UPDATE: More in my Oct. 25, 2015 Philadelphia Inquirer column here. EARLIER: Vanguard Group on Thursday told around 2,100 U.S. staff -- 15% of the Malvern-based investment giant's global 14,200 "Crew" -- that they are now non-exempt hourly (not "exempt" salaried) employees, and this may affect their take-home pay.

Vanguard "reclassified certain jobs as overtime eligible, due in part to the anticipated Department of Labor regulatory changes, along with broader changes to our job classification structure," Vanguard spokeswoman Arianna Stefanoni Sherlock told me. Vanguard, which has more than $3 trillion in assets, is the largest private employer in Chester County. More on Labor Department overtime proposals here.

Will this result in Vanguard actually increasing pay and boosting costs? "It's not going to impact expense ratios," Sherlock said in an email. Will these workers lose their year-end bonuses, raises, Partnership plan eligibility, work-from-home arrangements? Can they count on getting assigned overtime hours, will many of those 2,100 employees end up making less money? Sherlock said the company won't comment on compensation, but will continue, she added, to offer competitive packages..

"It's good if it's something Vanguard employees want," said Dan Wiener, publisher of the Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors newsletter. "If it's something they don't like, that's bad for customers," he added.

UPDATE: This item has gotten many thousands of hits, and I'm hearing Vanguard employees are concerned they will not earn as much as under previous arrangements. The company has a history of not doing layoffs, but there have also been periods where crew felt pressure to leave, see for example this article I wrote in 2003. If you know more, feel free to email me at JoeD@phillynews.com, call me at 215.313.3124 or write to Joe DiStefano, Inquirer, 801 Market St. Suite 300, Philadelphia PA 19107-3126. Thanks.