Most states closely follow the rules and regulations as they are set down in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). As such, the exemptions from overtime pay is also followed, including the sections that describe some computer or information technology employees who are considered professionals and defined under the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations Part 541 Subsection E (updated as of March 21, 2013) which states:
“Computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers or other similarly skilled workers in the computer field are eligible for exemption as professionals under section 13(a)(1) of the Act and under section 13(a)(17) of the Act.” The “Act” refers to the FLSA.
“The section 13(a)(1) exemption applies to any computer employee compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate of not less than $455 per week (or $380 per week, if employed in American Samoa by employers other than the Federal Government), exclusive of board, lodging or other facilities, and the section 13(a)(17) exemption applies to any computer employee compensated on an hourly basis at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour.”
However, having a job title that is included in the above passages does not mean the employee is automatically exempted from overtime pay. Both the FLSA and eCFR specify the primary duties of a computer-related employee which include:
- System analysis application, procedures, consultations with regard to system or software functions
- Computer system or program design, analysis, development, testing, modification, documentation or creation related to user systems, system design or machine operating systems
Moreover, a computer-related professional should not use more than 20% of work hours engaged in non-primary functions. Excluded in these definitions are employees engaged in computer part manufacturing or repair, and whose computer use does not involve the design, programming or system analysis of software. So a data encoder, for example, is not considered exempted from the overtime law in many states.
Facing a lawsuit from an employee who does not feel as though he or she is being compensated adequately can be incredibly costly. If you do not know if any of your employees are exempt from overtime pay, it is important to get in touch with a business attorney to make sure you are in compliance with payroll laws in your state.