Riley County commissioners reluctantly voted to change 13 county positions from salaried to hourly status in accordance to a recent update to Department of Labor regulations on overtime pay that will go into effect Dec. 1.
For now, employers are not required to pay overtime to salaried workers making more than $23,600 and are considered “exempt” from additional pay.
But in December, that exemption threshold will be $47,892 and above.
Riley County deputy clerk Cindy Volanti said the 13 affected positions are in the county appraiser’s office, health department, county attorney’s office, GIS department and the Riley County Historical Museum.
“So basically, what that is saying for Riley County positions is that any salary-based position that falls below the mark shall be considered as an hourly status employee,” she said.
Volanti said the modification could cost the county an additional $48,541 for the 2017 budget.
Three museum curator positions account for over $31,000 of that anticipated cost.
Commissioner Robert Boyd thought the increase in the salary level was too high.
“The fact that they’re increasing it by over 100 percent is draconian… it’s crazy stuff,” he said.
The Fair Labor Standard Act of 1938, which first set up such standards, has had only one revision and that was in 2004.
The update sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage census region, which is in the South.
Boyd and commissioner Ron Wells voted to comply with the Department of Labor, while commissioner Ben Wilson abstained.