- An examination of 2014 salary data shows a number of support positions at universities across the country do not meet the threshold for the new overtime guidance.
- This means hundreds of employees per campus will be eligible for either a raise in base salary or overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week.
- Average national salaries for construction/maintenance workers, office/admin support staff, service staff, production/transportation employees and those working in sales all fall below the new threshold of $47,476. And while teaching staff are exempt, guidance on postdocs is still murky.
Salary differences predictably vary by institution type, with major research institutions paying significntly more than small regional colleges, and schools in the Northeast offering higher salaries than those in the South. But categorically, the types of employees impacted remain largely the same across the country.
Some groups, like production/transportation workers barely miss the cut-off: The national average at public four-year institutions was $45,047 in 2014. Increasing salaries by 2.8% in 2015 and 2.9% this year — which is consistent with the national change in average salary in each of the last two years —would have put these employees over the threshold. However, data show faculty salaries rose by only 2.2% in 2015, up slightly from the year before; it's not likely salaries for support staff are rising at rates higher than those for faculty members. Still, a slight boost in compensation levels could allay concerns for prouction/transportation and construction/maintenance employees.
For other employees, like office/admin and service staff, the jump is more significant. National data for office/admin staffers indicates a 2014 average of $39,056. Based on this rate, institutions would do better to pay employees who work fewer than 10.86 overtime hours per week the hourly rate, but if office staff are consistently spending over 50 hours per week on the job, it is more prudent to raise the salaries to meet the thresholds.