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Millions of salary workers can be eligible for overtime pay under new rule

Hill College President talks about both sides of the issue
Posted at 4:37 PM, May 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-04 17:37:12-04

HILL COUNTY, Texas — "We are just now beginning our budgeting process," said Dr. Thomas Mills, president of Hill College.

It's a rule handed down from the White House last week, raising the eligibility threshold for overtime pay. It's an issue now facing Hill College in Hillsboro.

"We're supportive and appreciate the Biden administration's, you know, focus on improving people's lives and improving work-life balance and all those things. But those things do come at a cost, and that is going to be a challenge for us," Mills said.

So here's who this change impacts: This will be a gradual build for salaried workers. The new rule states if you make $43,888 or less on July 1st, you will qualify for overtime pay.

That threshold expands to $58, 656 or less on January 1, 2025, making even more workers eligible.

"We have more than 50 employees, and by the time the January rule goes into effect, we'll be affected. There will be some fraction of that number of people that do a lot of work after hours that would probably be affected by this," said Mills.

Mills tells me he knows the overtime pay struggle all too well. In fact, he still finds himself working overtime now, helping him relate to employees who put in more than 40 hours a week.

"I, conservatively speaking, probably worked 70 hours a week year-round. When you're living out your passion in your field, and you're not at home and not with your children and not with your wife, and you're missing events that are real," Mills said.

Mills notes that even while they're trying to figure out this process, they don't plan on letting anyone go.

"We don't have a single extra person here that we can live without. We need more people, not less. We will sacrifice in other areas. And like I mentioned, if we have to pass on costs to our students, then that would be a last of last resort," said Mills.