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Planners - exempt or non-exempt?

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,259
Points
24
Does your organization categorize planners as exempt or non-exempt? My city attorney is of the mindset that FLSA categorizes all but senior level/AICP planners as non-exempt. To be exempt with a "learned professional exemption" the following tests must be met:

1. Compensated on a salary or fee basis as defined in the regulations at a rate of not less than $684 per week;
(I know planning can be low pay but I hope all exceed this amount)

2. Primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgement; and (even my Planner I right out of college has to exercise discretion and FLSA defines "advanced knowledge" as knowledge not obtained at the high school level - so any college degree?)

3. The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning. (as defined below)

The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

Advanced knowledge cannot attained at the high school level.

Fields of science or learning include law, medicine, theology, accounting, actuarial computation, engineering, architecture, teaching, various types of physical, chemical and biological sciences, pharmacy and other occupations that have a recognized processional status and distinguishable from the mechanical arts or skilled trades where the knowledge could be of fairly advanced type but is not in a field do science or learning.


The last paragraph is what the attorney is hanging his hat in that planning has a professional recognized status (AICP) and until such time as it is obtained, a planner is non-exempt. However, to me, the way it is worded the employee is not required to have the professional status of AICP, just the field of employment has to have a recognized professional status.
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,817
Points
44
Unless you are low in the food chain, then you likely are exempt - what you can try to negotiate for is either an extra week of vacation if you are a department head or if middle manager, compensatory time

time is money
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
12,176
Points
42
Director is exempt - gets up to 50 hours comp time for anything over 40 hours. If you have 50 hours 'banked' and have not used them, you'll lose those extra hours over the 50. I have not used vacation time in a very long time because of this. Any vacation time over 120(?) hours at the end of the year is put into sick time so you don't lose those hours.

Assistant is non-exempt - gets overtime pay of over 40 hours. Vacation policy is the same.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,063
Points
54
I have my AICP, 25 yrs experience, & punch the clock - still non-exempt.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
14,070
Points
44
I'm exempt, but one of my last jobs I was non-exempt. I think the threshold was doing meetings. Basically I wasn't putting in more than the usual 40 hours.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,169
Points
47
I've always been exempt in every position I've had as a professional planner.

I've been doing night meeting regularly from the beginning and have always been in salaried positions

Though, my current employer, even being salaried, I have to fill out a time sheet. But it's more perfunctory for Finance's purposes than for supervisor tracking my attendance.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,415
Points
32
The problem with FSLA, is you can put 100 labor attorneys in a room and get 100 different answers. Another test is how independent the work done is. If you are an entry level planner and someone above you lays out all of your work tasks, you would be non-exempt. If you have a college degree, especially a graduate degree, and direct your own work, you should be exempt. If you really want to know you can call the Department of Labor and ask. :eek:
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,379
Points
18
I am currently non-exempt, but was exempt at my last job. I have a feeling my position will become exempt soon, though. I've noted that the classification has been pretty inconsistent for neighboring jurisdictions.
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
405
Points
18
Only the Director is exempt. Generally only those in my municipality with supervisory duties are exempt.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,901
Points
38
If you are an entry level planner and someone above you lays out all of your work tasks, you would be non-exempt. If you have a college degree, especially a graduate degree, and direct your own work, you should be exempt.
This is basically how it works in my office. Myself and my P&Z Admin are exempt, our Assistant Planner is not.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
Messages
940
Points
20
AICP and professional responsibilities/experience do not have a 1:1 link. In the agency I used to work for, hardly anyone had their AICP, and AICP/APA were held in a sort of disdain. You had division directors with 30 years of experience who never bothered to get it. I was at the senior planner level and was non-exempt and a union member; other planners at my level were managing large-scale, interdivisional and interagency projects that involved de facto supervision of staff, all with the same non-exempt status.

I don't think AICP is the right hook to hang one's hat on if the question is how to classify staff for FLSA purposes.
 

Clange000

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
I have been both non -exempt (Assistant Planner) and exempt (Associate Planner). Mostly had to do with issuing decisions on our own without supervisory input. However, I learned through an HR/Union nightmare that you could be FLSA exempt and still represented by a union/association.
 
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