Getting ahead in the public relations world is simple, according to Beth Monaghan, chief executive of the Waltham agency InkHouse: “Traditionally, the way it is done is working yourself to death.”
Monaghan has been trying to change this model, monitoring how many hours her 100 employees work, even instituting an e-mail shutdown between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. And last week she went ahead with plans to give raises and offer more employees overtime — even though she was no longer legally obligated to do so.
When a Texas judge slapped an injunction on a federal regulation that would have made several million more salaried workers eligible for overtime pay as of Dec. 1, many employers decided to wait to put changes in place. The regulation would have doubled the salary cap at which workers are allowed to make overtime.
The intention was to put more money in workers’ pockets — either by having employers raise their salaries above the cap or by compensating them for extra hours worked.
Despite the injunction, which the Labor Department is appealing, and an incoming administration that could quash the rule altogether, Monaghan proceeded to bump up the pay of 15 employees. Some are now allowed to put in for extra hours worked; others had their salary boosted above the new cap of $47,476.
The annual cost to the company is equivalent to the salary of several full-time employees, Monaghan said, which is “not insignificant” for her agency.
“If you want loyal employees you have to do the right thing,” she said.
“I told them I was going to do it, and now [if] I’m not doing it because I don’t have to, what does that say about me?”