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November 18, 2010
Key Factors in Determining the Computer Professional Exemption

In a BLR webinar entitled "Overtime: Legal Strategies for Whittling Down Your Payouts Without Breaking the Law," Harold (Hal) M. Brody, Esq., partner, and Fredric C. Leffler, Esq., Senior Counsel in the Labor and Employment Law Department of Proskauer Rose LLP explained the Computer Professional exemption under 29 U.S.C. Sec. 213(a)(17):

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  • It applies to a computer employee paid at least $455 per week or at least $27.63 per hour
  • Some may also be exempt under the Executive or Administrative classification
  • Computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers or other similarly skilled workers in the computer field are eligible for exemption as Professionals
  • The Exemption only applies to computer employees whose primary duty consists of:
    • Applying systems-analysis techniques and procedures to determine hardware, software or system-function specifications;
    • Designing, developing, documenting, analyzing, creating, testing or modifying computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system-design specifications; or
    • Documenting, testing, creating or modifying computer programs related to the design of software or hardware or computer operating systems;
    • A combination of the above duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skill. (29 C.F.R. Sec. 541.400)
  • The highly-compensated test does not apply to computer professionals
  • Information Technologies (IT) support specialists/troubleshooters are non-exempt

Harold (Hal) M. Brody, Esq. is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department with Proskauer Rose LLP ( His practice is characterized by its diversity and he has represented employers in virtually every facet of labor and employment law. Fredric C. Leffler, Esq. is a Senior Counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Law Counseling and Training Group. He represents major private and not-for-profit employers in all aspects of labor and employment law.

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