29 CFR § 780.329 - Exempt work.

§ 780.329 Exempt work.

(a) The standard that must be used to determine whether the individual employee is exempt is that his primary duty must be the range production of livestock and that this duty necessitates his constant attendance on the range, on a standby basis, for such periods of time so as to make the computation of hours worked extremely difficult. The fact that an employee generally returns to his place of residence at the end of each day would not affect the application of the exemption.

(b) Thus, exempt work must be performed away from the “headquarters.” The headquarters is not, however, to be confused with the “headquarters ranch.” The term headquarters has reference to the place for the transaction of the business of the ranch (administrative center), as distinguished from buildings or lots used for convenience elsewhere. It is a particular location for the discharge of the management duties. Accordingly, the term “headquarters” would not embrace large acreage, but only the ranchhouse, barns, sheds, pen, bunkhouse, cookhouse, and other buildings in the vicinity. The balance of the “headquarters ranch” would be the “range.”

(c) Furthermore, the legislative history indicates that this exemption was not intended to apply to feed lots or to any area where the stock involved would be near headquarters. Its sponsors stated that the exemption would apply only to those employees principally engaged in activities which require constant attendance on a standby basis, away from headquarters, such as herding, where the computation of hours worked would be extremely difficult. Such constant surveillance of livestock that graze and reproduce on range lands is necessary to see that the animals receive adequate care, water, salt, minerals, feed supplements, and protection from insects, parasites, disease, predators, adverse weather, etc.

(d) The man-days of labor of employees principally engaged in the range production of livestock, even though the employees are exempt from the wage and hour requirements of the Act, are included in the employer's man-day count for purposes of application of section 13(a)(6)(A). Thus, if a cattle rancher in a particular calendar quarter uses 200 man-days of such range production labor and 400 man-days of agricultural labor performed by individuals not so engaged, he is required to pay the minimum wage to the latter employees in the following year.