Choruses should pay attention to a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor that would revise regulations on overtime compensation. The new rules would require employers—including nonprofit organizations—to pay time-and-a-half wages to salaried employees earning up to $50,440 annually when they work more than 40 hours in a given week. The plan would more than double the current overtime-exemption threshold of $23,660.
On September 4, Independent Sector (a national coalition of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations which Chorus America participates in as part of the Performing Arts Alliance) filed comments in response to the proposed rule. The comments note the lack of engagement by DOL with the nonprofit community, and express concerns over the cost of implementing the proposed rules, while also supporting the general impulse to support a "living wage." The DOL will now take into account the more than 150,000 comments it received before crafting and implementing final new rules, which are intended to be in place before the close of 2016.
Further background is available from the Department of Labor, and a DOL summary outlines current exemptions, including one for "Creative Professionals." To help nonprofits understand this complicated policy area, Independent Sector has prepared an Overtime Resource Page. Chorus America will keep you posted as the rules are finalized.