July 20, 2009
US Department of Labor Issues Opinion Letter on Overtime for State Police Civilian Helicopter Pilots
Filed under: News
Vision Payroll

The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued Administrator signed Opinion Letter FLSA2009-9. 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). Because the letter was apparently never mailed after it was signed, the DOL under new Secretary Hilda L. Solis has decided to withdraw the letter for further consideration. Therefore, this letter may not be relied upon as a statement of agency policy. It is possible that a different conclusion may be reached when the Opinion Letter is reissued.

In this Opinion Letter, the DOL ruled that civilian helicopter pilots employed by the Division of State Police do not qualify as exempt employees under the FLSA. The pilots are not executive employees since “their primary duty is not managing the department or subdivision in which they are employed.” They are not administrative employees since piloting a helicopter is not “office or non-manual” work. The DOL has long held that pilots do not qualify under learned professional exemption since their primary duty does not have any “advanced knowledge that must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

State laws may provide rules that are more beneficial to the employee and must be followed. The DOL may come to a different conclusion when it reissues the Opinion Letter after further consideration. Contact Vision Payroll if you have questions about this Opinion Letter.

1 Comment

  1. Jose Fernandez

    With the due respect, who is the counselor on this matter for the Secretary ? Does she is aware of the time money and training required to be a proficient and responsible Law Enfocement Aviator? (Both helicopter and fixed wing)
    Thats not counting the risk factor envolved.

    Apart of this there is existing Police Departments that does not have any rank or distiction for the active officers on flying duty. Thinking on this line, what about the benefits for this officers after retirement if they were considered only as “another street officer” ?

Submit a Comment

From New Hire to Payroll
With the Click of Button

Streamline Your Hiring
Process With

Tips / Latest News