Market Knowledge for Compensation Policy and FLSA Compliance

Background
An accredited, private liberal arts college located in the southeast region combines academics, work, and service with a commitment to environmental responsibility to create their "Triad" of education. The 139 faculty and staff members pride themselves on providing a unique learning community and enhancing the lives of approximately 900 full-time undergraduate students.

Challenge
The college offers a unique environment for its students and employees in that it maintains a university setting that is self-sustaining. As part of the curriculum, each student is required to work at the college in some manner as a member of a department's staff, from carpentry to the newspaper, and everything in between. This means that many of the staff employees of the college hold dual roles, as both teachers of academics and as stewards of the work programs.
In addition, the college is deeply-rooted in the local environment and tends to recruit from the area. Staff members are motivated more by the generous perquisites offered by the college and the bigger picture of working for a college with a unique learning focused and environmentally-conscious culture. Because of their unique environment, management lacked a thorough understanding of their position in the competitive market in terms of compensation; specifically related to their industry. Furthermore, the college's human resource management team expressed concern about the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) exempt/non-exempt status of many of its staff positions and requested guidance on adherence to the FLSA exempt/non-exempt classification.

Solution
Findley Davies partnered with the college to perform a complete compensation analysis looking at staff employees. This analysis included reviewing multiple industry and geographic markets and working with HR and the department heads to define the college's competitive market. Furthermore, Findley Davies market-priced the benchmark positions and developed grade structures to create a sustainable and repeatable compensation program and help streamline salary administration.
In addition to the compensation analysis, Findley Davies provided recommendations for employee exempt status under the FLSA. This included providing a comprehensive overview of FLSA regulations along with a specific review of FLSA status and classification of each position as exempt or non-exempt based on current job descriptions. Through this process, Findley Davies supplied the college with any relevant information on current FLSA law, all exemptions to FLSA, and information on best practices for informing employees about FLSA, including what a status change would mean for them.

Results
Findley Davies presented its findings and recommendations regarding the compensation and reward structure to Senior Management. The recommendations were accepted and plans were put in place to implement the changes. The college also reviewed the FLSA classification recommendations and set up processes for continued compliance with the employment regulations.

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