Of all the confusion over the FLSA’s overtime rules, there’s one part of the law that’s especially problematic for a lot of companies:
The computer professional exemption.
It’s a common misconception that all jobs involving computers are exempt. But in fact, the FLSA’s computer employee exemption is very narrow, covering only employees who earn more than $27.63 per hour or $455 per week and:
- apply “systems analysis techniques and procedures,” such as consulting with users to determine hardware or software needs
- design, develop, create, test or modify computer programs based on user design specifications
- design, develop, create, test or modify programs related to operating systems, or
- perform a combination of those duties that requires the same level of skill.
Some examples of employees who don’t qualify for the exemption: employees who repair hardware and help desk professionals whose only job is to fix users’ problems.
Note: IT employees who don’t meet the requirements for the computer professional exemption may still be exempt, based on the FLSA’s administrative, executive or professional exemptions.