15j Interpretations: Application Of CWHSSA to Types of Employees

15j00 Employees covered: laborers and mechanics - statutory definition.

The act provides that its provisions apply to all laborers or mechanics, including watchmen and guards, employed by any contractor or subcontractor in the performance of any part of the contract work. The act specifically provides that laborers and mechanics include workers performing service in connection with dredging or rock excavation in any river or harbor of the U.S., or any territory, or DC, but does not include any employee employed as a seaman. See FOH 15e00 and FOH 15e23.

15j01 Flight instructors.

  • Flight instructors may qualify for exemption as teachers under the FLSA (29 CFR 541.303) if the requirements are met. See FOH 22. Such exempt flight instructors are not considered laborers or mechanics for purposes of CWHSSA.
  • The fact that SCA may not apply to a particular flight training contract, or that flight instructors are not considered laborers or mechanics for purposes of the CWHSSA, does not affect the application of CWHSSA to other individuals employed as laborers or mechanics on such a contract in excess of $100,000.

15j02 Medical and hospital occupations.

Employees such as orderlies, porters, and housekeepers are laborers and mechanics. However, those rendering professional services, and those whose work is clerical, supervisory, or non-manual in nature, are not laborers or mechanics for purposes of CWHSSA.

15j03 Pilots and copilots of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.

Pilots and copilots are laborers and mechanics within the meaning of the DBRA and the CWHSSA when they are performing in that capacity. The work of a pilot requires dexterity, coordination, a degree of physical strength, and other physical and mental processes necessary to control an airplane or rotorcraft in flight, and does not meet the primary duty requirement for exemption as a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional employee. See 69 FR 22156 and 29 CFR 5.15(d) (stating no CWHSSA violations exist for different pay practices for certain pilots or copilots under a written employment agreement, provided specified conditions are met).

15j04 Supervisory, professional, and clerical personnel.

The CWHSSA does not generally apply to supervisory, professional, and clerical personnel. See FOH 15e15 and 29 CFR 5.2(m).



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