Computer Employee Exemption

Editor's Note: Certain computer programmers, analysts and software engineers can be exempt from overtime requirements.

Michael CardmanOverview: Employees who work with computers may qualify for an exemption from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as some state wage and hour laws

However, this exemption is available only for employees whose duties involve systems analysis, programming or computer systems design. It should not be applied to "help desk" staff, to workers manufacture or repair hardware, or to employees like engineers or drafters who simply depend on computers to do their work.

Trends: The US Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed regulations that would, if finalized, increase the minimum salary from $455 per week to $679 per week (or from $23,660 per year to $35,308 per year). The proposed regulations also would allow employers to count nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level test, as long as they are paid annually or more frequently. The DOL projects the regulations will take effect January 2020.

Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor

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