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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12336
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I work non profit a few years ago they made me exempt

Customer Question

I work for a non profit a few years ago they made me exempt employer and part of the Leadrship Team. They have promised to change my title and salary to match the work I do.
At this time I have not had a pay raise in over 3 years and my pay in the same as when I was a hourly employee at $20.00 a hour. Each time we discuss it they have said they are working on financial issues. I am required to work early and a fare hour events no OT Pay and I am a exempt employee . Help
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. I am sorry to hear about your unsatisfactory pay. If you would be so kind, can you clarify what your actual legal question is regarding this situation? What is it that you would like to know?
I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Should my pay as A exempt employee been adjusted to my current non hourly status. Everyone in the Leadership Team role pay start at 55 and up per year
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is it a Dept of Labor code that covers exempt employees and wages and OT
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Patrick are you here and did you see my question?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
The law in CA only requires employers to pay exempt employees a minimum salary of $800 a week. Anything beyond this will always be at the discretion of the employer. It doesn't matter whether the employee has been forced to assume more difficult or demanding responsibilities, how much time the employee is working, or how much they were getting paid before. Employers are not required to be fair when it comes to how they choose to pay their employees. Employers are only restricted from basing compensation decisions on legally protected traits such as race or gender (i.e. having a policy to pay women less than men) and from paying exempt employees less than $800 a week.
The only potential argument that you are entitled to additional pay would be on the theory that you are improperly classified as an exempt employee. Not all employees can be classified as exempt and it is not up to the employer. Rather, the employee's job duties are what dictate whether exempt status is available. If you are part of the leadership team, that means you are likely being classified as exempt pursuant to the managerial (aka "executive") exemption from overtime. To be eligible for this exemption, you need to spend the majority of your time managing other employees and you must have substantial discretion when it comes to hiring, firing and management decisions. See here for more information about the requirements.
If you can argue that you are improperly classified as exempt, then your employer must pay you overtime for any hours worked in excess of 40 per week or 8 per day. Thus, you m ay have a wage claim for back pay. But aside from this, you cannot compel your employer to pay you more, regardless of whether your wage is fair. I wish there were greater protection in this circumstance, but the law affords employers a lot of discretion when it comes to setting compensation levels.
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They have said I was classified incorrect and gave me a copy of the new Job description I should and will be classified. 2 days of my week started at. 4:00 a.m. Several years it sounds like u may need to pursue the back pay process.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Many Thanks for your Feedback.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome. If you were misclassified as exempt, then you likely have a claim for unpaid overtime as well as claims for other violations of the Labor Code, which apply only to non-exempt employees. Such a claim can be pursued by filing a wage claim with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, or by filing a lawsuit in civil court with the assistance of an attorney. If you file a lawsuit, your attorney fees and costs will be recoverable assuming you prevail.
To file a wage claim with the DLSE, visit this link: To retain a local attorney, see here:
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Attorneys typically handle this sort of claim on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no up front fee, only a percentage or your settlement or award. So, do not let the fear of cost deter you from retaining counsel.
Please don't forget to positively rate my service as this is the only way I am credited for my answers.