California’s Exemptions from Overtime Pay

California’s workplace overtime rules do not apply to those workers who qualify for exemption under one or more categories, including:

Executive Exemption:  Executive employees are exempt from overtime if paid on a salary (current minimum is $640 per week; $2,773.33 monthly) and if primarily (over 50%) engaged office or non-manual management of at least two personnel below them in the chain of command and with authority to exercise discretion and independent judgment on the post.  “Management” means having and exercising the authority for full responsibility over the planning, recruiting, work priorities and allocation, coordination, documentation (e.g., statistics, evaluations of personnel performance) and production results of a company or a distinct area of a company.  See also, “The California Executive Exemption”;

Administrative Exemption: Administrators are exempt if paid on salary  as above for executives and if primarily (over 50%) engaged office or non-manual  work on planning, organizing, or enabling production concerning, for example, creation or execution of the management policies or general business operations of his/her employer or his/her employer’s customers.  An exempt administrator must regularly and customarily exercise independent judgment and discretion in his/her position. See also, Administrators and Overtime Pay in California”; “The California Administrative Exemption”;

Professional Exemption: An individual is an exempt professional if paid on salary as above and primarily (over 50%) engaged in one of several specified licensed occupations (including law, medicine, dentistry, optometry, architecture, engineering, teaching, or accounting) or in an occupation commonly recognized as a learned or artistic profession.”  As above, an exempt professional must regularly and customarily exercise independent judgment and discretion in his/her position.

A worker is exempt from California’s overtime rules if he meets the detailed duties and compensation requirements for an inside salesperson; an outside salespersons; or an computer employees.  There are a host of other avocations (for example, interstate truck drivers) that may be exempt from California overtime rules because of the preemption of federal or other laws.

Classification of a worker as exempt from overtime is a detailed, sometimes complex process, best accomplished with the aid of a skilled employment law attorney.


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