29 CFR § 553.211 - Law enforcement activities.
(a) As used in sections 7(k) and 13(b)(20) of the Act, the term “any employee . . . in law enforcement activities” refers to any employee (1) who is a uniformed or plainclothed member of a body of officers and subordinates who are empowered by State statute or local ordinance to enforce laws designed to maintain public peace and order and to protect both life and property from accidental or willful injury, and to prevent and detect crimes, (2) who has the power to arrest, and (3) who is presently undergoing or has undergone or will undergo on-the-job training and/or a course of instruction and study which typically includes physical training, self-defense, firearm proficiency, criminal and civil law principles, investigative and law enforcement techniques, community relations, medical aid and ethics.
(b) Employees who meet these tests are considered to be engaged in law enforcement activities regardless of their rank, or of their status as “trainee,” “probationary,” or “permanent,” and regardless of their assignment to duties incidental to the performance of their law enforcement activities such as equipment maintenance, and lecturing, or to support activities of the type described in paragraph (g) of this section, whether or not such assignment is for training or familiarization purposes, or for reasons of illness, injury or infirmity. The term would also include rescue and ambulance service personnel if such personnel form an integral part of the public agency's law enforcement activities. See § 553.215.
(c) Typically, employees engaged in law enforcement activities include city police; district or local police, sheriffs, under sheriffs or deputy sheriffs who are regularly employed and paid as such; court marshals or deputy marshals; constables and deputy constables who are regularly employed and paid as such; border control agents; state troopers and highway patrol officers. Other agency employees not specifically mentioned may, depending upon the particular facts and pertinent statutory provisions in that jurisdiction, meet the three tests described above. If so, they will also qualify as law enforcement officers. Such employees might include, for example, fish and game wardens or criminal investigative agents assigned to the office of a district attorney, an attorney general, a solicitor general or any other law enforcement agency concerned with keeping public peace and order and protecting life and property.
(d) Some of the law enforcement officers listed above, including but not limited to certain sheriffs, will not be covered by the Act if they are elected officials and if they are not subject to the civil service laws of their particular State or local jurisdiction. Section 3(e)(2)(C) of the Act excludes from its definition of “employee” elected officials and their personal staff under the conditions therein prescribed. 29 U.S.C. 203(e)(2)(C), and see § 553.11. Such individuals, therefore, need not be counted in determining whether the public agency in question has less than five employees engaged in law enforcement activities for purposes of claiming the section 13(b)(20) exemption.
(e) Employees who do not meet each of the three tests described above are not engaged in “law enforcement activities” as that term is used in sections 7(k) and 13(b)(20). Employees who normally would not meet each of these tests include
(1) Building inspectors (other than those defined in § 553.213(a)),
(2) Health inspectors,
(3) Animal control personnel,
(5) civilian traffic employees who direct vehicular and pedestrian traffic at specified intersections or other control points,
(6) Civilian parking checkers who patrol assigned areas for the purpose of discovering parking violations and issuing appropriate warnings or appearance notices,
(7) Wage and hour compliance officers,
(8) Equal employment opportunity compliance officers,
(9) Tax compliance officers,
(10) Coal mining inspectors, and
(11) Building guards whose primary duty is to protect the lives and property of persons within the limited area of the building.
(f) The term “any employee in law enforcement activities” also includes, by express reference, “security personnel in correctional instititions.” A correctional institution is any government facility maintained as part of a penal system for the incarceration or detention of persons suspected or convicted of having breached the peace or committed some other crime. Typically, such facilities include penitentiaries, prisons, prison farms, county, city and village jails, precinct house lockups and reformatories. Employees of correctional institutions who qualify as security personnel for purposes of the section 7(k) exemption are those who have responsibility for controlling and maintaining custody of inmates and of safeguarding them from other inmates or for supervising such functions, regardless of whether their duties are performed inside the correctional institution or outside the institution (as in the case of road gangs). These employees are considered to be engaged in law enforcement activities regardless of their rank (e.g., warden, assistant warden or guard) or of their status as “trainee,” “probationary,” or “permanent,” and regardless of their assignment to duties incidental to the performance of their law enforcement activities, or to support activities of the type described in paragraph (g) of this section, whether or not such assignment is for training or familiarization purposes or for reasons of illness, injury or infirmity.
(g) Not included in the term “employee in law enforcement activities” are the so-called “civilian” employees of law enforcement agencies or correctional institutions who engage in such support activities as those performed by dispatcher, radio operators, apparatus and equipment maintenance and repair workers, janitors, clerks and stenographers. Nor does the term include employees in correctional institutions who engage in building repair and maintenance, culinary services, teaching, or in psychological, medical and paramedical services. This is so even though such employees may, when assigned to correctional institutions, come into regular contact with the inmates in the performance of their duties.