Changes in FLSA - Fair Labor Standards Act

Many of you have been working to understand what implications, if any, the proposed December 1 FLSA changes would have on your church or organization. Last Tuesday a Texas federal judge issued a nationwide injunction blocking the implementation of the proposed changes. For the time being, that means all the current parameters of the FLSA remain in effect. As a recap, these are the highlights:

  • Determine an employee’s exempt or not-exempt status by examining the duties in their position description. If they perform exempt duties and make at least $23,660 overtime need not be paid for hours worked over 40.
  • 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 as well.
  • Secretaries, administrative assistants, and similar positions are almost certainly non-exempt and are owed overtime for hours worked over 40 in a week.

We cannot know when or how the case will be resolved, but it seems certain it will be appealed. Accordingly, any work you’ve already undertaken to ensure compliance with both the existing and proposed FLSA rules is time well spent. In fact, you may still elect to implement any changes planned in response to the new compensation threshold for exempt status. If you have previously committed to and communicated changes to an employee, carefully think through whether it makes sense to reverse your plans. (If you discovered you weren’t complying with FLSA in the first place, you don’t want to revert to non-compliance now.)

Please review the message I sent on November 1 that provides additional context unique to the United Methodist Church. The insights and suggestions shared then remain applicable.

We will continue to monitor progress and assist with interpreting current FLSA provisions. Questions can be directed to Conference Benefits Officer and Director of HR, Mike Kremnitzer at mkremnitzer [at] or at 614-844-6200.

In Christ’s Service,



Bill Brownson

CFO & Director of Administration