With attention on the DOL’s salary increase required to meet the white collar exemptions, it is important for employers to remember that this is only one-half of the test to qualify for as an exempt employee. The law also requires that the employee perform more than 50% of their time performing exempt duties. For this week’s Friday’s Five, here are five examples of duties that qualify as exempt duties for the administrative exemption (click here for a description of some of the different exemptions that exist):
1. Insurance claims adjusters
Insurance claim adjusters whose duties include activities such as interviewing insureds, witnesses and physicians; inspecting property damage; reviewing factual information to prepare damage estimates; evaluating and making recommendations regarding coverage of claims; determining liability and total value of a claim; negotiating settlements; and making recommendations regarding litigation.
2. Financial services industry employees
Employees in the financial services industry whose duties include work such as collecting and analyzing information regarding the customer’s income, assets, investments or debts; determining which financial products best meet the customer’s needs and financial circumstances; advising the customer regarding the advantages and disadvantages of different financial products; and marketing, servicing or promoting the employer’s financial products.
3. Executive assistants
An executive assistant or administrative assistant to a business owner or senior executive of a large business generally meets the duties requirements for the administrative exemption if such employee, without specific instructions or prescribed procedures, has been delegated authority regarding matters of significance.
4. Human resource managers
Human resources managers who formulate, interpret or implement employment policies and management consultants who study the operations of a business and propose changes in organization generally meet the duties requirements for the administrative exemption.
5. Purchasing agents
Purchasing agents with authority to bind the company on significant purchases generally meet the duties requirements for the administrative exemption even if they must consult with top management officials when making a purchase commitment for raw materials in excess of the contemplated plant needs.
6. (bonus) Property managers
In McKee v. CBF Corp. C.A. 5 (Tex) the court held that under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), that a “property manager” was an exempt employee under the administrative exception when her duties including overseeing the employer’s properties, ensuring they were properly maintained. She also supervised five maintenance employees, approving their schedules and vacation time. In addition, the property manager had employees reporting to her, as managers would generate a list of issues to be addressed on a daily basis. She would decide which of these issues would be handled by outside contractors and tasking her employees to individual assignments.
Employers must be careful about this analysis, as California law can differ from federal law. Therefore, experienced counsel should be consulted when conducting an audit regarding whether an employee is properly classified as an exempt employee.