flsa classification


With our Overtime Ready series of newsletters since May 2016, we have shared guidance on what business owners and managers need to know to get ready by the implementation date of December 1st.


If you have followed the series, you have:

  1. Identified your “at risk exempt’ employees 
  2. Established a plan for the next 3 months 
  3. Collected hours worked to understand who works overtime and how much
  4. Calculated hourly rate for employees will be reclassified as non-exempt 

Now is time to pull it together and communicate with employees.

Find the right approach

Don’t assume your employees don’t have a clue about the overtime regulations! It was headline news in mainstream media when the DOL announcement came out in May.

Don’t think they understand it the changes well. So take the time to explain the basics. For example, use this short webinar (link to OTR webinar) as background information for your employees.

Communicate to all employees

Consider an all-hands meeting to explain the changes to your entire workforce. Even those who are not affected need to understand why colleagues might be reclassified. When handled with finesse, these communications can be a morale booster.

If not, be prepared for the aftershocks!

Communicate with employees who are reclassified

Set up one-on-one meetings. Employees who are reclassified will have many questions around the changes. Here’s what you need to share with them:

  • Explain why the change in classification impacts some employees and not others
  • Changes are effective December 1, 2016
  • Provide their new rate of pay,
  • Explain what the changes mean beyond an hourly pay rate e.g. the opportunity for overtime pay (or not), how to get authorization to work overtime, the need to record all hours worked.
  • Always assure the employee of their importance to your organization.

Be prepared for each employee

Reactions from the reclassified employees will range from a shoulder shrug to high emotions. Some will see it as a demotion. Others will be happy to hear they might get overtime.

You probably have a good idea or you know which employee is likely to react to the reclassification news. Approach them accordingly.

Having a meaningful, personal conversation about why you had to make these updates will make the transition easier. Be prepared for follow-up conversations when emotions run high.