GrahamHollis APC

Has your employer wrongly classified you as exempt?

You may already have enough to remember about your job. Whether you have been employed for years or you are a new hire, there are plenty of rules and regulations, policies and best practices to learn. What you may not realize is that your employer has an additional set of rules and policies to follow when it comes to classifying and paying employees.

If your employer has classified you as exempt, that means your position is exempt from federal and California labor code requirements your employer must follow. These may include rules for overtime pay, meal breaks and minimum wages. However, just because your employer says you are exempt does not necessarily mean it is so.

What is a non-exempt employee?

You are fortunate to work in California, where the laws protecting workers go beyond those the federal government requires. The law assumes every worker is non-exempt. This means you qualify for minimum wage, reporting time pay, overtime pay, meal breaks and other rights unless certain factors exist, including:

  • You are a manager or supervisor who carries out your duties using your own discretion.
  • You perform administrative work related to the management and operations of the business for more than half your time at work.
  • You are in a professional position, such as one requiring an advanced academic degree or state licensing.
  • At least half of your work time includes sales calls outside your employer's offices where you meet with customers to sell them products or services.
  • Your monthly salary is at least twice what a full-time employee makes at minimum wage.

Of course, there are other factors to consider, such as the number of employees your boss has on the payroll and the minimum wage for the local jurisdiction where you work. However, in general, if you are paid an hourly wage, you are likely a non-exempt employee who should be eligible for overtime pay after working 40 hours in a week.

Is your boss complying with California laws?

Employment laws change quickly and often, but that is no excuse for your employer, whose job it is to know and apply the laws that protect his or her workers. You may feel confused about your rights in the workplace, so it is a good idea to learn as much as you can to avoid having your employer take advantage of you.

If you feel your employer has wrongly classified you, denying you of important rights and benefits, you would be wise to seek legal advice and guidance to help you claim what is rightfully yours.

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