Dentist Harrisonburg Blog 7 - New Wages


New wages from the President hurts the Boy Scouts of America.


In 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to update the overtime regulations to reflect the original intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and to simplify and modernize the rules so they’re easier for workers and businesses to understand and apply. The department has issued a final rule that will put more money in the pockets of middle class workers – or give them more free time.


This is a quote from the Department of Labor web site.   Some workers in the economy are paid a salary for their work and do not receive overtime pay.  The base pay for such a worker is about $24,000 a year.  In other words, a worker who makes more than $24,000 a year can hold a job that only pays a salary.  The employer can ‘opt out’ of paying this worker overtime pay.   The president’s new rule raises this threshold amount to a $47,500 a year.


This sounds lovely.  Our president, looking thoughtfully out the window of the oval office uncrosses his arms and calls the secretary of labor to tell him of his decision.  A grateful nation will get a raise or….as stated in the paragraph from the DOL webpage: “more free time.”


The Boy Scouts employ personnel to run the bureaucracy of scouting.  Scoutmasters need insurance coverage for weekend outings, the awards earned by scouts must be recorded in local and national offices, and scout camps need funds for operations.  Some of the folks who work at a council office for the Boy Scouts are salaried employees; they make more than $24,000 a year. They may work odd hours, meeting Scoutmasters and supporters early in the morning for breakfast or on weekends for tours of scout camps.  There are weekend training events and scout meetings in the evenings.  It would be impossible to pick through scouting executives activities to figure out how many hours they work in a given week.  There are other jobs like this as well, consider a church organist and choir director or perhaps someone who has a job helping a community food pantry.  After the new rules take effect, if these folks are paid less than $47,500 a year then they will be required to track their hours and receive overtime compensation as dictated by the department of labor.


Charitable groups like these are always struggling to pay their bills and to provide the most benefit to their targeted group.  Many times, these jobs are filled by young people who need a first job or an older semi-retired worker who is supplementing their income with the money they make working for the charitable group.


Scouting is dedicated to teaching kid’s self-reliance and leadership while taking them outside.  With the popularity of video games and computer based entertainment, a group dedicated to getting kids outside into the great outdoors should get help from the government.  Instead, our federal government provides yet another impediment to be overcome by employers. 


Many times Scouting executives are young men or women just out of college.  These jobs provide a young person a chance to interact with older men and women in the business community.  They provide an excellent starting point in a career.  Now, most Boy Scout Council offices will have to figure out how to manage a big increase in their payroll budget.  Using more money for salaries takes money away from programs for kids.  The other option will be to layoff some staff.  I guess this is the “more free time” the Department of Labor web site mentioned.

Like the $15 an hour minimum wage, raising the amount required for a salaried worker will help only a few workers and will burden companies and civic organizations who can least afford another impediment to their efforts.  The cost for such high minded regulations is born by us all. This change in Department of Labor policy is another job killer.


Doug Wright