The Overtime Rule brings new challenges for non-profit organizations

Payroll concept image of a pen, calculator and reading glasses on financial documents.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Department of Labor’s new rules regarding overtime pay are having a harsh impact on the non-profit community. While those affiliated with the organization acknowledge the benefits of the rule, they said it does bring challenges. The rule has been put on hold by a federal judge, but still looms over the people who would have to uphold it.

“They’re not coming to get rich, they’re coming because they feel called to love and serve others,” Downtown Rescue Mission’s John Niemeyer said. “We have staff that are called and dedicated to do the work in helping others, but we still have to pay them.”

Niemeyer said the rule forces non-profits to pinch pennies and ask for volunteer help.

“We’re kind of much more dependent on finding donors to make money for staffing as well as volunteers to fill gaps,” Niemeyer said.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a worker gets overtime pay if he or she makes less than $47, 476 a year.

“We either have to raise them to that level of pay, which is not feasible because we don’t have enough money to do that, or we bring them on hourly and have to pay them lots of overtime,” Niemeyer explained.

So, non-profit agencies must make changes to obey the law.

“For example, in our ministry department, in our rehab, you have about one pastor tasked to help between 25-40 people, depending on the men or women’s side of things,” Niemeyer said. “They’re doing the best they can, but we struggle to be able to give people the love and service they need.”

Because of the gaps in service, non-profits are especially grateful for volunteers and donors who propel those purposes.

“Right now, there’s a critical need for monies to be able to hire that staff to better serve the community,” Niemeyer said. “It’s non-profits all over that need that help and support.”

For anyone looking for an opportunity to volunteer at or donate to the Downtown Rescue Mission, visit www.downtownrescuemission.org.