DOL’s regulation 29 C.F.R. § 541.3(b)(1) emphasizes that the executive exemption does not apply to non-management law enforcement, fire and emergency personnel. Thus “police officers, detectives, investigators, … inspectors, correctional officers, parole or probation officers, firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, ambulance personnel, rescue workers, hazardous materials workers and similar employees, regardless of rank or pay level, who perform work such as preventing, controlling or extinguishing fires of any type; rescuing fire, crime or accident victims; preventing or detecting crimes; conducting investigations or inspections for violations of law; performing surveillance; pursuing, restraining and apprehending suspects; detaining or supervising suspected and convicted criminals, including those on probation or parole; interviewing witnesses; interrogating and fingerprinting suspects; preparing investigative reports; or other similar work” do not qualify for exemption.
Also, 29 C.F.R. § 541.3(a) provides that the executive exemption does “not apply to manual laborers or other blue collar workers who perform work involving repetitive operations with their hands, physical skill and energy. Such nonexempt blue-collar employees gain their skills and knowledge …through apprenticeships and on-the-job training.” Thus non-management production-line employees and non-management employees in maintenance, construction and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers, longshoremen, construction workers and laborers are entitled to minimum wage and overtime premium pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and are not exempt under the regulations. Earlier provisions, however, make it clear that blue-collar workers in managerial roles can be exempt.