Seasonal Employment: Exempt or Non-Exempt?

Written by: Chelsea Courtney Posted on: September 8, 2016 Blog: IPRA Members


An IPRA agency member is in the process of updating job descriptions throughout their city. It has been brought to their attention that their “seasonal” employees cannot be listed as “exempt” employees. An HR Firm is telling them the following:

"The issue is that the City alone is not classified as a seasonal and recreational establishment, e.g. amusement park, summer camp, etc. that is only open on a seasonal basis. The City is classified as a public municipality that happens to have a summer recreation program, pool, etc. To support this notion, please read carefully, under “Employed by” an Exempt Establishment –

For purposes of applying Section 13(a)(3), the general principles set forth in IB 779.307 – 779.311 apply. Thus an employee, to be exempt from overtime, must be “employed by” the exempt establishment. If the concessionaire (Summer Park and Rec) and host establishment (the City) constitute a single establishment, as is usually the case, the tests apply on the basis of all operations of the establishment (the City), including those of the concessionaire (Summer Park and Rec). Central functions of an organization (the City) operating more than one such establishment, as in the case of employees of a central office, warehouse, garage, or commissary which serves a chain of exempt “amusement or recreational” establishments (Summer Park and Rec) would not be within the exemption under Section 13(a)(3).

“Receipts” of a publicly operated amusement or recreational establishment. Section 13(a)(3) contains certain percentage tests for “receipts” of the establishment. As used here, receipts are fees from admissions. A publicly operated amusement or recreational establishment whose operating costs are met wholly or primarily from tax funds would fail to qualify under Section 13(a)(3)(B). I would venture to guess that the recreation programs and pool are not wholly subsidized by admission fees alone to cover supplies, wages, maintenance, etc. Thus, they would be dependent upon tax dollars to operate and thus not meet the requirement of “employed by” an exempt establishment.

The types of organizations that generally qualify for the exemption are places like Holiday World, King’s Island, Church Summer Camps, etc. as they are generally independent of another entity and are not open greater than six months in a year, etc., per the guidelines listed in paragraph three under General Provisions of Section 13(a)(3)."

Has anyone else had this concern?

Please respond in the comments or send a message to IPRA Executive Director Lisa D. Nye at

Thank you!


Nikki Murphy said:

on September 12, 2016 at 10:30am

For the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, our payroll specialist in our department completed an application with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development back in 2009 to get certain areas exempt within our department. These divisions are: Aquatic Center, Special Programs/Day Camps, Concessions/Batting Cages and Sports/Tennis. Not all divisions qualify for this exempt status. We have to complete the form every two years on the odd years and our status is approved until 2050. The report is titled “Report for Seasonal Determination” and is state form 15672 (R4/10-09). In 2009 we tried to get all areas approved and the workforce development team only approved the divisions mentioned above. Please feel free to contact Pam Harrell, Director of Business Services for our Department with additional questions ( and (812) 376-2693).

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