FLSA updates halted in federal court


Federally mandated updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would double the threshold stipulating overtime pay and would affect 160 South Dakota State employees are currently being held up in a federal court case.

Texas federal Judge Amos Mazzant III in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. issued an injunction to these changes, which were supposed to be put into place on Dec. 1, due to some disputes over the updates’ regulations.

SDSU Associate Vice President of Human Resources Marc Serrett said the South Dakota Board of Regents halted all implementations across the state until there are more updates to the court case.

Serrett also said 50 employees who were to benefit financially from these changes are now being negatively affected by the changes not going into effect.

“It’s been a significant impact for those employees because they’ve made plans to make changes to their retirement funds, or they’ve made big purchases that were based on the knowledge that they were going to get an increase and now they’re not,” Serret said.

Many of these employees, according to Serrett, have “all been real positive and understanding” of these changes not being put in place by the set date.

Departments had been preparing for this unfunded mandate by restructuring their budgets to afford the pay increases. Campus-wide, departments now have a financial relief of about $150,000 that will not be used since these updates have been postponed and potentially may not be enacted.

However, that’s not the end of the story.

Any employees who were hired during the period of time in which the FLSA updates were anticipated to come into effect were hired with the update criteria.

“New hires were brought in and they were given a contract at that higher rate so we can’t change that,” Serrett said. “There might be some [department] inequities because of the people we’ve brought in with these rules being accounted for in place.”

While the FSLA updates remain on trial, Serrett said SDSU is waiting out the case until a final decision is made.

“As soon as we know something we let our employees know,” Serrett said.