New Federal Laws to Impact Overtime Pay


Note: As of late November, an injunction has halted implementation of this change. However IRS changes regarding what type of workers should be classified as "exempt" are still in force and should be reviewed.

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced its changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) “white collar” overtime exemption rules. The final rule strengthens protection for workers by increasing the standard salary level for qualification for overtime exemption from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year).

Practical implications of these rules are:

Churches and other employers should carefully review the employment classification of all staff to ensure employees are properly classified as exempt or non-exempt. This should include the review of each job description to make sure position duties and responsibilities are accurately described.

Churches should review budgetary plans to ensure that funding is in place for overtime expected to be due to any non-exempt employees.

Appropriate time records should be kept for all non-exempt employees and payment should be made for hours worked in accordance with the FLSA. Expected hours to be worked and pay rates may need to be evaluated to ensure required tracking can be done and corresponding payment can be made.

Though there is no exemption for clergy included in the FLSA, some courts have held that the FLSA does not apply to clergy employees. Specific attention should be given to the applicability of these rules to lay employees of the church.

Resources are available to churches to assist in understanding the new rules and application of the rules in local scenarios.  The UMC’s General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) has a helpful web page for educating yourself about this new law. Additional information can be found below under Resources.
If you have further questions, contact the Conference Treasurer, Dan Wilson-Fey, at dan@umoi.org, 503-802-9222, or Human Resources Manager, Lisa Pronovost, at  lisa@umoi.org, at 503-802-9224.