The employee must:
- Be paid on a salaried basis and meet the minimum salary test;
- Have the primary duty to manage the department or subdivision;
- Customarily direct the work of two or more employees; and
- Have authority to hire or fire employees or whose recommendations for hiring, firing, promotion, etc., are given particular weight.
Most police chiefs meet the above tests. Division commanders and other command officers may meet the test, depending on their level of responsibility and authority. In many cities, the chief and certainly division commanders do not have the authority to hire, fire, or demote employees, but their recommendations are given considerable weight by those who do have that authority.
Concurrent performance of exempt and nonexempt work does not automatically disqualify an employee from the exemption. For instance, a police chief or other exempt employee may have the discretion to preform line level, nonexempt duties and still remain responsible for the success or failure of the department's operations.