We want to make you aware of upcoming major changes to the overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA is a federal law that Hobart and William Smith Colleges must follow. The Department of Labor (DOL) communicated these rule changes over the summer and since then the Office of Human Resources along with senior staff have been researching and preparing for the impact of these changes on the HWS campus. The new FLSA rules take effect December 1, 2016.

In Brief: The FLSA generally requires covered employers, including Hobart and William Smith Colleges, to pay their employees overtime pay of one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a work week. However, there are a number of exemptions from the FLSA’s overtime requirements. Specifically, any employee defined by the FLSA as executive, administrative, professional, or having teaching capacity is considered to be exempt from the overtime protection.

Right Now: Workers are classified as either exempt or non-exempt depending on a number of factors including salary level and the type of work they do. The FLSA establishes a minimum salary level in order to be exempt from overtime. The current salary minimum is $23,660 per year ($455 per week). Employees who earn more than $23,660 may be exempt from the FLSA overtime regulations if their primary job duties meet a “duties test” (as defined in the regulations). Positions that are exempt are not required to record and track hours worked. Non-exempt positions, on the other hand, require an employee to record and track all hours worked; any time worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week will need to be paid at time and a half.

Changes: The featured change in the DOL’s FLSA rules raises the salary threshold from $23,660 per year ($455 per week) to $47,476 per year ($913 per week).  The new DOL rules will also raise the salary minimum every three years.   This means that every three years Hobart and William Smith Colleges will conduct an assessment based on a new salary minimum and make necessary adjustments to ensure employees are properly classified as exempt or non-exempt.

What That Means: Based on the new rules, current exempt HWS employees may be reclassified from exempt to non-exempt status effective December 1, 2016.

What’s Next: Human Resources has identified the affected positions and will communicate directly with managers and supervisors within the next few days.  Managers and supervisors will be instrumental in consulting with employees and gathering information about the primary job duties for each affected position in their area.  To ensure that managers and supervisors understand what is being asked of them and the timeline for completing these tasks, Human Resources will invite them to attend an information session during the week of September 12.

Once information has been submitted to Human Resources, we will evaluate the primary job duties in accordance with FLSA rules to determine which positions meet the exemption criteria.  Once determinations have been made, Human Resources in partnership with the department manager will communicate with individual employees by early November.

To learn more about the FLSA changes and how this may impact our campus, visit the FLSA FAQs webpage.


337 Pulteney Street
1st Floor, Gulick Hall
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: (315) 781-3312
Fax: (315) 781-3314

Office Hours: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.




Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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