For exempt status, it’s job duties that count

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

Giving someone a fancy title doesn’t make him an exempt employee who’s ineligible for overtime pay. Real duties determine exempt status.

Recent case: Marcus worked as a network analyst in the IT department at St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System. He sued, alleging that he fre­­quently worked more than 40 hours per week without overtime pay.

The health system countered that he was an exempt employee under the computer professional exemption. Marcus said he merely replaced servers, installed software and made other repairs and upgrades exactly as his supervisors instructed and without any independent judgment. He didn’t design systems, select or design software or do other complex work. The court ordered a trial. (Tran v. St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, No. H-11-0241, SD TX, 2012)

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