December 1, 2016

Federal court injunction halts Fair Labor Standards Act implementation

As communicated to leadership campus-wide last week and again Wednesday (Nov. 30), a temporary injunction granted Nov. 22 in a federal court lawsuit filed by 21 states and more than 55 business groups will block the implementation of changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which were to become effective today (Dec. 1).

Since that ruling, University leadership has consulted heavily with Purdue’s Big Ten peers and others to try to understand what might be logical steps to move forward. As a result, the University has decided to suspend implementation of its FLSA changes until resolution of this issue becomes clear. Based on detailed conversations over the past few days, this position is in line with the majority of Purdue’s Big Ten peers.

However, as a result of the work undertaken over the past months, and supported by conversations with Big Ten peers, leadership believes that whether or not there is a government-mandated change in pay, the compensation levels for Purdue postdoctoral employees are in need of a detailed review. Leadership intends to conduct this review during the month of December and provide specific feedback in early January.

In plain terms, the University is going to hold off on implementing the FLSA-prescribed salary increases and nonexempt employee reclassifications. Therefore, effective immediately, here is the impact to Purdue employees:

* Employees who were to be reclassified as Salaried Non-Exempt and begin tracking overtime will remain Exempt at this time and will not need to complete a biweekly timesheet, as previously announced.

* Employees who were told that they would receive a salary increase as a result of the impending FLSA changes will not receive that increase at this time.

* Employees who were expecting a salary increase and based their 2017 benefits elections on that expected increase have an opportunity to review and make any changes necessary as a result of the injunction. At this time, employees are unable to access EBenefits to make changes. Employees must contact Benefits at or via HR Help by 5 p.m. EST Dec. 9 to make any needed adjustments to their enrollment.

Both groups of employees, as well as their supervisors, have received targeted emails from Human Resources explaining the impact of the ruling.

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