Overtime Exemptions

CA Overtime Exemptions Laws

The first question most people ask us is, “Does my company owe me overtime?”

The answer can be a little tricky as there are several exemptions; we have a basic list to help you narrow it down. We can look at your case in detail to determine if any of these apply to you. Here is the easy explanation: Every employee gets overtime pay in California, as long as they are not defined as exempt from such overtime pay.admin exemption

So, we must determine whether or not you are exempt, right? Here are the basics:

California Administrative Exemption: If you spend more than half of your time assisting an owner of the company or other exempt employee, or with only basic oversight, this could be you. This exemption requires that you be handling matters significant to management policy and/or operations. Last, your duties are not production in nature.

California Executive Exemption: Is your title fancy initials like: CEO, CFO or VP? Then this is likely you. Any arm of management will usually be considered “Executive.”

Manage a minimum of two people?
Have hiring, firing or promoting power?
Make decisions about the running of the business?
Make at least two times the state minimum wage for a full time employee?
If you answered yes to these, you most likely fall under the Executive Exemption. BE CAREFUL! Some employers looking to save themselves money will hand out titles to avoid overtime. It is your actual job duties and not your title that make you EXEMPT.

Preoffessional Overtime ExemptionCalifornia Professional Exemption: Here is the super simple explanation: most people with a “higher education” fall here. If you have a title or licenses such as lawyer, doctor, architect, teacher, accountant, real estate broker etc., this exemption can also include those of an artistic or creative nature doing a job based on special skills or talents which cannot be taught through basic training, i.e. an artist, writer, musician, etc. Such individuals must make at least two times the minimum wage.


California outside Sales Exemption: Pretty straight forward, but… to be clear.
Do you spend most of your time out of the business?
Do you make sales paid by commission or not?
There is no wage requirement on this exemption. Some drivers who make sales while on delivery also fall into this category. Our employment lawyers can help clarify this for you.

CA Computer Professionals Exemption: This one gets a bit more confusing.computer proffessional overtime exemption If you work in analysis and design at least 50% of the time you could be covered by the Admin Exemption listed above. However, if you write code more than half the time, work IT or help desk, you could be entitled to overtime pay. Unlike other jobs, computer workers have very detailed wage requirements. If you are paid less than what is listed below YOU COULD BE OWED OVERTIME PAY! ca state required minimums are:

YEAR Hourly Rate Annual Salary Eq.
2014 $40.38 $84,130
2013 $39.90 $83,132
2012 $38.89 $81,026
2011 $37.94 $79,050

These are just basic explanations; we are here to help you navigate the intricacies. Let my team help you. Just leave the details to us!

CA Caregiver Exemption: Exempt caregivers are those working IN-HOME handling meals, bathing, toilet assistance etc. and not a care facility or group home. It will not apply to a nurse or those who perform such duties as driving or cleaning for more than 20% of the time. You may still qualify for overtime.

These are very basic definitions to help you understand overtime pay exemptions. Each case will vary so do not hesitate to seek help. Time is of the essence; you only have up to four years in California to collect back overtime pay and penalties, so call today and see if we can help you.

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* In California you are entitled to overtime when you work more than 8 hours a day, the FLSA under Federal law mandates OT pay over 40 hrs worked in a week.


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