What is a California Exempt Employee?

California exempt employees are workers who meet California’s strict requirements for exempt employees, which means that they are not eligible for overtime pay under either the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or under California legislation.

Because California’s labor laws are among the toughest in the nation, exempt employees must meet several requirements. They are most often well-paid individuals with great benefits and are most likely involved in the management of the companies they work for. The major exemptions available under FLSA include:

  •  Executive
  • Learned Professional
  • Creative Professional
  • Administrative
  • Outside Sales, and
  • Physicians & Surgeons.

The following classes of exempt employees are also legally defined in California law: Computer-related Occupation and Highly Compensated Jobs Exemptions, which apply only to public sector employees.

What Does it Mean to Be an Exempt Employee?

An exempt employee is someone whose job is not subject to one or more of the wage and hour laws. So when we talk about overtime exempt employees it means that their job is not subject to the overtime wage laws; laws which provide a standard amount of compensation for employees working overtime hours. This rate can be calculated using specific information about the job and the number of hours worked.

Change in California Labor Laws Cause Confusion & Abuse

The legislative changes in California’s labor laws, as well as recent additions to the FLSA overtime legislation has lead to confusion, potential abuse, and an opportunity for increased non-compliance on the part of employers, which explains why there have been so many cases of overtime lawsuits in litigation in recent years.

This type of legal environment means that it is easy for unscrupulous employers to take advantage of employees who are unaware of the strict requirements that exempt employees must meet, resulting in the loss of potentially billions of dollars of unpaid overtime.


Are You a California Employee & Have Been Misclassified?

If you work in California and believe that your employer has misclassified you as a California exempt employee, or made some other California employer overtime mistake contacting a knowledgeable overtime lawyer like Michael Lore who knows both California and FLSA overtime rules is the best way to find out whether or not you have legal ground for a case against your employer.