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Computer Job: Am I Exempt? Michigan

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  • #16
    Originally posted by demartian View Post
    You said earlier that you are not making anything close to $60k a year, yet $27.63 an hour for 40 hours a week at 52 weeks a year equals = $57,470.40

    Now you state you are paid what is required. Which is it??

    Call the DOL and ask them... The link I gave earlier has information on how to contact them.
    That's if I was paid hourly. But since I'm salary, the minimum salary is like $24,000, so it really doesn't make sense to me. Why would any employer in their right mind pay an exempt employee hourly when they could make them exempt and only pay them $24,000 as a salary?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by demartian View Post
      properly speaking, the exemption applies only to the very top experts in computer software, i.e., the ones who actually write the software programs, or who design, implement, and maintain a company's network software, intranet, or Internet presence
      If this is right, then I am DEFINITELY NOT exempt.

      I do not write software programs. I also do not design any infrastructures as well.

      Since the line reads "design, implement, AND maintain" and not "design, implement, OR maintain", I think it's extremely clear that I should not be exempt.

      Now to just convince my employer of this .

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      • #18
        The section of law that your agency is making reference to is 13(a)(17) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This is a "professional exemption" for computer-related occupations. It is correct that anyone falling within this exemption that earns over $27.63 hourly is not required to be paid overtime.

        HOWEVER.....
        1. This section was drafted like in the computer stone ages (early 1990 or so) before the boom and bust of PC's in every home and long before the Internet.

        2. This section of law is way too widely applied.

        3. Your title doesn't matter. What matters is your job tasks. For those who are performing tasks that are true to their titles of Computer Engineer, Computer Programmer, or a Computer Systems Analyst, these are perfectly exempt. As you well know, there are many, many more computer occupations, most of which do not qualify under the exemption.

        4. The primary duties that the FLSA requires for you to qualify to not be paid overtime:
        a. The design, development, creation, or modification of computer systems, programs, or operating systems.
        b. The application of system analysis tecniques.
        c. Any combination of any of the elements of a or b

        5. Probably your best test of whether or not you are exempt is the level of skill, expertise, and education you need in order to do the job. Case law on this is very difficult to come by, but interpretations by the DOL have directed that a person should be able to exercise independent discretion and have a very high level of theoretical and practical knowledge to do the job.

        6. In order to retain the exemption, non-exempt work (anything other than the stuff I described in item 4) cannot comprise more than 20% of your work time, and must be essential to the performance of the exempt work.

        Based upon what you have told us, I WOULD NOT call you a "professional." I would classify you as a technician.

        There is no penalty for classifying everyone as non-exempt when they really COULD BE exempt. There are, however, stiff penalties for incorrectly classifying someone as exempt.

        Good luck.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by bears00 View Post
          The section of law that your agency is making reference to is 13(a)(17) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This is a "professional exemption" for computer-related occupations. It is correct that anyone falling within this exemption that earns over $27.63 hourly is not required to be paid overtime.

          HOWEVER.....
          1. This section was drafted like in the computer stone ages (early 1990 or so) before the boom and bust of PC's in every home and long before the Internet.

          2. This section of law is way too widely applied.

          3. Your title doesn't matter. What matters is your job tasks. For those who are performing tasks that are true to their titles of Computer Engineer, Computer Programmer, or a Computer Systems Analyst, these are perfectly exempt. As you well know, there are many, many more computer occupations, most of which do not qualify under the exemption.

          4. The primary duties that the FLSA requires for you to qualify to not be paid overtime:
          a. The design, development, creation, or modification of computer systems, programs, or operating systems.
          b. The application of system analysis tecniques.
          c. Any combination of any of the elements of a or b

          5. Probably your best test of whether or not you are exempt is the level of skill, expertise, and education you need in order to do the job. Case law on this is very difficult to come by, but interpretations by the DOL have directed that a person should be able to exercise independent discretion and have a very high level of theoretical and practical knowledge to do the job.

          6. In order to retain the exemption, non-exempt work (anything other than the stuff I described in item 4) cannot comprise more than 20% of your work time, and must be essential to the performance of the exempt work.

          Based upon what you have told us, I WOULD NOT call you a "professional." I would classify you as a technician.

          There is no penalty for classifying everyone as non-exempt when they really COULD BE exempt. There are, however, stiff penalties for incorrectly classifying someone as exempt.

          Good luck.
          Thanks for all your help. I'm still a little confused though. All my employer would have to say is that I do fall under this category: "that a person should be able to exercise independent discretion and have a very high level of theoretical and practical knowledge to do the job."

          Seeings how I do spend the majority of my time working independently, and do have a high level of knowledge of my job. But the same could hold true for any person that works indepentently. Cable TV technicians, Plumbers, Electricians, etc. Basically anyone who works alone and makes decisions.

          HAVE I TOLD YOU HOW MUCH I HATE HAVING TO INTERPRET THIS???!!!

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