Computer Professionals Update (CPU) Act Seeks To Modify Whether Computer Professional Are Exempt Or Not-Exempt

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets forth overtime and wage guidelines that govern nearly every employee in the United States. Included in the FLSA are requirements that employees earn minimum wage and all employees who are not exempt be paid overtime at a rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40.

Whether an employee is exempt vs. not-exempt can be a crucial factor in determining how much an employee earns and directly affects if a worker is entitled to overtime. In an attempt to clarify whether computer employees are exempt or not exempt, the Senate has recently introduced the Computer Professionals Update (CPU) Act in attempt to clarify those employees that fall into each category.

For example, in order to be considered “exempt,” currently computer employees must meet the following tests:

• The employee must make no less than $455/week • The primary duties must consist of:

Applying systems analysis and techniques and procedures, including consultations regarding hardware, software or system specifications;
Designing and developing computer systems or programs;
Designing and developing computer programs related to machine operating systems; or A combination of the above duties.

• An employee is not considered exempt where their primary duties involve the manufacturing or repair of computer hardware
The definition of who is a computer employee would be modified to include as exempt:

“any employee working in a computer or information technology occupation (including but not limited to, work related to computers, information systems, components, networks, software, hardware, databases, security, internet, intranet, or websites) as an analyst, programmer, engineer, designer, developer, administrator, or other similarly skilled worker…”

Further, the test of “primary duties” has been modified to include additional tasks such as working with network databases as well as “the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, securing, configuration, integration, debugging, modification of computer or information technology, or enabling continuity of systems and applications.”

If you have questions about the Computer Professionals Update (CPU) Act or whether you are exempt or not exempt for the purposes of the FLSA, contact the dedicated Atlanta wage and hour attorneys Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for a confidential case evaluation.