Last week, a federal judge issued an injunction blocking a regulation that was set to qualify more than 4.2 million workers across the country for overtime pay on December 1st. The update to the Fair Labor Standards Act (the same act that, back in 1938, was responsible for the 40-hour work week) would have raised the salary threshold for overtime to $47,476 per year, allowing those who made below that minimum to either work less or earn overtime at time and a half each week.
In a piece I recently wrote for Forbes on the broken agency model, I welcomed this law. I thought it was one that supported personal time and humanity and was something that would enhance workplace culture to value great work over grueling hours and raise up our middle class. So naturally, when I heard it was put on hold last week I was disappointed.
In preparation for this law to go into effect, we at InkHouse had done a lot of thinking about how this new law would impact our business and our employees. We prepared, we had a plan and we were ready to implement this week.
And so, even with this ruling, we will move forward with our plan to pay our qualifying employees overtime. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s in line with what we value here at InkHouse.
As I have said before, it’s time for a shift in agency culture. PR has a bad reputation for being a stressful industry, having a high turnover rate and blindly accepting the expectation of being available around the clock. Maybe now, as we’ve taken a step back, hit pause and think about how to best spend our days, we will go back to valuing more good ideas, not more emails.
Since the early days working around her kitchen table, Beth has grown Inkhouse into one of the top independent PR agencies in the country. She’s been named a Top Woman in PR by PR News, a Top 25 Innovator by PRovoke, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Beth designed Inkhouse’s signature Storytelling Workshop to mirror the literary hero’s journey and to unearth the emotional connections that bind an audience to a brand or idea. She also uses narratives to build Inkhouse’s culture, most recently through two books of employee essays, “Hindsight 2020” and “Aren’t We Lucky?”