new overtime rules

The new church overtime rules are going into effect on December 1st. These rules will affect your church if you have employees on staff that consistently work more than 40 hours per week and are making less than $47,476.00 annually. It’s important that you begin taking steps now to ensure that you are in compliance with these rules when the time comes.

Click HERE to check out our blog from last week and learn more about these rules.

Here are four options your church might consider during this time of preparation:

  1. Raise salaries above $47,476 to avoid paying overtime.

Depending on how many your church has, this could be a very costly solution. First, your church should consider what the yearly income would be to the non-exempt employees who stand to receive overtime as compared to paying a salary above the minimum threshold.

  1. Pay overtime above a salary.

A simple, yet costly approach would be to do nothing and just pay the overtime hours as they are incurred. This does not require converting salaried employees to hourly ones. While this approach might work well for a church that has a small number of employees working limited overtime hours, it probably will not be an option for most churches whose non-ministerial staff often work more than 40 hours per week.

  1. Adjust schedules and workload.

In some cases, employees work  an excess of 40 hours per week because they are needed in the late evenings at church functions and events. One remedy to this is getting employees to adjust their work schedules so that they arrive later in the day. This could help to keep them under the 40 hour limit. Another solution would be to provide days off during the week to account for a heavy weekend workload.

  1. Adjust base pay and pay overtime.

Consider lowering the salary for employees who consistently work more than 40 hours per week throughout the year. You can do this by taking into account the overtime pay they will receive. While this may sound harsh at first, when done in a thoughtful way and communicated clearly, the overall take-home pay to the employee could remain the same – or more – as before the salary adjustment.

Churches will no doubt have to pay close attention to the Department of Labor Regulations and any subsequent legislative rulings that might be made. It’s important that you analyze the many options available and choose one or more that works best for your organization. It’s important to begin preparing now for the December 1, 2016, implementation of these new rules. A good first step is to talk with employees so they fully understand these new provisions.

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