By Melissa Wuske
Overtime Pay for Ministers
According to a new Department of Labor decision, all employers must pay overtime for hours beyond 40 to full-time, salaried employees who earn less than $47,476. The ruling could affect local churches financially. “With no specific exemption for nonprofits that employ millions of Americans, the new rules will have a significant impact on the finances and human resources of churches and ministries throughout the United States,” said the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
But the ruling may not be fully cut and dry: “Past language suggests that the official position of the DOL is that clergy are not subject to the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the FLSA [Fair Labor Standards Act] no matter how little they earn, and two federal courts have specifically ruled that the FLSA does not apply to ministers due to the so-called ‘ministerial exception,’” said legal expert Richard Hammar.
Financial Trouble for Christian Schools in Israel
The Israeli government allocated $13 million to the Office of Christian Schools (OCS), but delays in receiving the funds have caused 47 Christian schools to go into financial strife that threatens their ability to operate. The $13 million was a one-year settlement after the Ministry of Education told the OCS they wouldn’t get funding unless they join the public education system.
“We regret the fact that the Ministry of Education is trying again to force our institutions to join the public system,” the OCS stated. “The Christian schools in Israel are at risk of collapsing financially. If the government will transfer the promised [$13 million] soon, then this collapse will be delayed for one year.”
Dr. Heimlich Saves Another with His Maneuver
Patty Ris, a resident at the Deupree House senior living facility in Cincinnati, began choking on her dinner one evening. Luckily, she was sitting next to fellow resident Dr. Henry Heimlich, creator of the Heimlich maneuver. Heimlich, age 96, used his famous technique to help the woman clear her airway.
Perry Gaines, maître d’ for the Deupree House dining room, saw that Ris was choking and then “I saw someone standing behind her as she sat down. Sometimes residents try to help in medical situations, but we tend to discourage it. But I noticed it was Dr. Heimlich and he was doing the maneuver. . . . I stepped back and let Dr. Heimlich continue on.”
Afterward, Ris told Heimlich, “God put me in this seat next to you.”
No Weekend Work Email
Employers in France with more than 50 employees may no longer email their employees outside of typical business hours, such as evenings and weekends, according to a new national law. “All the studies show there is far more work-related stress today than there used to be, and that the stress is constant,” said Benoit Hamon of the French National Assembly. “Employees physically leave the office, but they do not leave their work. They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash—like a dog. The texts, the messages, the emails—they colonize the life of the individual to the point where he or she eventually breaks down.”
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).