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Exempt Conversion FAQs

Exempt Conversion Faqs

All existing exempt SHRA roles on campuses should be cross walked to a new IRIT range—which is identical to the SHRA ranges. If we missed a class on the crosswalk, please let us know, and we'll add it.
For the moment, all campuses can continue to use the education and experience requirements specified under the SHRA job specifications.
Given the unique nature of this conversion, campuses can continue to utilize the career banding education and experience requirements. We will continue to examine official IRIT education and experience requirements for possible changes.
Yes. A campus may utilize remaining FY22-23 funds for this purpose.
Yes - that is acceptable in the short term as you continue to make the necessary system changes to permit official title conversion in your HR operating systems. Please remember that this should be clearly communicated to the employee in writing, too.
The position should be flagged in your system for potential reclassification when vacant and reassessed annually. The employee will remain EHRA during that time, but be subject to all non- exempt requirements, including overtime.
Yes. We will partner with the UNC-CH School of Government, which has a notable FLSA training program. We're holding off right now only to see if there are any new and planned Department of Labor updates; but will make sure something is arranged regardless by October.
Currently, clinical employees are designated as CSS, and we have permission to create a parallel structure for our dental staff (DMSS). We hope to create a unique job family for both CSS and DMSS staff. It's part of our larger discussions are reworking the “job families” for all professional roles currently split between SAAO- II and IRIT.
The North Carolina General Assembly expanded the exemptions under the North Carolina Human Resources Act to include all positions that are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This change in the law means that these positions will become EHRA non-faculty positions (“EHRA”) and be governed by the University's human resources policies rather than be subject to the NC Human Resources Act (“SHRA” employees). The University sought this flexibility with respect to certain compensation and leave issues to be more competitive within the context of a highly competitive labor market.
Individual employees currently in SHRA exempt positions (those who are salaried and not subject to overtime) will be offered an opportunity to convert from SHRA to EHRA non-faculty status. FLSA non-exempt employees (those who are paid hourly and subject to overtime) are not affected by this change and will not have the opportunity to change to EHRA. The FLSA exempt employees who do not choose to convert to EHRA status will continue as SHRA employees as long as they remain in their current position.
Affected employees will have the option to convert to EHRA status or to stay SHRA for as long as they remain in their current position. No employee is compelled or required to change their status.
The authority to convert SHRA exempt vacant positions to EHRA classifications was effective July 1, 2023. Institutions may now begin converting vacant SHRA exempt positions to EHRA and initiating recruitment. Employees who have attained SHRA career status, or who hold SHRA probationary status, as of September 1, 2023, will have the option to remain SHRA or convert to EHRA. Each institution will establish an implementation plan and timeline for providing this opportunity to SHRA exempt employees. Employees in eligible positions will be notified directly by their manager and/or their institution's human resources office. These employees will receive specific information on what it means to become an EHRA non-faculty employee and the specific differences from the SHRA employment policies. Information will also be provided on how an employee may exercise the option to become EHRA non-faculty or how to remain in their current status as SHRA, the timeline for making that decision, and an election form they will be required to complete.
Once implementation begins, eligible employees will have a 60-day election period to decide whether to convert to EHRA or remain SHRA. If the employee does not select to convert to EHRA status by the end of the election period, then they will remain SHRA for as long as they are in their current SHRA position. Institutions may provide more than one opportunity to employees to make this election.
Some human resources policies, such as sick leave and holidays, are the same for SHRA and EHRA employees. Others are different, such as policies for salary ranges, salary adjustments, leave accruals, terms of appointment, separation, and grievance rights. SHRA policies are set by the State Human Resources Commission through the Office of State Human Resources whereas EHRA policies are set by the UNC Board of Governors through the UNC System Office. Affected employees will receive details explaining the differences between EHRA and SHRA employment so that they can make well-informed decisions about whether or not to convert.
No, once you elect to convert to EHRA status, you remain EHRA as long as you stay in that position.
Yes, at the time employees are given the option to convert to EHRA status, employees will be notified of their expected EHRA position classification title and initial salary. Salary ranges for each classification title will also be available to employees for review. An employee's initial EHRA salary may be the same as their current SHRA salary or it may be different.
No, the institutions will not be required to adjust salaries to reach any new minimum. It is expected that this issue will be addressed over time using regular salary adjustment processes.
Employees who become EHRA are no longer eligible to receive longevity pay. You will be informed at the time you are given the option to elect EHRA status of any change to your base salary amount. It is possible, but not guaranteed, that your management, in consultation with Human Resources, may adjust your compensation to reflect the new EHRA classification's labor market or internal pay equity as part of your reclassification to EHRA status. Your prior total compensation, including longevity pay, could be taken into consideration, among other market factors, in determining your EHRA salary.
Eligible employees will receive a final, pro-rated longevity payment at the time they convert to EHRA status to cover the time period since their most recent longevity check.
All of your current sick leave, vacation leave, and bonus leave balances will transfer with you to EHRA status. (All vacation leave will transfer; it is not capped at 240 hours.) Because EHRA employees do not receive other types of paid time off (holiday equal time off, adverse weather ETO, etc.), any accrued paid time off that you have will be paid out or forfeited as required by SHRA policies at the time of changing to EHRA status. Sick leave accruals remain 8 hours per month (pro-rated for part- time) as an EHRA employee. With respect to annual (vacation) leave, all EHRA non-faculty employees receive 24 days per calendar year (2 days per month) regardless of their length of state service.
SHRA employees who currently earn 26 days of vacation leave per calendar year will be “grandfathered in” and will retain their annual accrual of 26 days of vacation leave per year as an EHRA employee. This applies only to those who are earning 26 days of vacation leave at the time they convert to EHRA status.
No, for SHRA employees who do not convert to an EHRA status position, their position will remain in the SHRA career banding classification system, even if it is reclassified. However, once the employee leaves the position, the position will convert to EHRA status.
No, if an SHRA employee is hired into an EHRA position, then the SHRA employee must become an EHRA employee.

Other than vacation leave and longevity, EHRA employees have the same benefits programs as SHRA employees. Employees converting to EHRA status will be given the option to move from the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement program (TSERS) to the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) if they have not already had the option to make that choice. Click here for more information about making decisions between TSERS and ORP.

We utilize contracts for EHRA non-faculty employees; will we be able to continue this practice? Each eligible employee will be asked to complete an election form to indicate whether they choose to convert to EHRA status or to remain SHRA. For those who choose to convert to EHRA, the UNC institutions will provide employees with their standard paperwork for EHRA hiring.
Most professional EHRA positions require a Bachelor's degree. The UNC System Office has provided guidance on its website on expected education and experience standards for the EHRA classifications. For current SHRA employees electing to convert to EHRA status, an employee without a Bachelor's degree may be grandfathered into the converted position, since they otherwise qualified for the position as SHRA. For newly exempt positions as of July 1, 2023, the current minimum education and experience requirements found in the career banding classification specifications will be followed for the transition unless otherwise indicated.
Institutions must use the UNC System Office's minimum education and experience requirements. UNC System Human Resources will continue to review and adjust, as needed. Institutions may augment education and experience with university-specific requirements in the “preferred qualifications” section of job descriptions and job postings.
Institutions must follow the guidelines provided by UNC System HR for mapping positions from SHRA to EHRA. New elections for existing information technology and for audit, business, and finance employees will employ the same position and salary mapping instructions previously provided for those implementations. All other classifications have been directly mapped from SHRA banded classes and salary ranges to new parallel EHRA classes and ranges with SHRA competency levels being converted to Levels I, II, and III for the class title. The UNC System is also reviewing all existing EHRA salary ranges and classification groups separate from this conversion of current SHRA FLSA exempt positions. Any impact from that process will be shared once the process is completed.
In addition to the position having to be FLSA exempt, any SHRA classification with one of these titles will be required to have at least one-third of the position functions documented as directly related to financial, budget, and/or sponsored research administration. For the initial implementation of ABF positions as part of this conversion process, any positions that lack these documented functions must be flagged for further classification review once the position becomes vacant.
No, funds for salary increases related to this initiative are the responsibility of each institution.
Pay equity will be determined based on the salary rules relevant to each employee group, so it is possible that the types of salary increases and salary ranges available to EHRA employees as compared to SHRA employees may result in greater differences in employee salaries, even when performing similar work. Over time, there will be increasingly fewer SHRA exempt positions in these classifications due to conversion of vacant positions or employees choosing to convert to EHRA status, which will minimize equity differences.
No, there is no rule that prevents an SHRA employee from supervising an EHRA employee.
Management may pursue a market or equity adjustment, under existing rules, if warranted, based on the totality of the circumstances and the scope of duties of the affected employees. The issue can be considered during the salary review process for the conversion implementation. There is no rule that prevents an SHRA supervisor from having a salary lower than a subordinate EHRA employee; the salary levels are determined within their respective classification salary ranges and related salary administration rules.
Because this status change is driven by employee choice, no action would occur until the employee has returned to work, following the same procedures given to other employees. If the employee does not return to work, then the position would be converted to EHRA prior to the job posting.
EHRA employees must receive written notice of discontinuation. The minimum notice period for discontinuation is based on the employee's years of service: employees in their first year of service receive at least a 30-day notice; employees in their second or third year of service receive at least a 60-day notice; and employees in their fourth and subsequent years of service receive at least a 90- day notice. Management may provide an employee with an equivalent payout in lieu of a working notice, or some combination of the two. At separation from state employment, vacation and bonus leave are paid out and any sick leave is retained for five years as it is with SHRA employees.
No, the RIF and RIF Reemployment Priority policies apply only to SHRA career status employees. For an EHRA layoff, the employee must receive the regular advance written notice of discontinuation.
Yes, for the purposes of this implementation, the University will consider SHRA service for notice/ payment amount.
No, most EHRA employees are not subject to the same disciplinary policy and procedures as an SHRA employee, so there is no mechanism to enforce an SHRA disciplinary action for an EHRA employee. This means that at the time of transition from SHRA to EHRA status, any active SHRA disciplinary actions would become inactive. Even so, management may determine, based on current employee performance and conduct, if any similar documented expectations, such as an EHRA performance improvement plan or similar documentation, may be appropriate to issue to the employee, who is now in an at-will position.
This implementation is not designed to be an incentive program to make all current SHRA employees convert to EHRA status. Current SHRA employees are free to remain in SHRA status as long as they are in their current positions. Employees will need to determine for themselves if converting to EHRA status is appropriate for them based on their own personal circumstances.
This will vary with each employee's personal situation. We encourage employees to carefully review the differences between converting to EHRA status and remaining in SHRA status. For some employees, particularly those who are further along in their careers with the state, it may be advantageous to remain in SHRA status. For those newer to service with the state, the greater annual leave rates and possible salary growth considerations, such as the annual raise process for EHRA employees, may be a more significant factor in making a decision to convert. Conversion may also provide some current SHRA employees the opportunity to move from TSERS to the ORP. Because the UNC System retains authority for EHRA classifications and salary administration, the UNC System has greater flexibility with EHRA positions than it does with SHRA positions to update salary ranges and classifications. The Office of State Human Resources has the authority over any changes to SHRA classifications and salary ranges.
Generally, the requirements for a position to be EHRA status also make it exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA. Should a position change to non-exempt status due to a change in duties or in FLSA regulations, the position would remain EHRA but with a non-exempt FLSA status. Once the position is vacated, it would revert to SHRA status for hiring if applicable.
The UNC System is pursuing additional revisions to all EHRA salary ranges and classification groups separate from the conversion of current SHRA FLSA exempt positions. These will be communicated once they are available to show any impact on possible EHRA elections by existing employees. As with any policy, there is always a possibility for future changes based on legislative action or changes made by the Office of State Human Resources for SHRA employees and by the Board of Governors for EHRA employees. Any changes would affect either all SHRA or all EHRA employees, not just those in these particular EHRA positions.
Institutions may provide periodic opportunities for employees to elect to convert from SHRA to EHRA. These opportunities will also provide an employee with 60 calendar days from the date the institution notifies them of the opportunity to decide whether or not to convert.
No, the new statutory language only applies to positions that are exempt from the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Adding any other employee groups would require additional legislative action by the NC General Assembly.