Over the past few decades, the American workforce has drastically changed, undergoing a revolution in technology and employee expectations. Original white collar exemption categories consisted of administrators, executives, and what were known as learned professionals. Between these major categories, the essential positions of a business could be described and appropriately brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act as exemption categories. However, a new subcategory has been added in relatively recent modifications to the law, creating specific standards for overtime exemptions for computer professionals.
Unlike the learned professional category, exemptions given to computer professionals are more strictly tied to these individuals’ technological abilities. The major test for a computer professional exemption is their use and understanding of computer technology. In quick terms, this can be interpreted as an employee’s skill and knowledge while dealing with coding, support, and analyzing the use of software or hardware.
For some, a computer worker may include a company webmaster, who can hold the primary duties of building websites, designing content and visuals, and providing consistent support to keep these sites up-to-date. While this task is usually divided among multiple individuals in any larger corporation or business, the general notion of a dedicated tech professional fits the concept of a computer professional.
Similarly, software and, in some situations, even hardware engineers and analysts may fulfill this role for a company. Laws governing overtime exemption are confusing, and it is important for employees to know what their rights are when it comes to receiving compensation.
To learn more about white-collar standards and exemptions in labor law, contact an employment attorney.