FLSA Exemption Checklists
Below are summaries of each FLSA exemption category. Managers should review this information to assess whether or not a position is likely to be exempt from overtime coverage. If a manager would like Human Resources to evaluate a position for an exemption, a checklist for the appropriate category must be completed and submitted as an attachment with a position request. Human Resources will evaluate the position description, FLSA checklist, organizational chart, and any other necessary data to determine if both the salary and position duties meet the federal definition for an exemption.
Exempt executive employees generally are responsible for the success or failure of business operations under their management. Other critical elements are (1) whether management is the employee’s primary duty, (2) whether the employee directs the work of two or more full-time equivalent employees, and (3) whether the employee has the authority to hire/fire other employees or, alternatively, whether the employee’s suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion, or other change of status of other employees are given particular weight. Joint or shared supervision with another exempt employee is insufficient. Additionally, supervision in the regular manager’s absence is insufficient.
Exempt administrative employees are relatively high level employees whose main job is to “keep the business running.” Exempt administrative job duties are (1) office or nonmanual work, which is (2) directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or employer’s customers, and (3) a primary component of which involved the exercise of independent judgment and discretion about (4) matters of significance. In dependent judgment and discretion involves the comparison and evaluation of possible courses of conduct and having the authority to make an independent choice, free from immediate direction, with respect to matters of significance. It does not include the use of manuals, guidelines, or software packages to make determinations.
The professional exemption actually encompasses two exceptions: one for learned professionals and one for creative professionals.
To be an exempt learned professional an employee must have a primary duty that is the performance of work requiring knowledge of an advanced type, including the consistent exercise of discretion and independent judgment, in a field of science or learning where the advanced knowledge is acquired by prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction. Examples include lawyers, doctors, engineers, accountants, architects, librarians, nurses and scientists.
To meet the test for the creative professional exemption, an employees must have a primary duty that involves the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field or artistic or creative endeavor. Examples include actors, performing artists, musicians, graphic arts, and playwrights.
To qualify as an exempt computer employee, the employee must be employed as a systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or in a computer position requiring similar skills. The primary duty must consist of one or more of the following: (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. Job titles do not determine exempt status. In order for this exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and compensation must meet all requirements of this exemption.