A knowledge of the wage exemption guidelines is useful for deciding whether an employee should be entitled to payment in wages or on a salaried basis. Doing so can avoid complaints at a later date, if an employee believes that he or she was unfairly compensated. The essential guidelines for designating an employee as eligible for salaried compensation are:
Administrative position. This person is responsible for an administrative department, even if there is no direct supervision of anyone. This classification also applies to anyone who assists with long-term strategic decision-making.
Executive position. This person is responsible for managing more than half the time, and supervises two or more employees.
Professional position. This person spends at least half of his or her time on tasks that call for knowledge that is obtained through a four-year college degree program; this requirement can include systems analysis, design, and programming, even in the absence of a four-year degree program. Someone classified as a professional must be able to exercise independent decision making, and require only a minimal amount of close supervision.