FLSA Academic Appointment Guidelines

October 06, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

This is a third update to keep you informed about the University’s plans to implement the new U.S. Department of Labor rules governing minimum salary thresholds and overtime pay for all U.S. employers. The e-mails sent on June 13, 2016 and August 26, 2016 discussed the impact of the new FLSA regulations on full-time officers of research and postdoctoral research fellows. This communication outlines the changes to the way we will appoint and pay part-time officers of research and part-time officers of the libraries as of December 1, 2016.

As of December 1, 2016, all part-time officers of research and the libraries will be converted to hourly officers unless they receive at least $913 per week/$47,476 annually.

Part-Time Officers of Research and of the Libraries NOT Receiving Salary ($0 Salary) for the Duration of Their Appointment: The processing of their (re)appointments will remain unchanged.

Part-Time Officers of Research and of the Libraries Receiving Salary for the Duration of Their Appointment: The amount of salary paid to these officers will determine if they are impacted by the FLSA regulations.

  • If their salary is $913 or greater per week/annual salary is equal to or greater than $47,476 for the duration of the appointment, they are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the FLSA regulations. Their (re)appointments remain unchanged, and they continue to be paid on the semi-monthly payroll. They do not need to maintain timesheets.
  • If their salary is less than $913 per week/annual salary is less than $47,476 for the duration of their appointment, they are impacted by the changes to the FLSA regulations. 
    1. They remain officers of the University, but will now be hourly officers, which means that they must maintain timesheets tracking all the time they work. Hourly officers must start tracking their hours on a daily basis on timesheets as of December 1, 2016, and must submit their timesheets to their departmental administrator on a biweekly basis. If they work more than 40 hours in any given week, hourly officers must be paid overtime at a rate of one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay.
    2. They will be switched from the semi-monthly payroll to the bi-weekly payroll as of December 1, 2016 which means that they will be paid every other Friday starting December 16 and receive 26 paychecks, rather than 24 paychecks, on an annual basis. Please note that employees converted to the bi-weekly payroll will receive less per paycheck, but the difference will be made up by receiving two additional paychecks per year.

Over the next several weeks, departmental administrators will receive more detailed information about the steps needed to implement these changes from Columbia University Human Resources. The Provost’s Office and the Dean’s Office at CUMC are working with Human Resources to ensure that these changes required to comply with federal regulations are introduced with the least disruption to those concerned.

For information about sponsored project budget allocation, please contact your Sponsored Projects Administration project officer. For information about appointments, on the Morningside campus please contact Pearl Spiro, Associate Provost for Academic Appointments. At CUMC please call Lenard Ruiz, Executive Director, CUMC Payroll, or April Armstrong-Studivant, Director of the CUMC Office of Faculty Affairs. For legal questions relating to the U.S. Department of Labor guidelines, please contact Jessica Fenton, Associate General Counsel, or Donna Fenn, Associate General Counsel.



John H. Coatsworth

G. Michael Purdy
Executive Vice President for Research