California law presumes an employee to be a non-exempt employee. Non-exempt employees are workers who must be paid on a wage and hourly basis because their job duties do not fall within an overtime exemption.
Non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime, rest, and meal breaks and are subject to California’s minimum wage laws. The burden is on the employer to prove that an employee meets an exemption from overtime provisions. United Parcel Service Wage & Hour Cases, 190 Cal.App.4th 1001 (2010); Negri v. Koning & Associates, 216 Cal.App.4th 392, 396 (2013).
Exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay. They usually work in high-level positions within businesses and organizations (executive, professional, or administrative).
Some employers intentionally misclassify non-exempt employees as exempt employees, violating the California labor law and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This usually happens because of financial motivations.
Some reasons why employees misclassify a non-exempt employee as an exempt employee:
- To obtain “permission” to make an employee work for more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours in a week without paying them overtime.
- To ask an employee to perform job duties during their break or lunchtime.
- To avoid providing a lunch break for the employee.
- To avoid providing regular rest breaks.
- To avoid tracking the hours in which the employee works.
Have you been misclassified?
There are some indicators that you’ve been misclassified as an exempt employee. If you are not paid on an hourly basis, you are paid below the minimum wage (even when working part-time), you are not engaged in executive, administrative, or professional duties, and you are not provided with rest breaks, meal breaks, and overtime payments… then you may be misclassified.
If your employer has misclassified you as exempt, you may be able to seek compensation. Your employer is going against California’s work regulations and affecting you economically, physically, and probably emotionally.
If you have questions about California exemption laws and misclassified employees, contact Proxy Law Firm.