Last time I discussed overtime pay and breaks. There are some exceptions to these rules, when an employee is not entitled to overtime pay and need not be provided with breaks.
“White collar employees” are exempt from these rules. This employee must meet both of the following criteria:
1. The salary basis test:
The employee must make more than twice the minimum wage (now $8/hour and increasing to $9 on 7/1/14 in California) for full time employment, of 40 hours per week. In other words, the employee must make $16 per hour X 40 hours/week = $640 per week to meet this test. The employer must also pay the employee in the form of a straight salary, not by the hour.
2. The duties test:
The employee must spend at least half of his or her time in executive, administrative, or professional activities. This means that an employee must regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment over matters significant to the business. These decisions can still be subject to a superior’s approval. An employee who follows established rules does not use his or her own discretion.
Often, an employer will describe – or even make an employee sign a document saying – s/he is a management employee and not entitled to overtime or breaks. The employee would still be entitled to overtime and breaks.
There are many more details, and some exceptions to these exceptions, but this entry is meant to provide a general guideline.
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