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Patrick, Esq.
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We have a employee classified as exempt (title

Customer Question

We have a employee classified as exempt (title administrative assistant) and is given a $40,000 yearly salary based on a 13 hour work week, along with full benefits. This is after 18 years of employment.
We are switching to a new billing and record system that will require the administrator (salary based on 30 hours a week, $70,000/ year) and administrative assistant to spend time training to learn the new system. Neither has time to do the training along with their regular work assignments. As an overseeing board member I feel its appropriate to ask them both to do the training without receiving additional pay (paid for extra time to do the training) since the ability to work with the new system is required for them to continue to do their jobs. The administrator has no issue with this, but the administrative assistant says she needs pay at her $40 and hour rate to do the training.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand what makes someone Exempt so that is not the issue I want to deal with here. Its possible this administrative assistant should be salaried, but that is an issue I have clarity on. The main issue is time needed for training to perform a job, does that have to come during the regular work hours or can salaried part time and full time employees be required to complete training outside the regular work hours without additional pay. (we are willing to pay for the training just not the additional pay for time needed for training.)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Employees qualify for the administrative exemption if they are "primarily engaged" in the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers, and these "primary duties" include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance. With regard to what constitutes an employee's "primary duty," the Department of Labor States:

“'Primary duty' means the principal, main, major or most important duty that the employee performs. Determination of an employee’s primary duty must be based on all the facts in a particular case, with the major emphasis on the character of the employee’s job as a whole."

Learning the new system would seem to relate directly to the employee's primary duties because they presumably need to know how to use the new system in order to carry out their administrative assistant functions. Even if this were not the case, though, learning the system would not be such a dominant requirement of the employee's time such that the administrative duties they were engaging in were no longer their "primary" duties. What this means is that in virtually any case, an employer would not need to pay an exempt employee anythign more than their regular salary to learn a new billing and record system. The learning process is part of the "primary duties" that qualify the employee for exemption, but even if it weren't, that doesn't change the fact that the employee's "primary duties" are still duties which qualify the employee for the exemption. And when an employee is exempt, the employer does not need to pay anything more than the base salary.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

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Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Was there anything else I can do to assist you?

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Can you please let me know if you are able to view my posts?