The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempts certain highly-compensated employees (HCEs) from the requirement that they receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. To be considered highly compensated, the employee must receive both (1) at least $684 per week paid on a salary or fee basis; and (2) at least $107,432 in total annual compensation. To satisfy the HCE exemption, the employee must also (1) customarily and regularly perform any one or more of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an executive, administrative or professional employee; and (2) perform office or non-manual work as part of his or her primary duties.
In a recent opinion, the Fifth Circuit examined the job duties required to satisfy the HCE exemption. Smith v. Ochsner Health Sys., No. 18-31264, — F.3d –, 2020 WL 1897186 (5th Cir. Apr. 17, 2020). Smith, a former organ procurement coordinator for Ochsner, sued for overtime pay under the FLSA. In response, Ochsner asserted the HCE exemption, arguing that Smith performed one or more administrative duties and received the required level of compensation. Smith did not contest that he met the compensation requirements, but argued that he did not perform the duties required to satisfy the HCE exemption because he was required to follow exact procedures in performing his organ procurement work and, thus, did not exercise discretion and independent judgment as required to establish the administrative exemption.
Continue Reading Fifth Circuit examines the job duties required for the highly-compensated employee exemption from overtime pay under the FLSA