How to Determine if an Employee Qualifies for the Administrative Exemption
- Step 1: Make Sure the Employee Performs "Office or Non-Manual Work"
- Step 2: Confirm the Employee's Work Is "Directly Related to Management or General Business Operations"
- Step 3: Check That Administration Is the Employee's Primary Duty
- Step 4: Be Sure the Employee Exercises "Discretion and Independent Judgment"
- Step 5: Confirm That the Employee's Decisions Involve Significant Matters
- Step 6: Check That the Employee Is Paid on a Salary Basis
- Step 7: Consult an Attorney or DOL if the Employee Does Not Clearly Satisfy All the Requirements
- Step 8: Fulfill Recordkeeping Requirements and Memorialize the Classification
- Additional Resources
The administrative exemption is perhaps the most difficult FLSA exemption to apply because many of the key terms that are used in deciding whether an employee qualifies are open to interpretation. In short, administrators help a business to run. But not all administrators will qualify. To be exempt, an administrator must be relatively independent and perform work that is vital to his or her employer's success. For example, administrative assistants to senior-level executives who have been delegated authority over significant matters will usually qualify, but lower-level administrative assistants who support mid-level managers or are responsible for little more than data-entry, filing or typing will most certainly not. Follow these steps to determine whether an employee qualifies for the administrative exemption.