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May 04, 2010
Criteria Necessary for an Employee to Qualify for a White-Collar Exemption

In a BLR webinar entitled "Exemption Audits: Prepare Now for Stepped-Up Department of Labor (DOL) Enforcement -- Who's Entitled to Overtime and Who's Not," Cheryl D. Orr, Esq. partner and co-chair of the national Labor and Employment Practice Group at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP described the various white-collar exemptions and the criteria necessary to qualify. The white-collar exemptions are:

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  • Executive exemption
  • Administrative exemption
  • Professional exemption
  • Computer professional exemption
  • Outside sales exemption

For all exemptions, employees must meet both of the following two criteria:

  1. The salary test: Minimum $455 per week or $23,660 per year under federal law
  2. The duties test: This varies by exemption, but the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires the exempt duties to be a "primary duty." Primary may still be less than 50% depending on relative importance of exempt duties.

Cheryl D. Orr, Esq. is a partner and co-chair of the national Labor and Employment Practice Group at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. She concentrates her practice on defending employers against FLSA collective actions and state and federal wage and hour class actions. She regularly litigates discrimination, harassment, and unfair competition claims, conducts high-level workplace investigations, develops plans for reductions in force and offers employer advice and counseling.

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