Thanks for your reply.
Generally speaking, an employee in the state of California is entitled to overtime for any hours they work in excess of 8 per day or 40 per week unless they fall within one of the specifically enumerated exemptions from overtime.
The two exemptions most likely to apply to an individual in your circumstance are the administrative exemption and the managerial exemption (often referred to as the executive exemption).
In order to be exempt from overtime pursuant to the administrative exemption, the following criteria must be satisfied:
- You must be compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate not less than $640 per week;
- Your primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and
- Your primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.
California law provides that in order to be exempt pursuant to the managerial
exemption from overtime, an employee must spend more than 50 percent of his or her time performing the following duties.
- Customarily and regularly directing the work of at least 2 or more employees
- Customarily and regularly exercising discretionary power
- The authority to hire and fire employee
- The ability to make comments and suggestions about personnel matters that are given weight by the employer.
Again, the employee must make a salary of at least $640 per week to be eligible for the exemption.
Depending on the extent to which you direct other workers, you may fall within this managerial exemption (the administrative exemption is a possibility too, which is why I mentioned it). However, the burden of proving an employee is exempt from overtime is one that falls on the employer, not the employee--the general presumption is that all employees are eligible for overtime.
Conceivably, an employee in your circumstance would file a wage claim with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement for back overtime, assuming that you were improperly exempted. To file a wage claim with the DLSE, visit this link: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/howtofilewageclaim.htm
Your employer would be legally prohibited from retaliated against you for making such a claim, or for that matter, for inquiring about your exempt status.
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