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Employers have the burden of proving that an employee is from overtime requirements.  They have to show that an employee qualifies for one of the following exemptions: Executive, Administrative, Professional, or Sales.  To learn more, read on. 

If you want more information (or can’t take any more legalese), contact us for a free consultation to determine whether you are exempt.

Executive Exemption

Oftentimes, employers incorrectly use this exemption for managers, assistant managers, and supervisors.  If your employer treats you as an exempt employee, ask yourself these questions:

 

  • Do I supervise and direct the work of two or more full-time employees?
  • Do I have the authority to hire and fire others?
  • Do I regularly exercise a high degree of discretion and independent judgment?
  • Do I spend more than 50% of your time on management-type duties?
  • Do I receive a salary of not less than two times the state minimum wage?


If your answer to any of these questions is NO, you may be entitled to back pay for overtime.

Administrative Exemption

The administrative exemption applies to employees who perform office or non-manual work that is directly related to the management policies or general business operations of their employer or their employer's customers.  If your employer treats you as an exempt employee, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I regularly exercise a high degree of discretion and independent judgment?
  • Do I perform work specialized or technical work, or special assignments and tasks, with only general supervision?
  • Do I receive a salary of not less than two times the state minimum wage?
  • Do I spend more than 50% of your day working on tasks that are not directly related to producing your employer’s product or service?


If your answer to any of these questions is NO, you may be entitled to back pay for overtime. 

IT specialists, loan officers, and insurance claims adjusters, among others, are commonly misclassified under the administrative exemption.

Professional Exemption

The professional exemption applies to certain employees who have advanced knowledge, education, or licensing.  If your employer treats you as an exempt employee, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does my work require me to be licensed or certified by the State of California in law, medicine, dentistry, optometry, architecture, engineering, teaching or accounting?
  • Do I spend 50% or more of your work day performing duties that require specialized knowledge gained through an advanced course of study?
  • Do I regularly exercise a high degree of discretion and independent judgment?
  • Do I receive a salary of not less than two times the state minimum wage?


If your answer to any of these questions is NO, you may be entitled to back pay for overtime. 

Computer Professional Exemption

The computer professional exemption only applies to employees working in the computer field.  If you work in this field and your employer treats you as an exempt employee, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I spend 50% or more of your day on tasks that involve systems analysis, programming software engineering, design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of computer systems or programs?
  • Do I receive a salary of no less than $49.77 per hour?


If your answer to any of these questions is NO, you may be entitled to back pay for overtime.

Outside Sales Exemption

The outside sales exemption only applies to employees who work on outside sales more than 50% of their time.  If you are in sales and your employer treats you as an exempt employee, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I spend more than 50% of my work time in outside sales and related activity?

If your answer to this question is NO, you may be entitled to back pay for overtime. 

“Outside” sales does not include sales made by mail, telephone or the Internet, unless such contact is part of in-person sales visits with clients.  Watch out – working from home does not make your work “outside” sales.  If you work from home, your sales efforts must be more than 50% away from your home to qualify for the exemption.

Inside Sales Exemption

The inside sales exemption only applies to employees who work in sales and meet certain requirements.  If you are in sales and your employer treats you as an exempt employee, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I earn at least 1.5 times the state minimum wage?
  • Does more than half my weekly income come from commissions?


If your answer to any of these questions is NO, you may be entitled to back pay for overtime.