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New FLSA Opinion Letters

Published by on November 20, 2007

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) publicly released several Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) opinion letters today.  The two most interesting letters deal with cattle industry Field Inspectors and court reporters.  In the first letter, the DOL found that because a cattle industry Field Inspector generally spent the majority of his time managing his assigned […]

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) publicly released several Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) opinion letters today.  The two most interesting letters deal with cattle industry Field Inspectors and court reporters.

 In the first letter, the DOL found that because a cattle industry Field Inspector generally spent the majority of his time managing his assigned district and supervising staff (and was paid on a salary basis over the minimum amount), he met the requirements of section 541.100(a) 2-4 and was therefore exempt from overtime compensation under the FLSA.  The DOL distinguished the Field Inspectors in question from those excluded from the FLSA exemptions by section 541.3(b)(2) because their primary duty is management of a customarily recognized department, not duties related to investigations (although they do participate in investigations as part of their job duties).

In the second letter, the DOL opined that a court reporter does not qualify as an exempt employee under the FLSA.  The court reporter did not qualify for the executive exemption because she did not regularly supervisor two or more employees.  She also did not qualify for the administrative exemption because she did not exercise discretion and independent judgment; rather, she performed manual transcription work.  Further, because the court reporter required completion of only a court reporting course and state certification, and not an advanced academic degree, she did not qualify for the professional exemption.

Both are worth reading for a quick refresher course on FLSA overtime exemptions.

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