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FLSA Exempt Salary Test Update

September 27, 2019

On Sept. 24, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new salary test of $684 per week for employees exempt from overtime pay. This means that all exempt employees must be paid at least $684 per week in addition to meeting the duties test for exempt status. The new standard will be effective Jan. 1, 2020. It is an increase from the previous standard of $455 which was established in 2004.

In 2017, the University of Idaho established its own salary test for exempt employees which is currently $754 per week. As intended, the U of I standard already exceeds the new federal standard. While this is an important milestone for the nation, the new salary test does not require any action on the part of the university prior to Jan. 1. The federal salary test does not carry with it any scheduled reviews/updates; however, the university reviews its standard every year based on a number of factors including market salary data.

The decision from the DOL began in 2016 when there was an attempt to increase the salary test from $455 to $913. This attempt was halted by a U.S. District Court decision in November 2016. This announcement is the culmination of the DOL's second effort to update the 15-year-old standard found in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at