Stay Current with Federal and State Laws that Affect Your Workplace

by Angie Criner

As we enter the fourth quarter of 2023, make sure to revisit compliance and best practices. As ministries who primarily exist to share the good news of Jesus and the relationship that He freely offers, protection of and exercise of your religious freedoms should remain at the forefront of your minds and operations.

Quite a few recent federal and state law additions and updates affect the nonprofit workplace. When you look into applicable laws, check to see whether they apply to the private sector and how many employees an employer must have for the law to apply. Also remember that laws either pass on a federal or state level.

Some common types of legislation that have passed in recent years include:

Leave Laws. Federally, the Family Medical Leave Act is the most well-known leave law, even though it isn’t a paid leave. FMLA applies to employers with 50+ employees, although several states have passed additional laws that apply to smaller companies, some of which require paid leave for self and family members. Approximately 17 states have now adopted paid sick leave laws that also cover absences associated with routine illnesses. Other leave laws that have passed or been expanded at the state or federal level include Bereavement Leave and Victim Protection Leave.

Pay Transparency. A growing number of states have adopted laws that now require employers to provide hiring range for all advertised positions.

Increase to Exempt Minimum Wage. The Department of Labor recently proposed the minimum wage for all exempt workers in the United States be $55,068 annually. The comment period for this proposal closes on November 7, thereafter a final rule will be released with an expected effective date sometime in the first quarter of 2024. To be classified as exempt, the position must clear all duties tests and meet the minimum salary requirements.

Religious Protection and Exercise. Given recent and current court cases, it continues to be imperative for ministries to accurately and clearly communicate who they are. Hire only people who share your faith and values in order to protect your organization and continue to freely share the gospel.

Reach out for assistance in understanding which laws apply to you and how to update or write your employee handbook, job descriptions, and hiring practices that ensure/increase protection and limit liability so you can keep your focus on your calling.

Angie Criner founded Career Cross Training (CCT) to assist disenfranchised and urban poor individuals find gainful employment. She began consulting and training in HR related areas in 2000, focusing on 501(c)3 religious charitable organizations, primarily rescue missions. Since then, she has assisted many ministries to exercise their rights, protect, and advance their mission, and bring compliance and alignment to human resources within ministry.

The 300+ organizations in Citygate Network membership seek to move people in desperate situations and destitute conditions (i.e., hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted) from human suffering to human flourishing through the process of gospel-powered life transformation. If you or someone you love is in need of Christ-centered compassion and care, please visit our member locator page today to find a mission near you.

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