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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act establishes clear rules for determining whether a particular position is exempt from overtime pay. Blake points out in his piece that many employers violate the letter of labor law. Managers assume that techs are exempt from receiving overtime, either because their employees are paid salaries or their positions are covered by the government’s Computer Employee Exemption.

The Computer Employee Exemption sounds like a pretty broad exemption that might affect most support pros, but that is not the case. Assuming that the Computer Employee Exemption can provide blanket coverage is a mistake. The exemption covers positions with job duties similar to that of Software Engineers, Systems Analysts, and Software Developers. The Department of Labor’s definition of that specific exemption is a narrow one, and the Department’s policy is to assume that employees are eligible for overtime unless their specific job duties meet exemption criteria.