Overtime Pay Changes Looming
We’re less than two months away from the new overtime pay rule going into effect, making 4.2 million salaried Americans eligible for overtime pay. Within the past couple of weeks there have been efforts to stop or stall the changes, including Michigan joining other states in a lawsuit, but currently, the overtime pay rule is slated to take effect December 1.
CMF first reported the overtime pay changes in a May edition of the Weekly Download. Based on feedback and member interest, we consulted with finance and human resource experts and attorneys to provide further clarity and guidance to the proposed guidelines and exemptions.
Foundations will be affected by the overtime rule for their salaried (exempt) employees if they are involved in the following activities:
- Make out of state phone calls
- Send or receive mail or email to other states
- Order or receive goods from an out of state supplier
- Handle credit card transactions or perform accounting and bookkeeping for any of the above-listed activities
If any employee of the foundation is involved in the activities above and are salaried (exempt), then the overtime rule applies to that employee and they must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week and earn less than $47,476 per year.
How should you prepare?
- Identify current exempt employees who earn less than $47,476
- Estimate how much overtime those employees currently work
- Communicate clearly why exempt (salaried) employees are moving to nonexempt (hourly) status (as they will receive overtime pay)
If your foundation is affected by the new overtime rule, here are some options:
- Increase employees’ salaries to above $47,476 (they will not earn overtime and will remain salaried-exempt)
- Reclassify positions that pay between $23,660 and $47,476 from exempt (salaried) to nonexempt (hourly) (by moving to hourly-nonexempt, you will be able to pay for exact hours worked vs. salary)
- Keep salaries the same but pay overtime when necessary (this will essentially create a new tier of classification: salaried-nonexempt)
Two weeks ago the House passed a bill to stall the overtime rule by six months, however it’s expected to get opposition from Senate Democrats and President Obama has said he will veto any legislation that seeks to delay the overtime rule. For now, foundations should prepare for the changes to go into effect December 1. CMF will keep you updated on any developments.
Want the full report? There are some exemptions to the overtime rule, find out more in CMF’s guidance for foundations on the overtime rule.
Regional Transit on the Ballot
Next month voters in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties will weigh in on a much anticipated regional transit system. The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) of Southeast Michigan released its master plan outlining the region’s path to a rapid, reliable and coordinated regional system by 2036. The plan would include bus rapid transit, connector buses and a regional rail connecting Ann Arbor and Detroit.
Southeast Michigan is the only major metropolitan area in the U.S. that does not have a coordinated regional transit system.
- Currently, 92 percent of jobs in Southeast Michigan cannot be accessed by public transit within 60 minutes
- 40 percent of metro Detroiters cross county lines to get to work
- The Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the largest airport in the state, is not accessible by regional public transit
Many stakeholders say regional public transit is key in attracting new talent to the Detroit area, especially considering 73 percent of Detroit millennials want better mass transit.
A group of healthcare leaders recently spoke about how the coordinated regional transit system would help people get to their medical appointments and promote a healthy lifestyle.
A recent panel discussion for communications staffers at foundations and nonprofits featured Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, executive director of the Detroit Health Department who discussed the importance of transportation within the realm of social health determinants. El-Sayed noted how the lack of transportation can affect the health of Detroiters. "The work of placemaking is the work of public health,” he stated.
According to the master plan, the RTA aims to create a more prosperous, competitive, healthier and more vibrant region by getting people to work, attracting new talent, providing access to healthcare and better mobility, along with encouraging more active lifestyles. Transit has shown it leads to economic development, a study by the American Public Transit Association reveals a $4 return for every $1 invested in transit.
A number of foundations have voiced support for the RTA plan, for its potential impact beyond transit, including CMF members such as the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, Rock Ventures, and The Kresge Foundation. CMF’s Board of Trustees also voted in support of the plan.
The Kresge Foundation has been instrumental in helping bring regional transit to Metro Detroit; it’s investment in the QLINE, or M1 rail, spurred interest in bringing additional transit to the region, and Kresge also provided funding for the RTA to develop its Master Plan.
The Michigan League for Public Policy is asking others to support the plan, calling it, “the most significant attempt at regional cooperation in the last 40 years.”
Voters will head to the polls November 8, and those living in counties within the RTA corridor will decide on the millage for the plan.
Sexual Assault: The Reality and Prevention
Consider this: One in four women may be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, a chilling statistic that has many of our college campuses, communities, nonprofit and government leaders working together to find solutions.
A little more than a week ago, Michigan’s first lady, Sue Snyder, hosted her second summit, Inform. Empower. Prevent: Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault, bringing together leaders, including representatives from CMF and the Michigan Women’s Foundation, to discuss ways to raise awareness, expand the conversation on prevention and education and changing the culture.
The latest mass surveys of students reveal about 25 percent of Michigan State University students said they had been sexually assaulted and about 30 percent of the University of Michigan students reported the same.
According to Holly Rider-Milkovich, director of the Sexual Assault Prevention Awareness Center (SAPAC) at the University of Michigan, research shows only three percent of Michigan students actually report their assaults to police.
Rider-Milkovich and Peg Tallet, chief community engagement officer of the Michigan Women’s Foundation, addressed the issue during a session at CMF’s Annual Conference, developed by Michigan Grantmakers for Women and Girls, a CMF affinity group.
They suggested improvements and/or changes to prevent and respond to sexual assaults including:
- Research on proven prevention programs
- Equity in treatment and services for students
- Highly trained and qualified counselors to support survivors
- More investigators statewide
There are ongoing efforts around the state to prevent and stop sexual assault on college campuses and in our communities. A panel featuring lawmakers from around the state at the recent summit described Michigan as a leader in state support and policy for sexual assault survivors. Sue Snyder is encouraging post-secondary institutions to apply for the state-funded grant program that addresses sexual assault prevention.
LACASA Center, a nonprofit in Howell, developed the educational program LEAD the Way to start the conversation early with teens about education and tools to prevent dating violence and sexual assault.
The Michigan Women’s Foundation’s work in the Enough SAID (Enough Sexual Assault in Detroit) has raised funds to test more than 10,000 forgotten rape kits in hopes of securing justice and closure for victims and ensuring safer communities. Tallet said despite the millions of dollars leveraged through the campaign the problem of sexual assault is not over and more coordination and accountability in funding is needed.
What can funders do?
- Advocate public policy reforms (ensure your investment in women and girls are supported by state policies)
- Support early prevention and education programs
- Support well-trained advocates and confidential resources to be made available in all communities, especially on college campuses.
Consumers Energy Foundation supports critical home repairs through Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity Michigan announced it received $400,000 from the Consumers Energy Foundation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).
Each organization contributed $200,000 to support Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Effort which will make repairs to homes statewide. The money will go toward fixing structural problems, leaks, mold issues and unsafe appliances.
“Consumers Energy is committed to building strong communities throughout Michigan, and that starts with strong homes,” Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation said. “We measure that commitment in dollars, as we fund Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization effort for a second year, and in the many hours that our employees devote to volunteering with Habitat.”