New labor rules will delay paychecks for some NMSU employees

Guidelines increase number of employees eligible for overtime pay

NMSU employees could be out of a check

LAS CRUCES - Some NMSU employees could have one paycheck delayed as a result of new Labor Department guidelines.

The new rules are forcing millions of employees to change from exempt to non-exempt status, meaning some who used to receive an annual salary will now earn hourly pay.

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, "Non-exempt employees are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay."

If you are an "exempt" employee, the acts says, "Because of their duties, responsibilities, salary basis and salary level, exempt employees are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and are not entitled to receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek."

However, the switch has some NMSU employees wondering why they'll be skipping a pay check in the process. One employee reached out to ABC-7 saying she's a mother with children and can't afford to miss out on a pay check as the university makes that switch.

In an email, she stated, "This will put me behind on all my bills. I hope this can get investigated for how unfair and stressful this is for NMSU employees."

If you're a salaried employee and work from October 16-31, you'll get paid on Oct. 31. But starting in November, employees who are being switched to hourly pay -- or non-exempt -- and work Nov. 1-15, won't get paid until the end of the month.

From then on, their pay checks will be on a two week lag. The university said it's to make up for potential overtime, for which hourly employees are eligible.

The university said if that creates a financial burden, it is providing a loan option to help out.

"What the university has offered is a pay gap wage assistance program which is in essence a loan right for this fiscal year where the university is going to allow them to request up to the amount of one of their net pays and then they'll have to pay it back overtime between January and June," said Kathy Agnew, director of employment and compensation at NMSU.

The view the Fair Labor Standards Act information for NMSU, click here.

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