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?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on workplace.stackexchange.com Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 14:11
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a question about political motivation for a law, not the law itself.
    – user4657
    Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 21:13
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on politics.stackexchange.com
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 20:42
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    I don't think it should be off-topic. I was interested to read the answer.
    – mark b
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


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.

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