Federal law regarding wages and working hours does not apply to churches, however, state law does. State minimum wage laws apply so make sure you are paying at least the minimum wage rate for Pennsylvania. Please note that at the 31st General Synod in 2017, a resolution was adopted calling for a more just economy and advocating for paying a fair living wage of at least $15.00 per hour for all settings of the United Church of Christ.

Watch out when your church pays a lump sum for a particular service to an employee. If you take the lump sum payment and divide it by the number of hours the person spent on the particular service, it must calculate out to at least the minimum wage rate. Provide time cards to hourly employees and make sure they complete them.

Overtime (time and a half) must be paid for all hours worked over 40 hours/week for “non-exempt” employees. Hourly employees are almost always non-exempt and entitled to overtime pay. The calculation is done strictly on a week to week basis. Therefore, if you pay every two weeks and the person works 30 hours one week and 50 hours the next; they are entitled to time and a half on the 10 hours worked over 40 the second week even though the total for the period was only 80 hours.

Please note that employment liability insurance does not cover you if you are in violation of labor laws of this kind.