Overview: 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
Updated to reflect recent developments concerning proposed rules that would increase the minimum salary and update the duties tests for most overtime-exempt workers.
An independent commission has raised a number of concerns that the Pennsylvania labor department must address before raising the minimum salary for most overtime-exempt employees to nearly $48,000.
Updated to reflect a Supreme Court ruling concerning an overtime exemption for auto dealership service advisors.
Updated to reflect the overtime and recordkeeping exemption for employees of seasonal amusement and recreational establishments, effective January 1, 2018.
Updated to reflect the 2018 annual inflation adjustment to the minimum salaries for overtime-exempt executive, administrative and professional employees, effective January 1, 2018.
Updated to reflect the 2018 increase in the minimum salary for overtime-exempt executive / supervisory employees, effective January 1, 2018.
Updated to reflect the 2018 increase in the minimum salary for overtime-exempt executive, administrative and professional employees, effective January 1, 2018.
Updated to reflect the increase in the minimum salaries for overtime-exempt executive and administrative employees, effective December 31, 2017.
Updated to reflect the 2018 annual inflation adjustments to the minimum salaries for overtime-exempt executive employees, administrative employees and professional employees, and amendments to the overtime exemption for private elementary and secondary school teachers, effective January 1, 2018.
Updated to reflect the repeal of the overtime exemption for parking lot and garage attendants under the Wage Theft Prevention Clarification and Overtime Fairness Amendment Act of 2016, effective April 7, 2017.
HR guidance on complying with the federal and state requirements for the professional exemption.