Who gets overtime? Who wants it?
The U.S. Department of Labor has released a proposed rule on overtime pay for nonprofit and corporate employers. On college campuses some employees may get paid more but they’ll feel that they’re worth less.
Currently an employee making less than $35,568 is classified as “non-exempt,” meaning they must keep track of the hours they work and qualify for additional compensation should they put in overtime. The Department of Labor wants to raise that threshold to $55,068.
So, more employees would qualify for the opportunity to receive more pay. That’s good, right? Well, not as far as many employees are concerned. They resent the prospect of having to “punch a clock.” These employees are often in positions that require additional time and travel to get the job done. For example, admissions and student life staff members frequently don’t work 9 to 5. But they derive great satisfaction from their work as professionals, and, as such, may see punching a clock as a demotion or diminishment of their status.
Of course, non-exempt employees deservedly take just as much pride in their work and are essential to the success of their campuses. But they would be encountering staff hostile to serving in the same status as they do. This overtime change could profoundly undermine campus morale by casting in a stark light the differences between exempt and non-exempt employees.