Supervisors should use the template letter below to notify employees who will transition from the exempt to non-exempt payroll by May 31, 2024, based on the new salary threshold announced by the Department of Labor.

Below are tools and resources to assist with communication to staff members affected by the new overtime eligibility rules. If you have questions, please discuss them with the Human Resources representative for your school, department or entity.

Timeline: Transition from Exempt to Non-exempt Payroll

May 20  – May 31, 2024Notification Letter: delivered by managers to affected staff members.
June 25, 2024Monthly Pay Date: last monthly paycheck for month of June.
July 1, 2024Deadline for Compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act's new salary threshold.
July 26, 2024Biweekly Pay Date: first biweekly paycheck for hours worked July 1-July 14.

Frequently Asked Questions

This change will result in the following changes for departments:

  • Supervisors must review and approve timecards submitted biweekly by staff in non-exempt positions.
  • Supervisors must approve any overtime by staff in non-exempt positions in advance of the overtime hours being worked.
  • Employees who work schedules during the second or third shift windows may be eligible for shift premiums based upon the worked time in conjunction with Duke’s premium pay policy.
  • Department budgets may be affected due to increased overtime pay.

Remote work is a work arrangement that enables a staff member to work at home or from another off-site location for all or part of the regular workweek. Remote work may be appropriate for only some employees and jobs and should be discussed with your manager and your entity/departmental HR team. For more information, visit the Remote Work Arrangements website.

No. As long as staff member remains in job classification, unit and work schedule, Duke will continue current vacation or PTO accrual rate.

No, if staff member transfers to another job or unit at Duke, vacation or PTO accrual rate will be based on the exempt or non-exempt status of the new position.

With prior approval from the non-exempt staff member's supervisor, staff designated as Delayed Service or Reserve Service may select one of the following options to cover an absence due to a declared severe weather/emergency condition: 

  1. use accrued vacation, discretionary holidays or Paid Time Off from the short-term bank, 
  2. perform job functions off site, or 
  3. make up the lost time/work within three (3) months.

If the staff member is away from work on an approved sick leave request the day before the severe weather policy is activated, he/she may continue to use sick leave/PTO while the policy is active.

It is important to distinguish between tasks a staff member is required to do because a supervisor requests it and tasks a staff member may “desire” to do simply because it is the way the staff member likes to work. As a rule of thumb, work schedules, including flexible work schedules, or arrangements to work from home on occasion, need to be managed and approved by a staff member’s supervisor -- just the same as when the staff member was exempt. Whether a staff member is required to check emails or messages or perform work from home also must be managed and approved by the staff member’s supervisor. A staff member should not presume that it is permissible to do this work outside of the regular workday without prior approval from a supervisor. In addition, work performed outside of work that would result in overtime must be authorized in advance by a staff member’s supervisor because all time worked must be accounted for and recorded as “time worked.”

Salary is not the sole criteria for determining whether a position is exempt from overtime pay. The work performed must also meet the Department of Labor’s criteria for exemption from the FLSA provisions, and must reflect the actual scope of work being performed. Please consult the Human Resources representative for your unit.

Yes, but the time could be considered work time under certain conditions such as if the training occurs during normal work hours or if it is mandatory. But voluntary participation in training is not considered work time. For more information, visit the Department of Labor website.

Time spent traveling during normal work hours is considered compensable work time. Time spent on home-to-work travel by an employee, or on activities performed by an employee that are incidental to the use of the vehicle for commuting, generally is not considered "hours worked" and, therefore, does not have to be paid.

According to the Department of Labor, travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight is travel away from home. Travel away from home is clearly work time when it cuts across the employee's workday. The time is not only hours worked on regular working days during normal working hours but also during corresponding hours on nonworking days. However, the Department of Labor will not consider as work time that time spent in travel away from home outside of regular working hours as a passenger on an airplane, train, boat, bus, or automobile. For more information, visit the Department of Labor website.

On-call situations vary. A staff member who is not required to remain at work but is merely required to leave word where he or she may be reached is not working while on-call. The other consideration is whether a staff member can use the on-call time for his or her own purpose. If a staff member is able to use the on-call time effectively to engage in personal activities, the time is not considered work time. However, a staff member who is on-call must be able to use the idle time for his or her own purposes or the on-call time is probably hours worked. When a staff member is on-call, all time spent responding to calls is hours worked.

For more information visit the Department of Labor’s website or visit the Duke University or Duke University Health System site for information about on-call premiums.

The classification of a position as exempt or non-exempt for overtime pay has no bearing on the use of professional development funds within a department.

Work-related activities that take place during normal business hours or are not voluntary for the staff member are considered compensable work time.

No, these positions are exempted from the Fair Labor Standards Act and thus this change does not affect them.

Transition to Non-exempt Payroll

This brief video provides an overview of the transition from the exempt payroll to non-exempt payroll based on recent changes by the U.S. Department of Labor related to overtime eligibility.