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At Mehtani Law Offices, our Beverly Hills employment law attorneys know that, as of January 1, 2024, California employees must earn an annual salary of at least $66,560 to meet the minimum threshold requirement for an exemption from overtime.

Regardless of size, all businesses must also comply with this threshold requirement.

With the salary threshold increasing again (up from $64,480 in 2023), companies may need to reassess their current classifications.

The question is, what is the difference between exempt and non-exempt employee classifications that allow California employers to make the determination? Here, we discuss the key differences.

Exempt and Non-Exempt Employee Classification

How Do Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Classifications Differ in California?

In California, employee classification as exempt or non-exempt relates primarily to eligibility for overtime pay and certain other labor protections.

  • Exempt Employees

Under state and federal laws, exempt employees are generally not entitled to overtime pay. They are typically salaried employees who are paid a predetermined amount regardless of the number of hours worked a week. They are generally not entitled to rest or meal breaks as mandated for non-exempt employees.

Exempt employees are expected to perform specific duties that meet certain criteria established by law. These duties are typically categorized as executive, administrative, professional, or outside sales roles.

  • Non-Exempt Employees

Non-exempt employees are typically paid hourly wages rather than a fixed salary and might include hourly workers in retail, food service, clerical positions, or other non-managerial roles.

As a result, they are entitled to:

  • Overtime pay for any hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek at one and a half times their regular hourly rate.
  • Rest and meal breaks as California labor laws mandate.

California employers must correctly classify employees to ensure compliance with labor laws or face significant legal consequences and liabilities.

If you believe your California employer is misclassifying you in any capacity – including classifying you as an independent contractor instead of an exempt or non-exempt employee, contact our skilled employment lawyers in Los Angeles County at (310)-776-3590 at Mehtani Law Offices to schedule a free consultation today to discuss your unique circumstances with a law firm that can help pursue real results for your case.

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