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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Do you know? The FLSA’s Computer Employee Exemption

Do you know? One of the FLSA’s lesser-known exemptions is the Computer Employee Exemption.

For an employee to qualify for the computer employee exemption, the employee must either be paid a salary of at least $455 per week or an hourly rate of at least $27.63. The employee must be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or other similarly skilled worker in the computer field.

Additionally, the employee’s primary duty must fall into one of the following four categories:

  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; or

  4. A combination of the aforementioned duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.

This exemption does not include:

  • Employees engaged in the manufacture or repair of computer hardware and related equipment.

  • Employees whose work is highly dependent upon, or facilitated by, the use of computers and computer software programs (such as engineers, drafters, and others skilled in computer-aided design software), but who are not primarily engaged in computer systems analysis and programming.

As with the FLSA’s other exemptions, determining whether an employee or group of employees falls under this classification is very fact-specific, and it is often worth obtaining a professional opinion.

For information on some of the FLSA’s other exempt classifications, see: