Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

New Overtime Rules Come to 'U'

1. June 2004 • Scott Trudeau
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Due to the recent changes in federal overtime regulations the University of Michigan is reclassifying employees across campus from “exempt” to “non-exempt” status—meaning many University employees will now qualify for time-and-a-half overtime pay. The Human Resources web site has some information regarding this change, but doesn’t report the number affected and reasons for the change. For a sense of scale, about 25 Law School employees out of about 330 are affected.

While there has been much criticism of the new federal overtime regulations, the change appears to be a good deal for reclassified University employees. They now will be paid bimonthly instead of monthly, will receive better overtime compensation and will maintain their current vacation accrual of two days/month. New employees hired into the reclassified jobs, however, will start with a one day/month accrual. Also, departments previously comfortable with the “flexibility” of “exempt” employees may choose to pressure newly “non-exempt” employees to “do more with less” to prevent overtime accrual.

A law school staffer told me that all employees of pay grade 9 and under were assessed by “a law firm in Atlanta” for compliance with the new regulations. She said employees in grade 10 and 11 will be assessed in the future and that no currently “non-exempt” employees have been reclassified as “exempt.” She said the the University line is that these changes are not related to the ongoing Classification System Project that the University Record reports will affect over 18,000 employees beginning next year.