On December 1, Fair Labor Standards Act updates often called the “overtime rule” will go into effect. In a somewhat oversimplified nutshell, this means more employees will be non-exempt (eligible for overtime pay). 

Currently, employees have to earn at least $23,360 annually to be exempt, but with the update, that minimum will be $47,476 annually. Learn more on the Department of Labor website or in the video below.

More than 40 percent of nonprofit finance pros report this change will have a “mostly negative” or “somewhat negative” impact on their organization. (For more, read the 2016 Nonprofit Finance Study.)

Whether ultimately negative or positive, communicating these changes to your nonprofit staff could potentially be tricky.

If you’re an HR leader in the sector, you know overtime rule communications will be unique to your specific nonprofit; however, there are some common conversation starters that can help you begin building your internal communication plan.

9 Overtime Rule Conversation Starters

  1. Is your staff generally aware of the new rule? While you may feel like the overtime rule is all over the news, you may be more aware of it because of your role in HR. Make sure your plan starts with the basics a thorough explanation of the new rule.
  2. If you haven’t communicated about this change broadly yet, should you now? Will broad communication now help your overall goals or cause fear, uncertainty, and doubt? How you answer the next question may help you think through broad communication strategies.
  3. How many employees will be impacted at your organization? Do they already know, or are communications forthcoming?
  4. Are you prepared for positive and negative reactions to the news? Even if an employee will now regularly be paid overtime, there can be a negative emotional reaction as being salaried is often perceived as a career status or milestone.
  5. Do the impacted employees’ supervisors know? If not, when/how will they find out? Be sure to prepare speaking points for them to use with their respective teams.
  6. How will this impact peer relationships, where one team member remains exempt, while another changes to non-exempt?
  7. How are your recruiters or hiring managers framing the compensation for new hires/roles that will be impacted? Are new hires being informed that their compensation structure will change down the road?
  8. Can your communications and/or legal team help you with the messaging and communication?
  9. What communication vehicles will you use? Email is often our go-to, but 1:1 meetings, group conference calls, and an intranet page could all be appropriate, too.