The Church May Need to Pay Overtime

Looks like President Obama is coming to the aid of overworked church employees.  President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum instructing the Secretary of Labor to update regulations as to who qualifies for overtime.  The Labor Department has published a proposed rule that would increase the salary before overtime for “executive, administrative and professional” employees from $23,660 to $50,440.  If such employees do not have that salary then any work in excess of 40 hours per week must be compensated at time and a half the individuals regular rate of pay.

As a general rule the Department of Labor has in the past indicated that ministers and religious workers are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  This would appear to indicate that  pastors are not subject to the minimum wage and overtime pay regulations of FLSA regardless of how little they are paid.  However, the status of ministers under the new regulations has not been addressed.

But, most church employees other than the pastor(s) will be covered by FLSA and are subject to the minimum wage and overtime pay for hours worked in excess of the 40 hour week.  That being the case, the church should look at its non-ministerial staff and be prepared to make appropriate budgetary changes for the year 2016 for any of its non-ministerial employees that might work in excess of the 40 hour work week.


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