Are Registered Nurses Exempt or Nonexempt?

Are registered nurses exempt or nonexempt

Registered nurses are classified as exempt. Other exempt professional employees may include teachers, architects, physicians, lawyers, and other employees who are performing tasks that require specialized education and training.

In short, answer to the questions “Are registered nurses exempt or nonexempt” is a simple “Yes”. But keep on reading to learn this in more detailed way.

These are the intellectual jobs that need advanced education and involves discretion and judgment.

There has been an increase in nursing lawsuits these days, with several nurses arguing that they have been deprived of meal breaks, fair wages, and overtime pay as guaranteed by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act).

The FLSA differentiates between nonexempt and exempt employees, with the former receiving wage protection and overtime.

See also: Do Nurses Get Pensions?

But are registered nurses exempt or nonexempt from overtime?

Are registered nurses exempt from overtime?

Are registered nurses exempt or nonexempt from overtime

The FLSA is a law that requires employers to pay overtime to their employees. In general, overtime pays equal to one time more than the employee’s regular pay.

But not all of them are entitled to pay overtime.

So are registered nurses exempt or nonexempt from overtime?

The FLSA sets various exemptions to this requirement. A professional exemption is one of them.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in January 2020, considered if registered nurses exempt from paying overtime in accordance with the professional exemption. In the case of Isett versus Aetna Life Insurance Company, the employee worked at the insurance company.

She was a licensed registered nurse. See also: How to Become a Registered Nurse?

Isett’s job involved viewing the appeals for authorization for selected medical services that were denied by the department of health insurance claims.

See also: Do Nurses Get Health Insurance?

Isett got a clinical determination if the service was medically important.

She was paid on a salary basis for her work. To begin her duties, she reviewed the clinical documents including the patient file.

See also: Do Nurses Make Good Money?

She also reviewed the documents of the initial insurance. She then compared this very information with the company’s guidelines to make sure whether the service was medically necessary.

By any chance, if the coverage of the patient doesn’t meet the company’s standards, the file would be forwarded to a doctor for reviewing further.

In short, she didn’t work in a clinical setup.

With little supervision, she worked from home.

She was more dependent on her experience and knowledge as a nurse and to do her job. Isett sued Aetna and alleged that they have misclassified her of being a nonexempt employee who won’t receive overtime pay.

The trial court first disagreed with the case and later dismissed it.

Now the Second Circuit needs to clarify whether a professional exemption applies to the nurses who are in Isett’s position. As per FLSA, employers pay overtime to their workers who work over 40 hours a week.

Workers employed in a genuine professional capacity are those classes of employees who are excluded from this.

The Labor Department further defines a worker with a professional capacity whose primary job work needs knowledge about a specific type of training obtained by a prolonged course of advanced intellectual instruction.

Federal law addresses that registered nurses licensed by the State are exempted in general, while licensed practical nurses don’t meet the exemption’s needs.

The court decided that Isett’s work satisfies two crucial elements that reflect that professional exemption comes to force.

First, the Court made a decision that registered nurses like Isett needs to act independently of a direction.

Second, her primary duties involved using the judgment and discretion of a registered nurse to act independently.

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This way, her main duties meet the criteria of professional exemption.

But, the Second Circuit has to find out if her position required certain specialized instruction. Soon the court found out that Isett has advanced knowledge acquired from the core of her training.

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This training helped her to perform at the job.

In short, the Aetna case was exempted from the overtime pay requirements of the FLSA.

Now you know the answer whether are registered nurses exempt or nonexempt from overtime.

Many employers now believe that the question of paying overtime to their employees depends on whether they are salaried or not.

This matter is clear to the employees as well.

Sometimes, salary becomes a major factor in deciding whether an employee should be exempted or not, but it is not the only factor to be taken for granted.

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Differentiating between are registered nurses exempt or nonexempt can be a tricky issue.

Employers can sometimes find themselves in great trouble when employees are misclassified.

Are registered nurses exempt from jury duty?

If you are selected for jury duty, you will receive a summons.

This jury summons will decide when your service would take place. However, you can request for a delay in your duty for a more convenient time in the future.

The answer to the questions “Are registered nurses exempt or nonexempt from jury duty?” is a simple “Yes“.

New South Wales or NSW nurses are eligible for exempted from jury duty. That’s because of the special kind of agreement between the Attorney general and the NSW Health Minister.

Paul Gibson, a member for Blacktown, initiated this move to the Health Minister.

He emphasized on the importance of the exact nature of works performed by the nurses and puts stress that nurses must be released from the jury duty.

“Keeping in view of the global trend of the reduced nursing workforce, it requires us to think of different ways so as to make it easier for the nurses to be present at work during every possible opportunity.”

Craig Knowles, the NSW Health Minister

He also said:

“Once nurses are called in for jury duty, they need to be replaced with casual staff, and most of the agencies have an acute scarcity of nurses. Even if found, such a service could be extremely inconvenient and costly.

This agreement appeals to both enrolled and registered nurses who are likely to get employment or employed during the tenure of their jury duty.”

Craig Knowles, the NSW Health Minister

He further stated:

“That doesn’t mean they won’t be called, or get compelled to decline jury duty.

The nurses can request the Sheriff to defend, and following the new set of rules, the Sheriff can permit that request.”

Craig Knowles, the NSW Health Minister

There would be amendments to be turned into guidelines and used only by the Sheriff’s Office to make sure who can be set aside from jury duty because of special importance, good cause, or special urgency.

Conclusion: Are registered nurses exempt or nonexempt?

Are registered nurses exempt

Employers should have a clear understanding about reviewing their process when it comes to classifying the nurses.

This way they can make sure that a thorough and extremely careful evaluation has been done according to their exempt and nonexempt classifications.

Now you know all about whether are registered nurses exempt or nonexempt.

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.