A legal classification of employees in the UnitedStates
(doubtless there are similar classifications elsewhere) who are exempt
from being paid overtime. Includes most programmers, excluding contract programmers.
If you are FullTimeExempt
, the following applies to you:
- You must be in a professional or managerial role. Classifying grocery clerks, assembly-line workers, janitors, etc. is illegal. RadioShack got in trouble recently for treating store managers as FullTimeExempt, despite the fact that the primary duty of the store manager is customer sales/service, and not management. (RadioShack store managers have very little authority, including minimal control over hiring, no control over inventory/stocking/promotions, etc.) They had to pay several millions in back pay (essentially, unpaid overtime) to store managers in California.
- You must be paid a minimum salary.
- You don't get paid overtime. Conversely, you are given more freedom to manage your time--you don't have to "clock out" to go see the doctor, for instance. Keeping a timecard is often not necessary, except to report vacations, sick time, etc.
- In some states (California, for instance), you cannot be placed on furlough (i.e. you must be paid your regular salary over shutdowns, whereas hourly employees can be required to use vacation or not be paid for the shutdown period).
Different companies treat FullTimeExempt
employees differently. Some view it as a license to require 80-hour workweeks and the like; others view it as a way to allow professionals to manage their own time.
In early 2004, Bush administration officials proposed a new set of rules that would apply the exempt/professional designation to another 8 million workers. In practice, FullTimeExempt
is a classification being used to cut overtime. Classifying grocery clerks, assembly-line workers, janitors, etc. would no longer be illegal in many cases. That RadioShack
manager might get exempt after all.
The term "exempt" here is derived from the rules declaring that the employer is exempted from overtime reporting for these employees. The overtime reporting requirement is enforced for all but those declared exempt by virtue of salary range, type of work, position, etc.
PHB: You're an "exempt" employee. That means you're exempt from having a life.