I've been reading a Fair Labor Standards Act fact sheet. I don't understand why "Computer Employees" are classified differently from Professional employees. What is the justification for that difference?
Why does the US FLSA have a separate classification for “Computer Employees”?
Based on the rationale in 29 CFR 541.3(a), one may infer that FLSA seeks to protect
workers who perform work involving repetitive operations with their hands, physical skill and energy [...] [where] the skills and knowledge required for performance of their routine manual and physical work through apprenticeships and on-the-job training, not through the prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction required for exempt learned professional employees such as medical doctors, architects and archeologists
To reach the same goal, Congress could have amended the preceding excerpt by adding computer employees in the list of learned professional employees. However, my conjecture is that Congress' decision to address computer employees separately is to identify that the effects of their job are of "substantial importance" to the employer or clients, and therefore cannot be considered the type of predominantly clerical employment that FSLA protects. See Boyd v. Bank of America Corp, 109 F.Supp.3d 1273, 1293 (2015).
Two of the four cases fetched from this query make reference to the Final Rule Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees, 69 Fed. Reg. 22,122, 22,138 (Apr. 23, 2004), which was subsequently codified as 29 CFR 541. Perhaps the Final Rule or its preceding drafts elaborate on the legislator's rationale for the separate classification.