The University of Illinois plans to spend up to $3 million on employee raises in November to comply with a new federal wage law.
The state's flagship university will give pay raises to 400 postdoctoral research associates to comply with President Obama's new labor law increasing the minimum annual salary that would qualify for overtime from $23,660 to $47,476. The change takes effect December 1.
University spokeswoman Robin Kaler said 900 other employees will either be given raises, paid overtime, or have their hours restricted. Kaler said their hands are tied. "We're doing what universities and organizations across the nation are doing," she said. "We're looking at the best way to abide by the new rules. The decision has been made at many universities across the nation that the best way to address this is to bring everyone up to that threshold."
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Kaler said the money will have to come out of their current budgets and grant reserves.
"We certainly aren't expecting more money from the state. We have what money we have and will have to be the best stewards we can as we always try to be," she said.
Kaler said the raises will take effect November 16.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Illinois State University said it will cost them up to $2.2 million per year to get up to 275 qualifying employees in line with the new standard.
The state's finances will take a hit on the new rule as well. Information obtained from the state comptroller’s office shows nearly 9800 salaried employees could get time-and-a-half pay after December 1.
According to the Department of Labor, more than 193,000 Illinoisans will be affected by the new regulation.