Stop fighting the increase in overtime pay

It’s amazing. The President of the United States, Barack Obama, has proposed increasing the base pay which would qualify an employee to receive overtime compensation. And members of the non-profit community are fighting this! Why?

The rate has only been increased once in the last 39 years! Raising the base from $23,600 to $50,440 will allow hundreds of thousands of employees to receive overtime pay when they are required to work more than 40 hours per week. It will encourage employers to spread the work among other employees or create new positions. The current base of $23,600 is below the poverty line for a family of four and that alone should be shocking to the many non-profits who fight each day for the rights of employees.

Shame on non-profit leaders who are fighting this necessary increase. Let’s get this straight – the very organizations that are supposed to fight abuse are fully prepared to allow it to continue in the workplace? Do non-profit leaders really feel that it is OK to pay someone $23,600 per year, require them to work 60 hours per week, and then NOT pay them over time?

When I first started in the non-profit world – over 34 years ago- the non-profit world did not have to pay into Social Security. Then in 1984 the Federal government required that non-profits pay into Social Security, just as employers in the for-profit world did. I remember hearing that this would destroy the non-profit world, cause massive layoffs etc.

That never happened. The non-profit world continued to grow. Paying into Social Security was the right thing to do. And now it’s the law of the land.

Oh, and non-profits also have to pay into workers’ compensation,unemployment compensation, and adhere to many other state and federal laws.

Raising the minimum salary that qualifies for overtime pay should be raised. It’s the right thing to do.

If the non-profit world wants to play ball in the real world, then we need to treat our employees with respect. How in good conscience can we require our employees who make less than $50,000 to work 50, 60, 70 or even 80 hours per week without overtime pay?

Good leaders understand that we cannot abuse our employees. Doing so leads to unproductive turnover. Any leader who claims they cannot effectively run the organization unless they require employees to work outrageous hours without additional compensation do not deserve to be in positions of leadership.

It’s time to support this important federal rule. It’s time to ensure that our employees are treated fairly.

Or, it’s time for certain non-profits to close and go out of business and that would be OK. And it may be time for these ineffective leaders to find another occupation.

Organizations that create a motivated work force will thrive and prosper. Supporting this rule is necessary. Abusing our employees is just plain wrong.

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