Federal Overtime Rule Dec. 1, 2016


to help you understand these changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):

GCFA White Paper on FLSA Changes

Department of Labor Final Rule

Department of Labor Fact Sheet 

Society for Human Resource Management FLSA Exemption questionnaire

GCFA position review

If you would like help in determining if a position is exempt under the professional duties test, the General Counsel on Finance and Administration (GCFA) will review each job description and related position to determine if it is exempt or not. The cost is $60 per review. 

Contact Debbie Gagnon, HR and Benefits Manager, at dgagnon@neumc.org for a referral.



Federal judge blocks U.S. overtime rule

A U.S. federal judge on Nov. 22, 2016 put on hold a new rule making millions more Americans, including church workers, eligible for overtime pay. The move indefinitely pushes back the Dec. 1 effective date while the judge weighs a challenge to the requirement.
Read USA Today's story on ruling
Read Missouri Conference story on church impact


On May 18, 2016 the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) “white collar” overtime exception rules. The effective date of the Final Rule is December 1, 2016. 

The Final Rule did not impact the minimum wage or overtime standards for an employee classified as non-exempt (hourly).  As a non-exempt employee, they already qualify for overtime pay for any hours worked over a 40 hour workweek. 

However, the minimum salary level increased for an employee classified as exempt (salary).  The minimum salary level increased from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year).  As a result, if an employee is paid less than the new minimum salary level they are a non-exempt employee and qualify for overtime pay.  For non-exempt employees churches should:

  • Keep time records:  All non-exempt employees should complete weekly timesheets and pay should be made for hours worked in accordance with FLSA. 
  • Budget Plans: Churches may want to review budgetary plans to ensure funding is in place for any overtime expected due to the newly non-exempt classified employees working more than 40 hours per week.

Important to note, Ministers are not covered under FLSA regulations. In The United Methodist Church, you must have license to preach or have been ordained to be considered a Minister. 

There were no changes to the professional duties test. To be classified exempt the employee must meet the minimum salary level and their job must pass the professional duties test. For Exempt employees churches should:

  • Review the salary level of exempt positions: Ensure an employee classified exempt is paid at least $913.00 per week ($47,476 per year).
  • Review each job descriptions: Does the job description meet the professional duties and responsibilities to be exempt

The standard salary level will automatically increase every three years to 40 percent of the weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census region, the South.