Classification for Overtime Eligibility: Internet Specialists

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With the proliferation of network, Internet and management information systems, it is essential for businesses to understand employment classifications — especially in terms of overtime payment — for personnel who manage high level and other computer functions.

Often considered white-collar workers, Internet specialists and other computer operators walk a fine line between executive and technical tasks. Because of the long hours typically worked by network management and other Internet specialists, classification as an employee exempt from overtime wages may make financial sense — but may not be legal.

In California, an employer can classify an employee as exempt from overtime pay if he or she can prove that the employee's responsibilities fall within exemptions that include:

  • Professionals
  • Executive
  • Administrative
  • Managerial
  • Outside and commissioned sales

A computer-professional exemption from overtime wages may apply in some cases. California law dictates the types of work performed by exempt computer specialists. Beyond those duties, keep in mind the following points about Internet specialist personnel:

  • Designation by an employer as an exempt employee does not mean the employee may not eventually bring a claim for overtime
  • Actual job tasks, responsibilities and expectations determine the classification
  • Salaried employees are not automatically exempt from overtime pay

As new technologies require new employment specialties — such as, "Internet and Social Media Professional" — getting good advice about employment classifications is important.