Computer Employee Exemption

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The regulations consolidated the requirements for certain highly-compensated computer professionals. Computer analysts, computer programmers, software engineers and other similarly skilled workers in the computer field are eligible for this exemption. To qualify for the computer professional exemption under the FLSA, the following requirements[1] must be met:

  1. The employee must be compensated either on a salary or fee basis at a rate not less than $684 per week or, if compensated on an hourly basis, at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour;
  2. The employee must be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or other similarly skilled worker in the computer field performing the duties described below;
  3. The employee’s primary duty must consist of:
  • The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications;
  • 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;
  • The design, documentation, testing, creation or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
  • A combination of the aforementioned duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.

This exemption does not include employees who repair computer hardware and related equipment. Computer employees who do qualify for this exemption often have duties that would qualify them for the administrative or executive exemptions.

[1] The requirements are set out in 29 C.F.R. § 541.401.