EXTRA! EXTRA! – Read all about it! New Federal Laws to Impact Overtime Pay


By Rik Jamieson | Assistant PNW Conference Treasurer

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Churches should review budgetary plans to ensure that funding is in place for overtime expected to be due to any non-exempt employees.
  3. 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.  You can find detailed information and explanation in the Administrative Support Downloads under the Digital Downloads section on our website.  Educate yourself and contact the Treasurer’s office for any questions.

You can contact the Treasurer’s Office by calling 206.870.6820 or by emailing your Conference Treasurer Brant Henshaw (email) or Assistant Treasurer Rik Jamieson (email).


  1. The “overtime law” may bring the church, kicking and screaming into, at least, the 20th century and maybe venturing, gingerly, into the 21st century, when it comes to salaries for clergy who have as much educational preparation for their careers as lawyers, pharmacists, and some physicians. As it stands, now, clergy are woefully underpaid for not just their education, but the many hours that they spend. These hours include sermon preparation, countless meetings, community involvement, funerals and the preparation for funerals, and weddings, the premarital counseling entailed prior to the weddings and all the other issues which consume the working hours of a clergy person.

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