April 2017, Vol. 2

HR Extras

FLSA update: How to proceed after overtime rule change freeze

With the overtime rule still on hold, there remains a level of uncertainty on what actions districts should or shouldn’t take as the rule change is stalled in federal court.

We understand some districts are dealing with morale complications from some of the newly implemented changes made this year, whether it be formerly exempt employees upset over now being treated as nonexempt, or that other employees received major increases to their salary to meet the minimum threshold.

Our guidance remains the same—don’t undo any changes you’ve implemented in complying with the proposed rule change. Until we know for certain whether the changes will stand or not, no steps should be taken to reverse the changes your district already took to comply with the proposed new salary threshold.

Your district’s primary concern should be monitoring the progress of the rule as it makes its way through the courts, and we’ll update our readers as soon as information becomes available. You can learn how to address some of the morale problems in this article from the June edition of the HR Exchange.

There are dozens of articles speculating about what may or may not happen with the rule change, but it is imperative districts don’t take action based on conjecture alone. Wait for the issue to get resolved in the courts and then we can proceed in the right direction. 

Bills to monitor

We're tracking bills making their way through the legislature that may have an impact on HR operations. Here is one of the bills to keep an eye on:
  • SB 1634 (Taylor) would allow districts to reduce teacher duty days below the currently required 187 duty days proportionate to the reduction in days of student instruction below 180. The bill also specifies that a reduction in duty days does not reduce a teacher’s salary. SB 1634 was passed unanimously by the Senate Education Committee and is making its way to the full Senate for consideration.
  • HB 2039 establishes an EC-3 certificate in an effort to improve the quality of PK programs. The bill will make an EC-3 certificate optional and does not replace the EC-6 certificate. TASPA submitted a written notice of non-support for this bill. SBEC discussed the possibility of instituting an EC-3 certificate in early March, and the topic is still up for discussion as TEA continues to gather stakeholder input and considers other certification revisions. The last action on the bill was April 12, when the House Public Education Committee reported favorably without amendments for consideration by the full House.

Check for glitch in I-9 forms

The Department of Homeland Security distributed a press release regarding a glitch in the Form I-9.

“If you used Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, that you downloaded between Nov. 14 and Nov. 17, 2016, review them to ensure your employees’ Social Security numbers appear correctly in Section 1. There was a glitch when the revised Form I-9 was first published on Nov. 14, 2016. Numbers entered in the Social Security number field were transposed when employees completed and printed Section 1 using a computer. For example, the number 123-45-6789 entered in the Social Security number field would appear as 123-34-6789 once the form printed. Employers using a Form I-9 that contains this glitch should download and save a new Form I-9 at uscis.gov/i-9.

Employers who notice their employees’ Social Security numbers are not written correctly should have their employees draw a line through the transposed Social Security number in Section 1, enter the correct Social Security number, and then initial and date the change. Employers should include a written explanation with Form I-9 about why the correction was made in the event of an audit.”