute leaders and human resources officers are working to confirm affected employees based on the final rule and guidance provided by the federal government. Supervisors of affected employees will be contacted by human resources as quickly as possible and given information about the changes to share with individuals.
If you’re unsure of your annual base pay, check your personalized benefits statement through UT’s employee portal:
- Go to: https://irisweb.tennessee.edu/irj/portal
- Enter your Net ID and password
- Click “Employee Self-Service” at the top
- Click “Benefits and Pay”
- Click “Personalized Benefits Statement”
- Your “Salary (annual rate):” is listed on the top-left of the page
- NOTE: Longevity is considered bonus pay not included when calculating annual base pay.
Some employees will be reclassified as non-exempt and receive overtime pay or paid time off (compensatory time) for hours worked in excess of 40 hours a week.
Some employees may receive pay increases to maintain exempt classification. A review/approval process has been developed for supervisors who wish to request their employees remain exempt. Supervisors should contact their human resources officer for more information.
Otherwise, pay likely will not change Dec. 1, 2016.
These decisions will be made by each campus and institute in the coming weeks and months as we work toward full implementation by Dec. 1, 2016.
Most exempt employees whose salary does not meet or exceed the new $47,476 threshold will be reclassified as non-exempt when the changes take effect Dec. 1, 2016. However, in certain circumstances, salaries may be increased to maintain exempt classification. A review/approval process (has been developed for supervisors who wish to request that their employees remain exempt. Supervisors should contact their human resources officer for more information.
Annual leave is the only paid benefit that will change. On Dec. 1, 2016, monthly accrual rates will be adjusted based on years of service using the same rates in place for non-exempt employees:
|Years of Service||Monthly Accrual||Annual Carry-Over Maximum|
|0-5 years||8 hours||240 hours|
|6-10 years||12 hours||288 hours|
|11-20 years||14 hours||312 hours|
|More than 20 years||16 hours||336 hours|
|For more information, review UT’s annual leave policy. As a reminder, annual leave accrual is pro-rated for part-time employees.|
Personal Leave Day
On Dec. 1, 2016, affected employees will receive a personal leave day to use that month. On Jan. 1, 2017, and in subsequent years, impacted employees will receive a personal day to use during the calendar year.
Benefits such as sick leave, retirement, insurance, educational assistance and longevity pay—WILL NOT be impacted.
It may. Non-exempt employees will receive overtime pay or paid time off (compensatory time) for hours worked in excess of 40 hours a week. Therefore, flexible scheduling may be required to manage overtime and comp time.
If your position becomes non-exempt, you will be required to record all hours worked and will receive overtime pay or paid time off (compensatory time) for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek.
Yes, if you prefer. Employees in positions reclassified as non-exempt will be given the choice of monthly or bi-weekly payroll.
Yes. Employees whose work requires training will be able to travel. Guidelines are available here.
If my base pay increases above $47,476 as a result of any across the board, merit and/or market pay increases between now and the effective date, will I remain exempt?
Annual salary increase pools tend to be limited, and supervisors make decisions about increases based on several criteria. However, if you receive an increase that raises your salary above the overtime threshold, the new regulations WILL NOT affect your exempt classification. Keep in mind though, the federal salary threshold for exempt status may increase again in 2020.
The first and best resource is your campus or institute HR officer. Please reach out with questions or concerns. Supervisors of affected employees will be contacted as quickly as possible and given information about the changes to share with individuals.
Supervisors or Hiring Managers
We are reviewing the new regulations and evaluating which employees will be affected. If someone you supervise is affected, your campus or institute administration and/or human resources officer will be in touch to explain the changes and their impact and to provide resources for talking to your staff.
According to University policy, employees must have advance approval from their supervisors before working overtime. Further, the University can pay overtime in the form of compensatory time (paid time off), which is paid at the rate of 1½ hours for each hour of overtime worked. Most employees can accrue up to 240 hours of compensatory time.
Overtime or comp time must be given, regardless of prior approval. However, unauthorized overtime can result in disciplinary action.
Two employees in my department have the same position titles, but one is paid more than $47,476 and the other is paid less than $47,476. How will that be handled?
Your human resources officer, in partnership with your department’s leadership, will help you to determine the best approach.
Updated: If I have the funds and want to give someone a pay increase to push his/her salary above the threshold, can I do that?
Guidelines for salary increases will include instructions about allocating available funds. A review/approval process has been developed for supervisors who wish to request authorization to raise an employee’s salary to maintain the employee’s exempt status. Supervisors should contact their human resources officer for more information.
Does this mean affected employees will no longer be eligible for on-call rotation and/or to work the occasional nights or weekends that exempt positions demand?
No. The changes mean that affected employees will now receive overtime pay or compensatory time (paid time off) for time worked in excess of 40 hours a week in accordance with policies and procedures. Flexible scheduling may be required to manage overtime and compensatory time.
Contact your HR officer or campus/institute recruiter.
Where can I find more information about the Fair Labor Standards Act, how exempt status is determined and the federal government’s rationale for these changes?
Summary information is available on the Department of Labor’s website. The final rule is available here.
Please contact your human resources officer if you have additional questions upon review.
Yes. The new regulations also require the U.S. Department of Labor to review the minimum salary test every three years, beginning in 2020.
Questions We’re Working to Answer
We are still considering the impact of the new regulations on career ladders. More information will be shared soon.