is no general exemption for employees who "work with computers."
Many employees in the computer industry, or who work with computers
in their jobs, will not be exempt employees. The following types
of work are not likely to be exempt: Keeping tape libraries, inputting
data, preparing flow charts or diagrams showing the order in which
a computer must perform operations, preparing operator instructions,
running computers, fixing computers (including "debugging"),
staffing "help desks" (or "help lines").
Computer workers may
be exempt under any of the "white collar exemptions,"
as bona fide executive or administrative employees. (See, FLSA
Coverage.) For example, a "network administrator"
may be performing administratively exempt job duties. There are,
in addition, some special rules which apply to employees who work
with computers and permit them to be classified as exempt even if
they don't meet the usual requirements for exempt executives or
administrators. However, there are special provisions which exempt
some computer employees who might not otherwise qualify as "professionally"
exempt. These include systems analysts, programmers (who "write
code"), or software engineers. More specifically, the special
computer employee exemption applies to workers who apply systems
analysis techniques and procedures to determine hardware, software,
or system functional specifications, or who design, develop, test
or modify computer systems or programs based on user or design specifications.
The special computer
employees exemption does not include workers whose primary duties
are manufacturing or repair of computer hardware, nor employees
who are not primarily engaged in systems analysis, programming or
software engineering even if their jobs are highly dependent on
using computers. (An example might be drafters who use computer-aided
Workers who meet the
standards of the special computer employee regulations need not
be paid on a salary basis to be exempt. The salary tests as applied
to computer workers permit them to be paid either at least $23,600
per year ($455 per week) on a salary basis, or on an hourly basis
at a rate not less than $27.63 per hour.