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29 CFR 541 Timeline

VLibrary.info Logo  May 24, 1937 to June 25, 1938 - Evolution of the exemption during Congressional debate and passage of the FLSA

VLibrary.info Logo   May 24, 1937: The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1937, drafted by the Department of Labor, was introduced in the Senate (S. 2475) by Hugo Black (D-AL), and in the House of Representatives (H. R. 7200) by William Connery Jr. (D-MA).

As introduced, the bill did not include an exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees. Instead, in Section 2 - "Definitions" - it was specified that "(7) "Employee" includes any individual employed and any individual whose work has ceased as a consequence of, or in connection with, any current labor dispute or because of any unlawful discharge, and who has not obtained any other regular and substantially equivalent employment, but shall not include any person employed in an executive, administrative, supervisory, or professional capacity or as an agricultural laborer as such terms are defined and delimited by regulations of the Board." (NOTE: Underline added) [See page 4 of S. 2475 and H. R 7200].

VLibrary.info Logo   July 31, 1937: The Senate approved the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1937 by a vote of 56 to 28. [CR 75, Volume 81, Part 7, page 7957]

VLibrary.info Logo   June 14, 1938: The House of Representatives approved the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 by a vote of 291 to 89, [CR, Volume 83, Part 8, page 9266], and the Senate approved the bill on a voice vote. [CR, Volume 83, Part 8, page 9266]

The language of the exemption read: "Sec. 13. (a) The provisions of sections 6 and 7 shall not apply with respect to (1) any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, professional, or local retailing capacity, or in the capacity of outside salesman (as such terms are defined and delimited by regulations of the Administrator);" (NOTE: Underline added)

VLibrary.info Logo   May 24, 1938: The House of Representatives approved the Conference Report for the Fair Labor Standards Act by a vote of 314 to 97 (17 did not vote). [CR75 Vol. 83 - Part 7, page 7449]

VLibrary.info Logo   June 14, 1938: The House of Representatives approved the Conference Committee Report by a vote of 291 to 89. [CR75 Vol. 83, Part 8, page 9266]

VLibrary.info Logo   June 14, 1938: The Senate approved the Conference Committee Report without a vote.

VLibrary.info Logo   June 25, 1938: President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act.

[For additional information see May 24, 1937 to June 25, 1938 - Evolution of the exemption during Congressional debate and passage of the FLSA]

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VLibrary.info Logo  June 26, 1938 to October 24, 1938 - Drafting and issuing the first version of 29 CFR 541

"Establishing a Standard (1938) - The act was to become effective October 24, 1938, which allowed four months in which to establish an administrative structure, prepare interpretive materials, and be ready to enforce compliance with the new federal wage/hour standards—of which the EAP exemption was only one small portion. As Administrator, President Franklin Roosevelt selected Elmer F. Andrews, Industrial Commissioner for the state of New York. By mid-August of 1938, Andrews was on duty at the Department and had begun to assemble his staff." [CRS Report RL32088, page 2.]

VLibrary.info Logo   October 20, 1938 - The first version of Regulation 29 CFR 541 was issued [See Federal Register, October 20, 1938, p. 2518 and Wage Hour Press Release R-40]

VLibrary.info Logo   "The terms executive and administrative would have a single definition. Among other elements, they were to have the “primary duty” of “management of the establishment” and do “no substantial amount of work of the same nature as that performed by nonexempt employees of the employer.” The concept of professional was to be characterized by work that was “predominantly intellectual and varied in character as opposed to routine mental, manual, mechanical or physical work” and was to involve “discretion and judgment both as to the manner and time of performance, as opposed to work subject to active direction and supervision.” The education of a professional was to be based upon “a specially organized body of knowledge as distinguished from a general academic education and from an apprenticeship” or other routine training. He (or she) was not to do any “substantial amount of work of the same nature as that performed by non-exempt employees of the employer.”9" (FOOTNOTE 9: Federal Register, October 20, 1938, p. 2518. (Italics added.) [CRS Report RL32088, page 3.]

"The entire regulation, including introductory comments by Andrews, took up two columns in the Federal Register. But, much of the language, at least in skeletal form, would remain central to the EAP regulation and to the proposed rule of March 31, 2003. Whatever the understanding may have been, the concept of salaried was not specified—other than that an executive or administrator would need to earn “not less than $30” for a work week. No earnings threshold was set for a professional." [CRS Report RL32088, page 3.]

VLibrary.info Logo  October 24, 1938: - The Fair Labor Standards Act went into effect.

[For additional information see June 26, 1938 to October 20, 1938 - Drafting and issuing the first version of 29 CFR 541]

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VLibrary.info Logo  1940

VLibrary.info Logo  April 10, 1940: A press release was issued announcing that revisions to the definition of a "…bona fide executive, as applied to the wholesale distributing rades, was to be taken up today in a pubic hearing before Harold Stein, Assistant Director of the Hearings Branch, Wage and Hour Division…" [Click here for a full-text searchable copy]

VLibrary.info Logo  June 21, 1940: A press release was issued providing notice that a public hearing would begin on July 9, 1940, to receive testimony regarding revisions to the definition of "…regulations defining and delimiting the terms "executive, administrative, professional, …(and) …outside salesman," [Click here for a full-text searchable copy]

VLibrary.info Logo  October 10, 1940: The Stein Report was approved.

VLibrary.info Logo  "1940 Rule: The Secretary of Labor updated the salary level for the EAP exemptions for the first time in 1940 (following the initial tests established at the time the FLSA became effective in 1938). The Secretary maintained the salary level for executive employees ($30 per week), increased it for administrative employees (from $30 to $50 per week), and added a salary level for a new category, professional employees ($50 per week).55 (FOOTNOTE 55: 5 U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, “Defining and Delimiting the Terms ‘Any Employee Employed in a Bona Fide Executive, Administrative, Professional, or Local Retailing Capacity, or in the Capacity of Outside Salesman’,” 5 Federal Register 4077-4078, October 15, 1940. In addition, DOL analysis supporting the Final Rule is in Stein.) [The Stein Report, page 21]

[For additional information see October 24, 1938 to 1940]

VLibrary.info Logo  October 14, 1940: A press release was issued announcing that a new version of 29 CFR 541 was would become effective on October 24, 1940. [Click here for a full-text searchable copy]

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VLibrary.info Logo  The Weiss Report - 1949

"During the years since 1940 the Divisions gradually became aware of a number of problems which indicated that there might be need for some revision to the regulations. These problems were brought to the attention of the Divisions in part by questions coming into the National Office directly from employers and employees. In the main, however, suggestions for changes in the regulations and requests for explanatory material came from the Divisions' field staff as a result of their accumulated experience acquired in the course of applying the regulations in many thousands of establishments. On the basis of recommendations by the regional directors the Administrator ordered an investigation of the operation of the present regulations to determine whether and to what extent changes and clarifications were needed. There was considerable preliminary study including consultation with the field staff and with an informal labor-management advisory committee. As a result of this study a number of specific proposals for amending the regulations were formulated and, together with some general questions, served as the subjects of the hearing held before me pursuant to notice published in the Federal Register, October 22, 1941." (FOOTNOTE 3: 12 Federal Register 6896.)

VLibrary.info Logo  1958 - The Kantor Report

VLibrary.info Logo  March 31, 2003: Proposed update of the Section 13(a)(1) regulation published in the Federal Register.

VLibrary.info Logo  April 23, 2004: DOL issued the rule in final form (Federal Register) to take effect the last week of August 2004.

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      VLibrary.info Logo RESOURCES

VLibrary.info Logo  "Analysis of the Labor Provisions of N. R. A. Codes", by Margaret H. Schoenfeld. Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 40, No. 3 (March 1935), pp. 574-603.

VLibrary.info Logo  Executive, Administrative, Professional . . . Outside Salesman" Redefined. Effective October 24, 1940. Report and Recommendations of the Presiding Officer at Hearings Preliminary to Redefintion  (The Stein Report - 1940). Wage and Hour Division. U. S. Department of Labor.

VLibrary.info Logo   Overtime Exemptions in the Fair Labor Standards Act for White-Collar Employees: Frequently Asked Questions. (CRS Report R45722) Congressional Research Service. Updated October 11, 2019. (This report is available through the Congressional Research Service site at: "Search CRSReports" at https://crsreports.congress.gov/)

VLibrary.info Logo  Overtime Exemptions in the Fair Labor Standards Act for White-Collar Employees: Frequently Asked Questions.Updated October 31, 2017. (R45007) (This report is available through the Congressional Research Service site at: "Search CRSReports" at https://crsreports.congress.gov/)

VLibrary.info Logo  Report and Recommendations on Proposed Revision of Regulations, Part 541 under the Fair Labor Standards Act Defining the Terms "Executive" "Administrative" "Professional" "Local Retailing Capacity" "Outside Salesman" (The Kantor Report - 1958). Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions, U. S. Department of Labor. March 1958.

VLibrary.info Logo  Report and Recommendations on Proposed Revision of Regulations, Part 541. Defining the Terms "Executive" "Administrative" "Professional" "Local Retailing Capacity" "Outside Salesman" ••••• as contained in Section 13 (a) (1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, providing exemptions from the wage and hour provisions of the act. (The Weiss Report - 1949) Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions, U. S. Department of Labor.

VLibrary.info Logo  Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions, U. S. Department of Labor. Report and Recommendations on Proposed Revisions of Regulations, Part 541 Defining the Terms "Executive" "Administrative" "Professional" "Local Retailing Capacity" "Outside Salesman" ("The Weiss Report"). United States Government Printing Office. Washington. June 1949.

VLibrary.info Logo  The Fair Labor Standards Act: A Historical Sketch of the Overtime Pay Requirements of Section 13(a)(1). By William G. Whittaker, Specialist in Labor Economics. Domestic Social Policy Division, Congressional Research Service. [CRS Report RL32088, page 2.] August 28, 2007. This report is available through the Congressional Research Service site at: "Search CRS Reports" at https://crsreports.congress.gov/.

VLibrary.info Logo  The Fair Labor Standards Act: Exemption of “Executive, Administrative and Professional” Employees Under Section 13(a)(1). (RL31995) Congressional Research Service, July 17, 2003. (This report is available through the Congressional Research Service site at: "Search CRSReports" at https://crsreports.congress.gov/)

VLibrary.info Logo  United States, Wage and Hour Division, U. S. Department of Labor. 29 CFR Part 541 RIN 1235–AA20, Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees. 84 Fed. Reg. 10900 (March 22, 2019).