HR Support on the FLSA Professional Exemption

Editor's Note: Doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects and others can be exempt from the FLSA's overtime requirements.

Michael CardmanOverview: Two types of professionals are exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): learned professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and engineers, and creative professionals, such as actors, musicians and visual artists.

The former are relatively easy to classify. The basic requirement is that learned professionals must be paid on a salary basis and perform work requiring advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning that is customarily acquired through a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

The latter are somewhat more difficult to peg down. The general rule is that creative professionals must be paid on a salary basis and perform work that requires invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.

Trends: The US Department of Labor (DOL) is expected to issue new FLSA regulations that will raise the minimum salary for overtime-exempt professional employees.

Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor

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