California Lawyer for Exempt/Non-Exempt Employee Issues

Proper Exemption Classification of Employees for Overtime and Minimum Wage Laws

Employers in California have an obligation to pay the legal minimum wage and overtime pay. Employers often misclassify workers as "exempt" from minimum wage and overtime laws. Just because your employer classifies you as exempt, does not mean that you are actually exempt. Employees misclassified as exempt may be entitled back pay for overtime and minimum wages, as well as interest, attorneys' fees and penalties.

Employers must pay overtime at the rate of one and a half (1½) times the regular hourly rate for all hours over 8 in a day and over 40 in a week. Time and a half is also required when an employee works more than 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day in a workweek. Employers must pay double time (2x) the regular hourly rate for all hours over 12 in a day and beyond 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day worked in a workweek.

The most common exemptions from minimum wage and overtime laws are the Administrative, Executive and licensed Professional exemptions. Outside (but NOT inside) salespersons may be exempt. Computer software employees may be exempt when they meet a strict 5-part test.

  • The Administrative exemption is generally for employees that perform office or non-manual work directly related to management policies or general business operations of his or her employer.
  • The Executive exemption generally applies to employees whose duties and responsibilities involve the management of the enterprise; and who direct the work of two or more other employees; and who have the authority to hire or fire other employees.

To meet the Administrative or Executive exemption, the employee must be allowed to regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment.

The exemption tests are complex and constantly changing. If you have any question about whether you are exempt from California's minimum wage or overtime laws, you need to speak with an experienced employment law attorney. At The Rutten Law Firm, APC, located in Studio City, our lawyers understand these exemption laws in the state of California and can help you determine if you are owed money for overtime or minimum wage law violations by your employer.

Contact The Rutten Law Firm, APC in Southern California

Contact us at The Rutten Law Firm, APC and learn about your rights under California employment law. Call us toll free at 888-708-8623.

We offer free initial consultations and take employment law cases on a contingency basis, so you know that you are getting quality legal service that is also cost-effective.