Part-Time Exempt Under the New Regulations
A lot of HR managers are concerned about how the new regulations will affect their compensation of “Part-time Exempt” employees. I would like to take this opportunity to say: “Don’t sweat it!”
The DOL does not recognize the “Part-time” classification of employees. They only see the employment relationship. They only ask, “Does Johnny work for ACME, Inc.?”
It only matters to ACME that Johnny is scheduled to work from 9am -3pm or 10am-2pm or whatever.
It only matters to ACME that Johnny is FT or PT or temporary or permanent or regular or needs- more-fiber.
The fact that Johnny is scheduled to work from, say, 10am to 2pm and makes, say, $800 per week is cool…for now. Under the current regs (as of this writing on 5/11/2016), ACME only owes Johnny that $800 per week.
If, after the minimum salary is officially raised, ACME continues to pay Johnny $800 per week, Johnny will lose his exemption status (though working only four hours a day, Johnny’s not likely to work any overtime).
If ACME raises Johnny’s minimum salary to match the new regs and he does somehow work OT, as an exempt employee, ACME owes him nothing more than his new salary (though they should probably consider sending him on a cruise…to Jamaica!).
So, whether Johnny is FT, PT, Half-time, Show-time, or Time-out, as an exempt employee, he has to be paid a certain minimum salary. If he is already making the new minimum salary when it changes, ACME has no adjustments to make pertaining to him. If he is making less than the new minimum salary, he will have to be given a raise. If he is not given a raise, and makes less than the new minimum salary, make sure he doesn’t work overtime and make sure he is compensated for every hour worked at minimum wage or above!