Salaried employees are also known as exempt employees because they’re not eligible for overtime work or pay. These employees get a fixed salary for their services and their duties, rights, and legal obligations differ from those of non-exempt employees.
California laws for salaried employees sets the rules for exempt workers in California. The laws are related to hours of work, test criteria for salaried employees, and much more.
Work Week Explained
A work week represents the total number of hours worked by an employee in a week, beginning from Monday to Friday in most cases. A typical work week for salaried employees in California has 40 hours.
While pay for salaried employees’ pay is based on 40 hours, they receive full pay regardless of the number of hours worked in a week. In other words, work hours do not determine a salaried employee’s pay
By law, salaried employees do not receive overtime, and employers are prohibited from forcing or coercing salaried employees into working overtime. Rogue employers sometimes exploit ignorant exempt employees and make them work overtime without pay.
Sadly, exempt employees who work overtime have no legal recourse. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the following factors are used to determine the “exempt” classification:
(a) Exempt employees must be paid at least $23,600 annually or $455 per week;
(b) Salary should be paid regularly, and
(c) Exempt employees must perform exempt job duties, including administrative, management, and professional duties.
Labor Laws for Salaried Employees
The rights of salaried employees are protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act —FLSA. This Act regulates overtime work and pay, minimum wages, child labor, and the Equal Pay Act for exempt employees. The answers to the following questions provide insights into labor laws for salaried employees in California.
How Many Hours do Salaried Employees Work?
Salaried employees should put in a minimum of 45-50 hours in a workweek as per the law. Sadly, research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that approximately 10 million employees in the U.S. work over 60 hours each week.
A work week for exempt employees should not exceed 50 hours. Otherwise, employers should compensate exempt employees for the extra work hours to avoid adverse legal consequences, such as penalties or fines.
Must Salaried Employees Clock In?
The law doesn’t require salaried employees to clock in and even many employers don’t require it. The reason is that exempt employers are considered more trustworthy and accountable than other employees. Also, salaried workers continue working even outside the office, so it may be difficult to record time on and off the job.
Must Salaried Employees Work 40 Hours a Week?
Salaries for exempt employees aren’t determined by the number of work hours. By law, they’re entitled to a full salary even if they work less than 40 hours a week. Exempt employees should be considered nonexempt if legal work hours are exceeded.
In other words, exempt workers are eligible for overtime pay for the services to their employers more than 40 hours a week. However, time off taken for personal reasons besides sickness or disabilities should be deducted from an exempt employee’s vacation time or leave days.
What’s the Legal Position for Exempt Employees Working Weekends?
The FLSA doesn’t require employers to compensate salaried employees for weekend work. Exempt employees are expected to meet targets or complete allocated tasks during the week.
If an employer requires an employee to work on weekends, they should inform the employee during hiring. Otherwise, exempt employees must be compensated if the employer requests them to work on weekends. The employee must give consent to work on weekends.
Can Exempt Employees Refuse to Work Overtime?
It depends. A salaried employee can decline to work overtime provided they don’t violate the terms and conditions of their employment contracts. Refusal to work overtime can attract termination if it contravenes the employment policies.
Can an Exempt Employee’s Salary be Deducted?
The allowable deductions from a salaried employee’s paycheck can include:
This includes an employee’s absence to attend to personal needs, such as family needs, vacations, and more.
Sick or Disability Absences
Sick-day policies can vary by companies or employers. This deduction can be made in advance or after your sick leave is exhausted.
Accrued leave refers to the leave hours earned by employees per the employer’s benefits and policies. Leave hours to accrue after working a predetermined number of hours. Accrual basis can be based on pay period, quarterly, or yearly. accrued leave is spent on sick, vacation, and personal needs, then it should be deducted from the remaining leave days.
An exempt employee’s salary may be deducted for safety violations, including smoking in prohibited areas, tampering with safety devices, or disobeying safety procedures.
Understanding labor law is the first step to protecting your employment rights. An experienced employment attorney can help you understand more on this subject more.
Leave a Reply