MSU prepares for federal overtime regulations

Employers around the country are making big decisions about your paychecks. In four months, if you are salaried and make less than $47,476, you will be eligible for overtime pay over 40 hours.

The options include bumping employees up to that threshold, paying the overtime, or limiting the employees’ hours. 

Murray State University is one of those employers. They’re looking at the pay of more than 400 of their employees right now. 

They’re on phase two of a five phase plan. It’s a survey for employees to talk about their job descriptions and how much overtime they work. The university will then decide who will switch to hourly workers and see where they can cut back on overtime. 

Murray State Athletic Director Allen Ward has more than 50 full time employees under his management. He says he’s already estimating between three and five of them will be made hourly as a result of the new regulations. 

"They’re not coming in here to work hourly or to worry about that hour number — 42, 43, and 44 — and get paid overtime. That’s not what their passion is," he said. He, like many department heads at MSU, is having to working to find who qualifies to be exempt from the new overtime regulations and who will go hourly. 

Human resources manager Joyce Gordon says: "It does impact the culture of the university and how we do business." Although it’s good news for those who work more than 40 hours a week, she added the bottom line is it will cost more money. 

The new threshold, along with new guidelines for who can be considered exempt is a challenge, especially for the athletic department. "A coach whose primary function was recruiting, that would not qualify. So all of those will be reviewed," Gordon said. 

Right now, MSU predicts more than 200 employees will go to an hourly status. 

Murray State set aside $1.4 million for this change at their last board of regents meeting. That’s covers bumping salaried employees up to 47,476 or just shelling not out a lot of overtime. 

The changes go into affect on Nov. 12. That’s one pay period before the Dec.1 deadline set by the federal government. 

There are some employees that are still not exempt from overtime that make more than the $47,476 threshold. 

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