Bill Introduced to Provide Much-Needed Update to Computer Professional Exemption

Without exception, our members agree the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) needs to be updated for the 21st century business environment. When the U.S. Department of Labor amended the regulations in 2004, it failed to update the definition for computer professionals who are exempt from overtime and minimum wage, even though massive changes in technology took place since the exemption was created in 1992. Many critical and highly technical IT duties, such as information security, enterprise-wide database administration, and systems integration, are not included under the current computer professional exemption.

Fortunately, Senate Bill 1747—the Computer Professionals Update Act (or “CPU Act”)—was introduced last month to address the outdated computer professional exemption. The bill’s passage would enable many professionals not included under the current definition, such as security experts and employees who manage huge networks or databases, to be properly classified as exempt employees.

Sponsors of S.B. 1747 include Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

We applaud the senators who stepped forward to recognize the need to fix this aging law, which continues to vex both large and small employers in every industry, as well as public sector and the nonprofit employers. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.