Labor Laws

The Fair Labor Standards Act, or the FLSA, establishes requirements for minimum wage and overtime pay. It also imposes various restrictions on record keeping and the employment of minors. The FLSA affects most public and private employers and is enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL).

On September 24, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued new rules and guidelines for employers regarding who can be paid a salary (exempt-white collar workers) and who must be compensated for overtime over 40 hours per week (non-exempt).  These rules become effective January 1, 2020. 

In the final rule, the Department is:

  • raising the “standard salary level” from the currently enforced level of $455 per week to $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker)

What does it mean to be exempt? An exempt employee is one that is not protected by the overtime and minimum hourly wage requirements of the FLSA. Practically speaking, this means that an employer does not have to pay an exempt employee overtime for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. It does, however, mean that the employee must be paid a salary and that salary may not be reduced when fewer hours than normal are worked (except in limited circumstances).

When determining if an employee is exempt, there are several factors to consider. It is not enough to look at a job title to find if an employee is exempt — you must look at the job description, the actual duties and tasks that make up the majority of an employee's job, and the method of wage payment.

In digging deeper into the FLSA rules churches may wonder about the Enterprise coverage test. This test must be looked at from the church level and also the individual level. The Enterprise coverage says a non-profit organization is not covered under FLSA if they have revenue under $500,000 but most of our churches cannot utilize this rule because of the individual test. An employee making a phone call to another state (ordering materials from out of state) or transporting property and or people to another state causes the individual to be covered by FLSA.

This PDF has been made available along with other resources to assist in determining the requirements of FLSA in regards to church employees. Read through the information. If you have further questions please contact Susan Petersen, HR Manager of the Conference at 785-414-4212. 



The following are resources that can help you understand the new labor laws and what it means for your church employees.

Please reach out to Susan Petersen, HR Manager, at 785-414-4212 with any questions.