Executive Exemption Does Not Require Constant Presence of Supervisor

November 14, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A store manager meeting all of the other requirements for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) executive exemption does not need to be physically present to supervise two full-time employees in order to qualify for exemption.

According to an opinion letter released by the Department of Labor, a supervisor managing two full-time employees who worked an equivalent of 80 hours does not need to be physically at the store during all of those hours in order to qualify for the FLSA executive exemption.

“Even when the store manager is not present in the store, he or she remains responsible for ensuring that company policies and his or her instructions are carried out,” according to the opinion letter. For instance, the opinion continues, the supervisor must follow up on assigned tasks each day, monitor employee productivity and ensure sales goals are met by reviewing the sales reports. 

A worker qualifies for the FLSA executive exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay if he or she “customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more other employees.” The requirement that an employee must “customarily and regularly” direct the work of two or more other employees does not require that the employee be there at the same time or at the same place as his or her subordinates, the letter stated.