Purdue University employees in flux amid overtime suspension

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Purdue University will hold off on raising employees' salaries and changing job classifications in the wake of a last-minute suspension on a federal rule that would have expanded the pool of workers eligible for overtime pay.

Human resources vice president Denny Darrow said about 600 employees were notified that their pending increases will be put on hold, while another 600 were told they'd remain exempt at this time. Postdoctoral researchers could still see a pay hike, the Lafayette Journal & Courier reported.

"Whether or not there is a government-mandated change in pay, the compensation levels for Purdue postdoctoral employees are in need of a detailed review," a university news release said Thursday. University leaders plan to conduct the review this month and give feedback early January.

In May the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new rule for overtime regulations that would allow salaried employees to get overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week and make less than $47,476. The current threshold is more than $23,600.

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily suspended the rule after 21 states and several business groups challenged it. The Obama administration has said it will appeal that decision.

Purdue could either pay time-and-a-half for overtime, limit employees to 40 hours per week or raise salaries above the new threshold. According to the university, it would cost $7.2 million if they raised salaries above the new threshold, and an extra $8.6 million per year if every eligible employee worked five hours of overtime weekly.

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