On December 1, updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) take effect that will impact many choruses. The changes will more than double the minimum salary level that most employees must be paid (from $23,660 to $47,476 per year) to be exempt from overtime pay.
"The new rules will apply to most nonprofit employers across the United States, including choruses," said Catherine Dehoney, president and CEO of Chorus America. "We are strongly encouraging our members to look at how these updates may affect their organizations and to prepare for implementation."
To qualify for an exemption from overtime pay, an employee generally must fit ALL of the following criteria:
- be salaried, meaning that they are paid a predetermined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed (the "salary basis test")
- be paid more than a specified weekly salary level, which is $913 per week (the equivalent of $47,476 annually for a full-year worker) under this Final Rule (the "salary level test")
- primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties, as defined in the Department's regulations (the "duties test")
This is by no means a comprehensive description of the changes and choruses will need to do their own reviews to see how their organizations are affected by the new rules. Here are some resources that can help:
- Learn more about the FLSA and the final overtime rules.
- Fellow Performing Arts Alliance members Opera America and Theatre Communications Group have prepared resources that discuss the regulations from the perspective of a nonprofit performing arts organization.
Additional resources for the nonprofit sector:
- Department of Labor Nonprofit Fact Sheet and general resources
- Independent Sector overtime regulations resource page
- National Council on Nonprofits resource page
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