Published Date: 11/03/2014
By George Ports
A local area network (LAN) engineer for Kannapolis City Schools (Kannapolis, NC), whose duties involved maintaining the school-wide computer network, was ruled exempt under the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) computer professional exemption by a federal district court and therefore not due overtime as the engineer had claimed.
The primary issue in this case was whether the employee’s primary duty met the criteria for exemption. According to his job description, the LAN engineer was responsible for “designing and implementing local area networks” and supervising the installation, maintenance, and operation of local area networks and associated computer hardware and software. He was also required to coordinate with the school system’s director of technology to evaluate the district’s networking needs, recommending improvements and modifications to the existing infrastructure. The engineer also diagnosed and resolved complex local area network issues. The position qualifications included a B.S. in computer science (or a related field) and “increasingly responsible experience in a network environment.”
Upon review of the employee’s day-to-day duties, it was confirmed by the court that his primary duties were of such skill as to fall within the exemption criteria. It was also determined by the court that the employee exercised considerable discretion in performing his assigned tasks, further supporting a finding that he was “the type of employee contemplated by the FLSA exemptions.”
The court held that the employee’s primary duty was the performance of work set forth in the FLSA’s computer professional exemption and granted the Kannapolis City Schools Board of Education’s motion for summary judgment on the employee’s overtime claim.
For more information about exemptions under the FLSA, go to http://www.dol.gov/whd/.