If you have not read the information regarding changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), you should, and you should discuss this with your employer as soon as possible. Yes, many athletic trainers are entering a very busy time of the year and can’t imagine adding one more thing. However, we all know how quickly these weeks go by. The FLSA is changing on December 1, 2016 and there may be significant implications for your salary and working conditions.
Generally, the FLSA requires a minimum wage with one-and-one-half time pay for work beyond 40 hours per week. To be considered exempt from mandatory overtime pay an individual must be paid on a salary basis of not less than $913 per week ($47,476 annually; up from $23,660) and have primary duties that fall under an exempt profession. Athletic Trainers meet the requirement as a learned profession. What does this mean to you?
If your salary is below $913 per week, you must be paid overtime for hours worked beyond the 40-hour work week. If you do not meet the minimum salary requirement it is important that you record your work hours and that you talk to your employer about accounting for away game travel, ‘after hours’ communications, and other aspects of your employment.
All athletic trainers should read information regarding FLSA and how it affects salary and work hours. If you supervise ATs, will you raise the compensation of a specific position to the threshold to keep it exempt, or will you reclassify the employee as non-exempt and begin paying overtime? Any new non-exempt positions will require a minimum wage test and clear policies around overtime work.
Many have been critical of low salaries for ATs, consider the change to FLSA to be a move in the right direction. FLSA has been studied by human resources personnel in the college and university setting and hospital settings links to that information are included.