Many employees in California are under the impression that if they are paid a salary — rather than an hourly wage — then they are not entitled to overtime pay. But that simply is not the case.
In California, employees cannot be exempt from overtime pay if their salary is less than double California’s minimum wage when calculated for a 40-hour work week. In 2021, that means you cannot be exempt from overtime pay if your annual salary is less than $54,080.04 and you work for a company with 25 or fewer employees; or if your salary is less than $58,239.96 and you work for a company with more than 25 employees.
As discussed in a recent post, sometimes employers misclassify employees as exempt just to avoid paying overtime. One way that some employers do this is by supposedly “promoting” an employee to a managerial position, but the employee’s job duties don’t really change.
Determining whether an employee is managerial or administrative can become complicated, as some duties are considered managerial (or exempt) in one industry but not in another.
If you have questions about whether you are being paid properly for overtime, talk to a California employment law attorney about your rights and options. In many cases, the problem is not isolated to one employee, and multiple people may be affected. California wage and hour laws offer some of the strongest employee protections in the world, so it is important to know your rights if you believe your employer is taking advantage of you.
For more on employment law violations that affect multiple employees, please see our overview of employment class actions in California.