New Department of Labor regulations mean that many workers who didn’t qualify for overtime pay, will soon be receiving time and a half.

The new rule more than doubles the threshold for exempt employees from $23,660 to $47,476 and includes those in management or administrative positions. The news may sound great to those who will get boosted paychecks, but some Montana non-profits fear it will cut back on their ability to serve.

Russ Cargo is the CEO of Helena Industries, a non-profit that helps people with disabilities find work, he says that lower average pay in Montana means that many will feel the pinch of these new regulations.

"80 percent of the non-profits in Montana have budgets under $100,000 so it is very likely that most of those are going to pay their executive director something below that 47,000 level, so it is really going to drive the operating costs up for the organizations," Cargo said.

The new rule came down on Tuesday, but won’t go into full effect until December. Cargo says cuts will need to be made.

"If it is going to cost me more to operate Helena Industries, I can't pass that on to anybody else," Cargo said. "I can't necessarily get the legislature or the Department of Public Health and Human Services to increase the rates their paying, so my options are to either cut staff or to cut services to the people we are suppose to serve."

Cargo is hoping that federal regulators will make an exemption for non-profits. The new rule will likely have a disproportionate impact in many Montana work places, where the Department of Labor itself reports the annual mean wage for all occupations at around $40,600, far below the national average.

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