Obama, Dept. of Labor extend overtime pay to more workers

New federal rules on overtime pay, announced today by the Department of Labor and President Obama, will make four million more mostly white-collar workers eligible this year including some CSU staff and some faculty, mainly coaches and librarians.

The rules fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act and revisions were long overdue. In 1975, 62% of full-time salaried workers fell below the overtime exemption salary threshold and qualified for overtime pay; now, that figure is just 8%.

“The proposed update will revive the spirit of the FLSA and prevent employers from exploiting workers due to an outdated salary threshold,” wrote CFA President Jennifer Eagan in a letter to the Department of Labor.

Eagan pointed out, however, that teaching faculty are still excluded. Given the increasing casualization of the teaching workforce, more changes are needed to overtime exemptions affecting college and university faculty.

She wrote, “In the CSU, 60% of faculty are non-tenure track and earn an average of just $28,000 per year. Many report working for less than minimum wage. The benefits historically associated with white-collar employees have become rarer for academic employees. CFA strongly supports the inclusion of academic employees in the FLSA.”