New Overtime Rules

In a recent newsletter article, we reported that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had proposed an update to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the rules that govern requirements for overtime pay. The rule change was to the salary threshold used to determine when certain salaried professionals still become eligible to receive overtime pay. 

The rule change has gone through the review period and will go into effect on January 1, 2020. The new rule will raise the salary threshold to $684 a week ($35,568 a year), which is slightly higher than the original proposed change. The old threshold was $455 a week ($23,660 a year).

While ministers are exempt from overtime rules, along with a few other professionals, there is not a blanket exemption for churches. But the good news is churches are likely to be exempt under the “enterprise test.” If an employer has less than $500,000 in revenue, excluding donations, contributions or grants, the employer is exempt for overtime rules.

However, under the “individual coverage” test, a church employee might still be covered under the FLSA. There is an “individual coverage” test to see if an employee is engaged in interstate commerce. If an employee is engaged in interstate commerce, they are eligible for overtime. Interstate commerce is considered to be regularly making phone calls to people located in other states, regularly handling records of interstate transactions, or regularly traveling to other states for business purposes.

We found a flow chart prepared by a CPA firm specializing in serving non-profits that, hopefully, can provide some clarity and guidance for deciding if an employee is exempt from overtime pay. If you would like a copy, please let us know (, 304-744-7634).

For specifics about the changes to the FLSA, click here to visit the DOL website. If more information and guidance becomes available, we will pass that along as it is received.

Changes to IRS Form W-4

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is proposing changes to the Form W-4. Changes to the long standard form were necessitated by the approval of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. A draft version of the new Form W-4 has been released by the IRS with plans to release a final version sometime next month. Employers will need to use the new Form W-4 for all new employees and for any current employees who wish to change their withholdings.  For more information and to preview the draft W-4, click here.

2019 PC(USA) Special Offering Calendar – Christmas Joy

A gift to the Christmas Joy Offering is distributed equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions which provides assistance to current and retired church workers in their time of need, and to Presbyterian-related schools equipping communities of color by providing education and leadership development.

Dec. 1-22 is a time for special emphasis on this offering; however, donations to it and the other special offerings (One Great Hour of Sharing, Pentecost, Peace and Global Witness) are accepted at any time. For more information or to order resources, please visit or call the Presbyterian Church Store at 800-533-4371.