The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued Administrator signed Opinion Letter FLSA2009-4. Although Opinion Letters only apply to the exact set of facts and circumstances presented in each case, they are a valuable aid in understanding current interpretations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
In this Opinion Letter, the DOL concluded that a convention and visitors services sales manager whose “primary duty is marketing and promotional work to enhance the city as a destination for conventions and visitors” qualified for the administrative exemption to the FLSA. In addition to a salary of at least $455 per week, to qualify for the administrative exemption an employee must perform office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers and a primary component of which involves the exercise of independent judgment and discretion about matters of significance.
The employee in question was primarily involved in marketing, which is considered office or non-manual work. This is true even though the employee performed some support and clerical duties, since this non-exempt work was not the employee’s primary duty. Furthermore, the employee exercised independent judgment and discretion since the employee performed important duties on matters of significant economic import to the city with minimal supervision.
The DOL did not address whether the employee qualified under the professional exemption since the matter was moot.
State laws may provide rules that are more beneficial to the employee and must be followed. Contact Vision Payroll if you have questions about this Opinion Letter.