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Overtime exemption or wage and hour violation?

At some point in your working life, you have likely found yourself working long hours in order to complete necessary duties. Though the extra work may have added some additional stress to your day, your position may have allowed you the opportunity to earn some overtime pay. Many individuals find the added compensation useful and a nice perk for their extra efforts.

Though some workers may consider overtime pay a form of compensation that applies to everyone, certain stipulations exist as to whether employees may earn overtime pay. As a result, you may want to ensure that your employer has not violated wage and hour laws by keeping such pay from you. Several exemptions exist that may legitimately remove the opportunity for overtime pay.

Executive exemption

If you hold an executive position at your place of employment, you may not qualify for overtime compensation. However, simply holding the title of an executive does not immediately disqualify you. You must carry out certain duties as an executive, such as primarily managing the business, having two or more subordinate workers, and having the authority to hire or dismiss employees.

Administrative exemption

In order to face an administrative exemption, you must complete non-manual tasks that relate directly to business operations. Additionally, you need to have gone through special training or have experience or knowledge relating to administration procedures. You must also earn a monthly salary that comes to at least twice the minimum wage of a full-time worker.

Professional exemption

In order to fall into the category of professionals exempt from overtime, you must have a license or state-issued certification. Furthermore, your primary occupation must fall into one of these practices:

  • Law
  • Medicine, dentistry or optometry
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Teaching
  • Accounting

Additionally, computer software occupations also face exemptions as a subset of the professional exemption. If you develop, test, analyze or modify computer systems or programs, your occupation may exempt you from overtime pay.

Sales exemptions

With an outside sales exemption, you may not obtain overtime compensation if your primary duties revolve around sales, you spend more than half of your working time away from the office, and you sell tangible or intangible products.

If you hold a commissioned salesperson position, your overtime exemption may come about if you earn over 1.5 times the minimum wage, earn over half your compensation through commissions, are covered by the appropriate Wage Order and spend over half your time working away from the place of business.

Exemption violations

Though valid exemptions for overtime affect many workers, you may face complications if you do not fall into any of these categories but do not receive overtime pay. Unless extenuating circumstances directly relate to your case, your employer could have committed wage and hour violations.

If you believe a violation of your employee rights occurred due to a lack of overtime pay, you may wish to speak with an experienced California attorney to determine your options for addressing the issue.

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