FLSA Exemptions

The FLSA requires that most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.

However, Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. Section 13(a)(1) and Section 13(a)(17) also exempt certain computer employees.  To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week.  Job titles do not determine exempt status.  In order for an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the Department’s regulations.  The requirements for the most commonly asserted “white collar” exemptions are listed below:

Executive Exemption

To qualify for the executive employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated on a salary basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;

• The employee’s primary duty must be managing the enterprise, or managing a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise;

• The employee must customarily and regularly direct the work of at least two or more other full-time employees or their equivalent; and

• The employee must have the authority to hire or fire other employees, or the employee’s suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change of status of other employees must be given particular weight.

Administrative Exemptions

To qualify for the administrative employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;

• The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and

• The employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

Professional Exemption

To qualify for the learned professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;

• The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment;

• The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and

• The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

Creative Professional Exemption

To qualify for the creative professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;

• The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.

Computer Employee Exemption

To qualify for the computer employee exemption, the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated either on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week or, if compensated on an hourly basis, at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour;

• The employee must be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or other similarly skilled worker in the computer field performing the duties described below;

• The employee’s primary duty must consist of:

1) The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications;

2) The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications;

3) The design, documentation, testing, creation or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or

4) A combination of the aforementioned duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.

Outside Sales Exemption

To qualify for the outside sales employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee’s primary duty must be making sales (as defined in the FLSA), or obtaining orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities for which a consideration will be paid by the client or customer; and

• The employee must be customarily and regularly engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business.

Highly Compensated Employees

Highly compensated employees performing office or non-manual work and paid total annual compensation of $100,000 or more (which must include at least $455 per week paid on a salary or fee basis) are exempt from the FLSA if they customarily and regularly perform at least one of the duties of an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee identified in the standard tests for exemption.

“White Collar” Exemptions Do Not Apply To Blue Collar Workers

The exemptions provided by FLSA Section 13(a)(1) apply only to “white collar” employees who meet the salary and duties tests set forth in the Part 541 regulations. The exemptions do not apply to manual laborers or other “blue collar” workers who perform work involving repetitive operations with their hands, physical skill and energy. FLSA-covered, non-management employees in production, maintenance, construction and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers, longshoremen, construction workers and laborers are entitled to minimum wage and overtime premium pay under the FLSA, and are not exempt under the Part 541 regulations no matter how highly paid they might be.

Police, Fire Fighters, Paramedics & Other First Responders

The exemptions also do not apply to police officers, detectives, deputy sheriffs, state troopers, highway patrol officers, investigators, inspectors, correctional officers, parole or probation officers, park rangers, fire fighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, ambulance personnel, rescue workers, hazardous materials workers and similar employees, regardless of rank or pay level, who perform work such as preventing, controlling or extinguishing fires of any type; rescuing fire, crime or accident victims; preventing or detecting crimes; conducting investigations or inspections for violations of law; performing surveillance; pursuing, restraining and apprehending suspects; detaining or supervising suspected and convicted criminals, including those on probation or parole; interviewing witnesses; interrogating and fingerprinting suspects; preparing investigative reports; or other similar work.

If you believe you have been misclassified by your employer or former employer, call 1-888-OVERTIME [888-683-7846] or click http://www.overtimeadvocate.com/2.html for a free consultation today.

3 responses to “FLSA Exemptions

  1. Cliff Foster

    Any case law supporting payroll deduction of personal use fee for company cars. I have searched the Dept of Labor site and read the FLSA directive and see no supporting argument that this would be an issue for a company to do this. Any direction would be appreciated.

    Regards

    • Wages may take the form of cash or facilities (such as meals, lodging and transportation). Section 3(m) of the FLSA permits an employer, under conditions specified in Regulations 29 CFR Part 531, to count toward its special minimum wage obligations, the “reasonable cost” of furnishing board, lodging or other facilities that are customarily furnished to employees. When wages take the form of board, lodging or other facilities, employers are subject to the additional record keeping requirements detailed in Regulations 29 CFR Part 516.27.

      In order for the employer to take credit towards the minimum wage (or to meet other minimum salary requirments), typically the company car being furnished must be primarily for the benefit of the employee and their costs would not otherwise be incurred by the employer. In addition, any contribution towards the costs of providing the car, by the workers must be deducted when determining the employer’s reasonable cost of furnishing the vehicle.

      There is no provision in the FLSA however that regulates an employer’s ability to take such credits when there is no issue that the employee is receiving in excess of minimum wage. In such cases, typically this is a contract issue between the employer and the employee and typically enforceable.

  2. dave

    So in the event someone meets the Administrative exemptions, and the highly compensated employee provision, would he or she be excluded under the Police, Fire Fighter exclusion be applied if the employee was an administrative assistant to the department and had no firefighter responsiblities in his or her job description? The persons primary responsiblities are strickly budget, finance and direction of fleet responsiblities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s