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Creative Professional Exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

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To meet the creative professional exemption, the employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor

The recognized fields of artistic or creative endeavor include music, writing, acting and the graphic arts. Exempt creative professionals include musicians, composers, conductors, novelists, screenwriters, actors, painters and photographers.

The requirement of “invention, imagination, originality of talent” distinguishes the creative professions from work that primarily depends on intelligence, diligence and accuracy. The determination of exempt creative professional status must be made on a case-by-case basis, based on the extent of the invention, imagination, originality or talent exercised by the employee.