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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 30168
Experience:  Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
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I am confused about "Exempt" and Non Exempt" salaried

Customer Question

I am confused about "Exempt" and Non Exempt" salaried employee. I live in California. I am a licensed professional and am paid salary. I work extra hours and am on call on weekends and one night during the week. I do not get paid any overtime, my check is always the same. I recently read that my salary should be equal to twice minimum wage. I make less than that. I need clarification before I bring it up to my employer and possibly the labor board.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, there are three requirements that must be met before an employee will be exempt from minimum wage and overtime laws.
1. The employee must be paid a salary.

2. That salary must be at least $455/week. That's not quite twice the federal minimum wage, and it's much less than 2x the minimum wage in California.

3. The employee must perform specified job duties. The most common is a managerial position where the employee supervises at least two of other people and has genuine input into hiring and firing (you don't have to be able to unilaterally make those decisions, but someone should listen to your opinion on those things). The second most common is what's called the "learned professions" - doctors, lawyers, architects, teachers, registered nurses... essentially, a job that requires specialized advanced knowledge. Sales employees who work outside an office may also be exempt, and so can computer professionals.

This site has more information on what types of jobs may be exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. I also included a checklist that might help. If you're still not sure, you can ask the Department of Labor to look into it.

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