IMPORTANT UPDATE: Fair Labor Standards Act

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Fair Labor Standards Act

Ross Williams


Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors),

I previously sent an e-mail on October 3rd (see attached) summarizing new Department of Labor regulations for the payment of overtime that were to be effective December 1st.  The new requirements would have raised the threshold for "exempt" employees (those who are not paid overtime) from $23,660 to $47,476.  Last Tuesday, a Federal Judge in Texas issued an injunction blocking the implementation of these new requirements.

What this means is that the new threshold of $47,476 is on hold and the previous and current requirements of the DOL are back in effect.  

As a recap, current regulations require:  

  • Employees earning at least $23,660 who meet the “executive,” “administrative” or “professional” exemption guidelines, are "exempt" and overtime need not be paid for hours worked over 40.  An employee’s "exempt" or "not-exempt" status should be determined by examining the job duties of their position.
  • Clergy remain exempt under the ministerial exemption.
  • The duties of certain lay persons (based on written job descriptions) may qualify them for the ministerial exemption.
  • Secretaries, administrative assistants, and similar positions are almost certainly "non-exempt" - overtime pay for these employees is required for hours worked over 40 in a week.
It is unknown when or how this case will be resolved.  If you have already spent time analyzing job descriptions and the correct classification of employees, it is time well-spent.  In fact, you may still elect to implement any changes planned in response to the new compensation threshold for "non-exempt" employees.  If you have already communicated changes to an employee, you will need to decide whether to proceed with those plans.  If through this process you identified any areas of non-compliance with current requirements, you should of course rectify those.  
We will continue to monitor progress and assist with interpreting current FLSA provisions.  Questions can be directed to our Conference HR and Benefits Manager, Sally Truglia, at or 914-615-2220.

Sincerely,  Ross

Files: flsaemail.pdf